There are many things that have to be taken care of before you can go away on holiday. One important thing to remember is to make sure you find reliable care for your pets. There are several different choices that can be made. You could put your pet in a kennel or cattery. You can have a friend or relative watch your pets. You can hire a professional pet sitter. Another option may even be to take your pet on holiday with you.
The most important thing to remember when planning who will take care of your pet while you are away is obviously the welfare of your pet. You have to consider where and with whom they will feel most comfortable in your absence. Some animals handle change well and others have a hard time being taken out of their daily routine. The option you choose will also depend on how long you plan on being away.
The ideal scenario is to have someone that you trust stay at your home with your pets when you are on holiday. There are also professional pet sitters who offer a variety of services. There are many reputable companies that have trained professionals who are CRB-checked and specialise in pet sitting.
Pet sitters will take care of your pets according to your specifications. They will stay in your home whilst you are away, or may offer one or more daily visits to your home. They will care for your pets, take them on walks, feed them and groom them. Good pet-sitters will also water your plants, pick up your mail and open and close your curtains for you so that it does not appear that your house is empty. There are also companies that specialise in giving personal care to your pets in their own homes. They will take your dog or cat into their homes and care for them in your absence, often in the company of other pets – a good option if your pet dog or cat is sociable and would enjoy the companionship of other animals, but not so good if your pet is used to being king of the hill, so to speak.
Depending on friends or neighbours to take care of your pets might seem like the ideal arrangement; but sometimes people get involved in other things and unforeseen circumstances crop up in everyones’ lives. Since most people have busy lives they might not always remember, or only be able to give your pet a few minutes of their time. There is one thing you can do to avoid this from happening and to make sure your pet gets good care, and that is to treat this as a business arrangement instead of a favour.
If you set up a deal with your neighbours, friends or relatives to watch your pet for a certain amount of money you will definitely get better results. People will do a better job when they are getting paid and not just doing a favour. You can set up the exact amount you will pay and what you expect to be done whilst you are on holiday.
If you want to hire a professional animal caregiver you will want to start planning and looking for someone in advance of your trip and not at the last minute. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to check out the person who is going to come into your home and take care of your animals. This is as big a decision as choosing a babysitter for your children – if you are not 100% comfortable with a pet-sitter then you need to continue searching. You can ask your vet, friends and neighbours for recommendations. You can also ask someone at your local rescue centre or a dog trainer if they know of anybody. You can also use the internet to find professional animal caregivers in your area.
Always look for companies that have had their staff checked with the Criminal Records Bureau and are fully insured. You want to ask the person you are considering for references and make sure you check them out yourself. You will want to find out if the person can take care of any special needs your pet may have, such as medication or other special requirements. Once you have done phone interviews and find the person you think might be the one; invite them to your home for an interview. By inviting the person to your home you get to observe how they interact with your pets. This way you can see how comfortable the person is with your pet and also how comfortable your pet is with the person. This is also the time to let the professional get a feel of your home and to show them where supplies are, etc. if you feel that they are suitable.
Once you have decided this is the right person to look after your pet you want to make sure you ask some basic questions. You want to know how often the sitter will visit or whether they could stay in the home. You also want to know what backup plans the person has in place in case they are not able to care for your pet. You will also want to make sure you leave an itinerary of your trip and phone numbers where you can be reached. Also make sure you put your vet’s number and emergency numbers and your policy documents in a place that is easy to get to.
If you can’t leave your pet at home for any reason, and if taking pets on holiday is not an option for you either, you will have to find a good kennel or cattery that will take good care of your pets whilst you are on holiday. Follow the same steps for this as you would when looking for a pet sitter. You will want to find out if the boarding place is insured, licensed and bonded. After you have made some initial calls and narrowed down your choices; you will then want to visit the establishments in person. You might also want to see if your vet office provides boarding services. Take some time to check out the facilities, ask lots of questions and visit the existing boarders to make sure you will be comfortable leaving your own pet there.
Most pets are more comfortable in their own homes while their owners are away, and can become very stressed when put in a new environment. By planning ahead you will be able to find the best solution for your pet whilst you are gone. That way you will be able to relax and enjoy your holiday and not be worried about your animals.
Animal Friends Pet Insurance is the UK’s only not-for-profit ethical pet insurance company. AFI has been trading since 1999 and since then has helped thousands of needy animals all over the world by donating 100% of their net profits to worthy causes. Buy pet insurance online from Animal Friends or simply call our friendly staff if you prefer on 0844 55 70 300; the policies won’t cost you more and you won’t be disappointed!
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