Passport? Check! Money? Check! Sun cream? Check! Animals… if you’re heading off for a bit of rest and relaxation, don’t forget that sorting care for your pets needs to be on your ‘to-do’ list.
Unless you’re holidaying in this country and planning on taking your pet with you, you’ll need to plan well in advance who’s going to feed the fish or walk the dog.
With the law surrounding animal welfare now being proactive, you have a legal responsibility to make sure they are cared for and not put at risk.
You may be lucky enough to have family or friends who are willing to look after your animals, either in your home or theirs.
If not, the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters can help you find someone to move into your home while you’re away or visit daily and care for your pets.
Happier at home?
With a Code of Practice, insurance and criminal record checks among the criteria they have to adhere to, it’s a viable option if you know your pet is happier getting their holiday care in their own home.
Another alternative is kennels, a cattery or small boarding establishment. There is also a growing market in (often franchised) businesses which place your pet with another family while you’re away.
Before you decide which to use, ask for recommendations from friends, family or your vet and visit them in advance to make sure you are happy with the facilities.
A bona-fide (excuse the pun!) kennel or cattery should be licensed by the local authority and have insurance.
Whoever looks after your pet, a handy list of their likes and dislikes will always be welcome. Include details on their favourite toys, food, any medication they take and how they get on with other animals (and people!).
Make sure your pet’s vaccinations and flea and worming treatments are up to date.
Before you leave, don’t forget to give the carer the name and number of your vet and an emergency contact number for you if possible.
That way you – and they – will have peace of mind as you enjoy that much needed holiday!