News and Media

Holidaying and Pets – Part One

November 8, 2012
Holidaying with your pet

The summer season is fast approaching- so where are you planning to go? Will you be heading to the bush or the beach, will you be catching up with family or going away with friends? Will you be taking your pets with you or have you made arrangements to leave them behind?

Over the next few days we will be exploring things to think about with regard to your pets, when organising your next holiday.

Leaving your pet at home

You’ve decided that this summer your pet will be staying at home. Here are some things you should think about:

– Identify, Update, Reunite: It is crucial that your pet is identified with a microchip and a collar tag; and that your contact details are always kept up-to-date. In most states, dogs and cats are required by law to be micro chipped and registered with the local council. Also remember to include an emergency contact with your contact information, at that it is someone who is not on holidays with you. Identification that is current is the most effective way to ensure you and your pet will be reunited, should they go missing.

– Friend or family: Many people choose to leave their pet with a family member or friend while on holiday. The pet may go and stay with this person in their home, or your friend or family member may move in to your home. Please make sure the person you choose is reliable and responsible and will enjoy spending time with your pet. It is always best that your pet is familiar with them and you all meet up prior to going away to spend time together, and go through all important information (i.e. Go-to guide).

– Pet sitter: If you don’t have a suitable friend or family member, you may want to consider a professional pet sitter. You can find pet sitting services online or you may be able to get a recommendation from your vet, or a friend. Again it is important to meet up with your sitter prior to going away, and most pet sitters will insist on this. Also, make sure to check references and see if the sitter has a valid police check for the security of your pet and your home. Make sure you provide them with your contact details and those of an emergency contact.

– Go-to guide: Put together comprehensive and easy to read notes about your pet to leave with your sitter. Your notes should include information regarding your pet’s diet, medication, routine, idiosyncrasies, favourite toys, your contact details while travelling and an emergency contact you’ve set up to be on call should your sitter be unable to visit your pet. Basically write everything down, the more information you leave, the better.

– Bushfire areas: For those living in bushfire prone areas, you will need to pass on your pet’s bush fire plan to your pet sitter. It is also important you have an emergency contact that lives outside the bushfire prone area in case of emergency. Read our fact sheet for more information on bushfires and your pets.

– Calling in: If you are leaving your pet at home and a sitter, family member or friend will be dropping in to check on your pet, it is crucial that they visit twice a day for dogs, and at least once a day for cats. Dogs should be walked at least once a day. It is not recommended the “calling in” approach be used for extended periods for dogs, while cats (depending on their temperament and breed) will be happy with this method for a few days, such as a long weekend. Remember, while cats may seem independent, they too need regular human contact and affection.

– Pet accommodation: For those of you going on a holiday for more than a long weekend, a kennel and cattery are perhaps the best and safest options. There are countless options but the best ones are usually those recommended to you by friends and family. If you are searching online, make sure to consider unbiased reviews and information about kennels. You may want to visit the kennels first and request a tour before leaving on holidays.

– Visit your vet: Drop into your vet and let them know you will be going away and for how long. Most vets would be happy to arrange to take payments when you’re back should something happen while you are away. Remember also, if you are putting your pet into a boarding facility, their vaccinations will need to be up-to-date and you need to plan this several weeks before leaving.

– Be realistic: Keep in mind that things can go wrong. It is important to not blame the sitter if something happens to your pet that was out of their control.

Watch this space over the next few days as we explore what to do if you‘ve decided to take your four-legged family member with you on your next holiday.

To hear the Pets-A-Loud team’s favourite pet friendly holiday destinations and for more information on holidaying with or without your pet, look out for the podcast on last week’s show.