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Dog-at-airportTips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation by PetWell

Tips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation


For some of us, leaving our pet in someone else’s care can be extremely stressful.  They are our family members. Leaving our pets while on vacation can cause separation anxiety and a great deal of stress, not only for them but for us too.

It’s important to have carers available for our pets. We can’t always take our pets on holidays or business trips. Choosing an option that provides your pet with the right level of care, comfort and safety are important. The good news is that we have more options than ever before.  

With some research and preparation, you can select the option that suits best. This will ensure your pet is in the best hands while you're away.

These 7 tips for leaving your pets while on vacation will help you prepare for leaving them with someone else.

1. Up-to-date ID tags, Microchip, and a GPS

Not to alarm you but dogs and cats have been known to escape when in someone else’s care. This is driven by their intense need to find their humans and make their way back home. 

Making sure your pet is microchipped with up-to-date contact information is very important.

Ensure the ID tags on your pet have your latest contact details. 

Add a GPS tag to your pet’s collar.  This will make it easier to track in the event they escape.  

2. Leave Detailed Instructions

Routine is important for pets providing them with a sense of security and comfort. 

Provide the carer with a detailed list addressing the following items:

Food – what portion and what time to feed your pet each day. Be sure to provide enough food in your absence. 
Toilet – note instructions on how your pet goes to the toilet. For example, if your dog only goes to the toilet outside, let them know how often they need to be taken out.
Allergies – note down all your pet's allergies
Supplements and medications – Note down exactly what the dosage is, how to administer and what time they need to be given to your pet.
Treats – list your pet's daily treat allowance.  How many are they allowed per day and the preferred time for consumption. 
Exercise – what is their daily exercise routine? Time of day, duration, and favourite games. Eg: fetch, tug of war.
Emergency contacts – leave your Vet details as well as friends and family who can assist if need be. 
Grooming – If there are grooming requirements whilst you're away, be sure to list the 'how-to' instructions or your groomer's details. 
Behaviours – list behaviours your pet has. For example:
- Chase cars, bikes, or certain animals? 
- Have lead aggression?
- Does your dog have certain fear and anxiety triggers?
- Is your dog socialised and does it play nice in off-leash parks? 
- Are they prone to escape? 

  Provide as much information as you can.  Never assume a carer will know what you know about your pet

3. Update Vaccinations

Be sure that your pet's vaccinations are fully up to date. 

In the event your pet is being cared for outside of your home, it’s important that you pack all the essentials for their care. Ensure you have the following:

  • Detailed instructions, as advised in point 2 above
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Supplements and medications
  • Grooming tools
  • Food and water bowls
  • Lead for walking
  • Bed and blankets
  • Favourite toys and bones
  • Poop bags 

5. The Small Comforts 

There is no doubt your pet will miss you whilst you're away.  Dogs especially will experience separation anxiety.  It's important to help them feel some familiarity to help them cope with being away from you.

Here are some items you can leave with the carer:
• leave behind a worn piece of clothing so they are comforted with your scent. You can leave things in their crate or bed. 
• Be certain your dog’s bed or blankets stays with your dog. The bed will smell like you and your home and make them more comfortable 
• Leave their toy box with the carer. Having their regular toys will give them familiarity and comfort. 

6. Calming Supplements 

Some pets are more prone to separation anxiety than others.  In preparation for leaving your pet with someone else, you may want to introduce calming supplements. All natural supplements can take 2 to 4 weeks to start calming your pets.  You can try PetWell's CALM supplement or source CBD oil from your Vet.

PetWell CALM Anxiety Aid Supplement and Treats for Cats and Dogs

7. Stay Calm and Give a Short Goodbye

Pets can pick up on your emotions.  If you are feeling anxious about leaving them behind, they will pick up on the anxiousness and reflect it.  If you stay calm and confident, that will put your pet at ease. 

The fact is, saying goodbye is probably harder on you than on your pet. It’s important that you stay calm and not show any sadness. When you say goodbye to your pet, keep it short, happy, and relaxed.  Your pet will be back in your arms before you know it.

Who Will Take Care of Your Pet While You’re Away? 

When it comes to pet boarding, there are many options.  In the past few years, pet sitting, and boarding have become a booming business. There are many options.  You just need to work out the best one for you and your pet.

Let’s look at the options available for leaving your pet while on vacation. Plus the pros and cons of each one.

1. Board Your Pet with a Veterinarian

There are a variety of vets and vet hospitals that offer to board pets.  Traditionally these are the go-to place to leave pets.

Pros-Tips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation by PetWell

2. Board Your Pet at a Kennel or Pet Resort

Over the past few years, kennels have transformed into beautiful spa retreats/pet resorts for pets. 

There are many options in this space, depending on the need of your pet.  There are different size rooms available that have outdoor access.  And there are many pet resorts available close to metropolitan areas. 

Some of these pet resorts offer a variety of activities to keep pets entertained, exercised, and happy. 

Because every pet resort is unique, it’s important to do your research. 

Pros 2 Tips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation by PetWell

When selecting a pet resort, ensure you check:

  • Staff qualifications
  • How many carers are on the ground at any given time?
  • How many dogs are in their care at any given time?
  • Check their induction process to ensure aggressive dogs are identified and cared for appropriately, away from other pets
  • Does the resort offer the room type you want?  Is it clean?
  • How much space is there? Indoor and outdoor access should be available
  • How much playtime with other dogs is allocated?
  • Do they offer the facilities and services you want, eg: training, swimming pool, grooming
  • Share your care instructions with them and ensure they can comply, especially if supplements and medications need to be administered
  • What are the fees?  And are there extra fees for additional playtime and services?
  • ALWAYS read reviews and testimonials.  No matter how attractive the website looks or how well the salesperson sells it, you will always learn more from client reviews

3. At Home with a Pet Sitter

Leaving your pet at home with a trusted pet sitter is a great option!  Especially for dogs who need a routine to help with anxiety issues. 

Having them at home with a pet sitter will minimise disruption for them. Importantly, it will ensure they still feel safe and happy within their trusted environment. 

Friends and family members make great pet sitters as your pet is most likely familiar with them. This ensures less stress for your pet and for you.  

You can also hire a professional pet sitter.  There are apps available that have professional sitters pre-qualified to be house/pet sitters. Some come at a daily cost and others do it for free, in return for accommodation and a stocked fridge. 

If you’re only away for a day or two, another option is to have a pet sitter drop by for 2 to 3 hrs a day.  To feed them, walk them, and spend some playtime with them. 

Pros 3 Tips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation by PetWell

4. Leave Your Pet with a Pet Sitter in Their Home

There are many pet sitters that accommodate pets in their own home. This can be family or friends.  Alternatively, you can hire professional pet sitters that operate from their own premises. 

It’s a great alternative to a pet resort if your pet is highly anxious or reactive to other dogs.  

Pros 3 Tips for Leaving Pets While on Vacation by PetWell

en selecting a pet sitter, ensure you are comfortable that:

  • It’s someone you trust. They are responsible and can follow your instructions.  They must dedicate the time required to care for your pet. 
  • It’s a pre-qualified pet sitter via a reputable app or service agency
  • The professional pet sitter has references. Review their references and ask to speak with a past customer
  • The professional pet sitter has the relevant insurance and training. If they are through an agency, the agency should provide insurance and references

Ensure you meet the pet sitter prior to engaging them. It’s important that your pet spends a little time with them. And that you are comfortable with having this person in your home, taking care of your fur baby.

If you do hire a pet sitter, be sure to let your friends, family, and neighbours know. They can check in to ensure everything is going well. 

Leaving your pet behind isn’t all that bad

Pets are more adaptable than we give them credit for.  And I’m sure most will agree the anxiety of leaving them behind sits more with us than them. 

As responsible pet owners, we need to make sure we engage the best possible solution for our pets when we are not there to care for them. Whether that’s a week or so at a pet resort or at home with a pet sitter.

Do the appropriate research, pre-plan, and ensure you select the best option for your pets. 

And remember, you can always call or facetime. Checking in on your fur baby will help you relax and trust the process. 

Recommendations of pet sitters, agencies, or pet resorts are most welcomed!  Please let us know in the comments below. Or try Googling dog and cat boarding kennels for options near you. Read more Tips to keep your dog healthy and happy

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at Pet Squad Pty Ltd trading as PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.

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