So you're going on holiday? Congratulations... we're jealous! Your animal, on the other hand, may not be. While you may find it hard to be away from your animal for a while, your animals may be more stressed by coming along. Consider their health and emotional needs before deciding whether to take your animal with you, or organising care for them back home.
It's tempting to want to bring your pet with you, but some animals aren't suited for travel due to temperament, illness or physical impairment.
Think about where your animal would be happiest. You may think that your dog will miss you too much, but if you are holidaying, will you have to leave him in a motel room, a tent, shack or strange kennel? That will make him more anxious than ever. Finding a reliable family member, friend or pet-sitter and leaving him in his own home would probably be a better choice.
Cats do not enjoy change and taking them on trips is usually not a good idea. Unless you are moving or going away for a long time, get a reliable family member, friend or pet-sitter so that your cat will not have to experience the stress of riding in a travel carrier. It will be hard for your cat to adjust to a whole new living arrangement, then having to move all the way home again. Change can cause cats’ major stress, which can lead to health and behaviour problems.
If your family have any doubts about whether it’s the right idea for your animal to travel, have them talk to your veterinarian and make sure your animal is up to date on all vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and in good health before you leave.
If your family decides it's best for your animal to come along, make sure you've got the supplies to keep your companion comfortable.
Cats should be safely secured in a spacious, comfortable travel carrier.
Dogs should be safely secured with a dog seatbelt, in a secured carrier or behind a dog guard. You never know what your dog may see or hear while you are travelling, so it’s important they are safely secured in the car. This way, they can’t injure themselves or you if they get a fright or see something that gets them super excited and jumping around! If an accident happened, the dog could be fatally injured, and the force of the dog being thrown forward could seriously injure the driver or any passengers in the car.
If you are travelling by air, make sure your family have checked out any pet-related rules set by the airline you are travelling with. This also includes restrictions for animals in different countries and restrictions related to the weather. Talk to your veterinarian or a specialist pet air travel company for advice and help.
If your family decides your animal(s) should not travel, you can arrange for a responsible friend or relative to look after your animal(s), you can board them at a recommended kennel or cattery, or you can hire a pet sitter.
If your family has decided to board your animal(s), get references and ask your parents to visit the boarding kennels or cattery first. Your veterinarian can help you find a good boarding kennel or cattery that is best suited to the needs of your animal(s).
A pet sitter may be preferable if your animal is timid, elderly, and afraid of strangers or needs the comfort of familiar surroundings while you're gone.
If your family is hiring a pet sitter, encourage them to interview the pet sitter and check their references.
Be sure your animal is microchipped before you leave him or her anywhere unfamiliar to them.
If your family arranges for someone to care for your animal(s) while you're away, give the pet sitter:
You should also make sure that your animal is comfortable with the person you've chosen by having him or her come to your home to visit before you leave.
Don’t forget to let your veterinarian know if you are going away and who is going to look after your animal while you are on holiday.
REMEMBER TO NEVER, EVER LEAVE YOUR ANIMAL HOME ALONE WHEN YOU GO AWAY ON HOLIDAY.