Going away on holiday and leaving your beloved pets at home can be stressful and upsetting for both you and your furry friend. Dogs in particular need lots of love and attention and you need peace of mind while you are away that they are being cared for, fed and exercised as they usually would be. There are more options now than ever when it comes to keeping your pooch happy while you relax on the beach. Here is our guide to some of these options.
Kennels are the most obvious choice of accommodation for your dog if you are away. The quality of care in kennels can vary massively though and it is really important that you do your research. A good place to start would be asking your vet or other dog owners for recommendations. It is also a good idea to visit the kennel before your break to look at the living quarters and also get a feel for how the staff are and how happy the other dogs there seem.
Some questions that you may want to ask the staff at the kennels are:
- How many dogs are there per assistant?
- How long are the dogs exercised for per day?
- Do the dogs get individual attention?
- Can you provide your own food and do they follow your feeding plan if your dog has dietary requirements?
Kennels can be great for dogs that like to be around lots of noise and other animals but if your dog is more timid or is not used to interacting with other dogs it can be quite a stressful environment for them. Some kennels offer ‘apartments’ that are usually in a quieter area of the kennels and they often have more home comforts like carpets and a TV to keep your dog company! This option isn’t cheap (generally about £30 per night) but it may be a good option if you want your dog to have a less stressful stay in kennels.
Home boarding is becoming more and more popular. Lots of dog walking companies offer this service whereby they allow a small number of dogs to stay at their home at any one time. This is a great option if your dog is well trained, gets along with other dogs and is used to living in a home environment. It is always good to take your dog to visit the house he or she will be staying in to see how they interact with the homeowner and any other pets they have. Some home boarders require dogs to be neutered to stay with them but others are more flexible. If your dog has a dog walker ask about this option as it is always better if your animal is familiar with the person looking after them. Home boarding generally costs around £20-£25 per night.
Pet sitters are people that come and stay in your home while you are away to take care of your pet. This obviously involves a lot of trust, not only that they will care for your beloved pet well enough but that they will respect your home as well. If your dog is used to being home alone while you are out at work it may just be enough to have someone call in on your dog 3 or 4 times a day to exercise them and let them outside but dogs that are used to lots of human contact may need someone actually living at the house with them. This option offers consistency for your pet but you need to do your research and find someone you are really happy with if you go for this service.
Family and Friends
A good option (and the cheapest by far!) is to leave your dog with your family or a friend. If you are lucky enough to have someone that will do this make sure they know your dog well before leaving for your holiday. Dogs will settle better if they are familiar with their surroundings so make sure they have regularly been to the place they are going to be living in for a week or two. Take their bed from home and toys that they know and love so that they feel like this is their territory. You may also want to consider your relationship with your friend or relative before you do this. It’s never a good idea to leave a 2 month old un-trained puppy with your friend who has cream carpets throughout their house and doesn’t like mess! You need to be pretty sure your dog will behave itself while you are away.
Take Them with You!
If you can’t stand to be separated from your pet while you are away then the other option is to take Fido with you. You can read more about this in our Travelling with Pets blog post. Some villa owners are happy to allow pets and if you enjoy walking holidays it can be lovely having your dog there with you. However, if you plan to lie by the pool in 30 degrees most days then your dog may not enjoy this quite so much!
Feel free to contact us to ask about our pet-friendly villas and apartments.
With any of these options the main thing is to weigh up the pros and cons. You know your dog’s routine and personality more than anyone so what may be right for one dog may be totally wrong for another. As stressful as it is leaving them at home, a break can sometimes be good for both of you and being greeted by your hound on your arrival home certainly takes away some of the pain of a great holiday ending!