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Holiday time for pets

Planning a summer holiday? If you are, then don’t forget to include plans for your pet’s break from you. To ensure they have a safe and happy holiday - think ahead.

Whether your pet is ‘holidaying’ at home or taking the journey with you, there are a number of steps that have been taken to make sure that pets have a good time while owners enjoy peace of mind. PDSA - Britain’s No. 1 veterinary charity - asks pet owners to consider...

Home alone?

One of the most popular pet care options for the holiday period is to ask a friend or relative to be chief feeder, walker and carer for your pet. Cats are usually quite happy to be left to their own devices as long as their meals arrive on time and they have their normal access to the outside world. A little bit of fuss and necessary grooming is welcome too!

Dogs require far more attention. Mealtimes need to be kept in line with normal routine and their carer must be able to take the dog for walks and give them plenty of attention.

Leave enough bags/tins of the pet’s normal food to cover the period you are away and some extra too. It’s never a good idea to change a pet’s diet unless advised by their vet.

A note of the vet’s telephone number, the pet’s insurance details or some money to cover unexpected vet’s bill should be left for the carer - in case of emergencies.

Small caged pets and birds can be left at home as long as someone agrees to visit everyday to put out fresh food and water and to spare time for a ‘chat’!


Paid petsitters are becoming very popular especially if they ‘live-in’ whilst the owner is away. Not only does the pet have the comfort of being cared for in their home, the house is cared for too!

Kennel care?

If your cat or dog is happy to stay in boarding kennels or a cattery then make sure that you book their accommodation well in advance of your holiday time. Good boarding kennels fill very quickly.

If you are looking for a kennel/cattery then make sure that you inspect each establishment before you take your pet to stay. Look for bright, clean surroundings, warm sleeping quarters, adequate exercise areas, helpful staff and happy residents!

A reputable business will ask to see proof of your pet’s vaccination papers.

Pets away!

Dogs are often lucky enough to join their owners on holiday! Take plenty of water for the journey and make frequent stops, especially if it is a long trip. Nervous dog might benefit from one or two practise runs or a visit to the vet if they are prone to travel sickness.
Avoid feeding your pet a meal less than two hours before starting out. It could avoid little accidents!

Cats and dogs should always wear their collars and identity tags when out and about, just in case the pet escapes or gets lost.

If you are planning to take your pet abroad under the Passports for Pets scheme then call the DEFRA helpline on 0870-241 1710 or visit their website