How to look after your pet when you go on holiday

Are those puppy-dog eyes making you feel guilty as you pack your suitcase?

It’s always hard leaving your pet when you travel, but feeling confident that they’ll be safe, well fed and happy while you’re away makes the whole process much easier.

Here are our tips on how to ensure your pet is cared for, so you can focus on enjoying your holiday:

Get Organised and Plan in Advance

Just as we book our holidays and flights months in advance, the same should be done with pet care. Pet-sitters, kennels and boutique boarding facilities are extra busy during the summer, so get organised and plan in advance to ensure your pet doesn’t miss out.

Where Should You Leave Your Pet?

There are a number of boarding options to explore:


If you have a nervous or anxious pet and don’t want to disrupt their normal routines, pet-sitting is probably the best option.

Professional home pet sitters can make regular visits to your home to care for your pet in the environment they feel comfortable and secure in, or you could also hire a live-in Home Sitter, who will look after your house as well as your pet – ideal if you’re worried about leaving your house vacant.

Free Pet-Sitting Options

If you are on a tighter budget however, it is possible to find a pet sitter who is happy to care for your pet, free of charge.

Borrow My Doggy connects dog owners with trusted local people who would love to look after a dog. Similarly, TrustedHousesitters offers a free house sitting service in return for rent-free accommodation*.

Friends and family members can also make great pet-sitters, especially if they already have a bond with your pet.  

Boarding Kennels and Catteries

Kennels or catteries are a popular option for owners going on holiday – which is also why they’re in high demand over the summer months.

Make sure to enquire and look into the options available in your area in advance. It’s important to remember that most kennels will not accept any four-legged friends without an up-to-date vaccination record – so make sure that you plan your pet’s health needs in advance, too.

Whatever Care You Choose, Do a Trial Weekend First

Before committing to a kennel or cattery, a pet-minder, or even a friend or family member, it’s a good idea to try out a trial weekend.

You want the experience to be pleasant rather than stressful for your furry family member. And if your pet seems to enjoy a weekend stay, this bodes well for a longer stay away from home.


The app will also keep you updated on your pet’s activity, including tips on how to improve their wellbeing. That way, you can be reassured that they’re being walked when they say they are, and that they are as healthy and happy as possible

A Packing List

Once you’ve got your care sorted, the next thing to do is make a checklist to ensure you’re leaving your pet in well-prepared hands.

Here are a few essentials you’ll need to gather together if your pet is being looked after by a pet-minder or a friend or family member:

  • Phone numbers – yours, a close-by emergency contact, your pet’s vet number
  • A feeding and walking schedule
  • Food and water bowls
  • An emergency spare house key
  • If you don’t like your pet on the sofa or in certain rooms, make sure to let your pet-minder know
  • A lead 
  • A record of your pet’s vaccinations
  • Your pet’s bed and favourite toys
  • A dog tracker or pet tracker
  • Pet food – plus the specific brand name for food and treats that your pet likes in case you run out
  • Grooming essentials
  • Poop bags or kitty litter
  • Medications and instructions 



Neither Borrow My Doggy nor TrustedHousesitters UK is endorsed by Vodafone; please research services suitable to your needs.

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Curated by the in-house team.

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