pets on holiday

What is the best thing to do with pets when you go on holiday?

The Bank Holiday season has started, and many of us will be making holiday plans for the summer. There are lots of factors to consider when planning a holiday, but if you are a pet owner, one of the key decisions to make is what to do with pets when you go away.

So, in this article we look at three options for your pet whilst you are on holiday:

  • Taking your pet on holiday with you
  • Leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter
  • Booking your pet into a kennel or cattery.


Taking your pet on holiday with you

If your holiday accommodation is pet-friendly, taking your pet with you could be a good option. The most usual animal to take with you on holiday is your dog. There are many dog-friendly holiday options in the UK – including hotels, resorts and holiday cottages – and more pubs and even restaurants are allowing dogs into at least part of their premises.

It is also still possible to take your dog to Europe. Before Brexit, there was a pet passport system. But now your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, an animal health certificate and dogs will also require a tapeworm treatment.

If you decide to take your dog on holiday there are three simple steps to make things as stress-free as possible:


  • Restrain your dog whilst in the car

It is a Highway Code requirement to restrain your dog whilst driving so that you are not distracted and also prevent injury to either you or the dog if you have to brake suddenly. So, if the dog is in the body of the car they need to have a seat belt harness, and if they are in the boot you either need a guard between the boot and the rear passenger seats or have them in a secured crate or cage. Ideally, the dog should already be used to travelling this way, so that it does not become distressed during the journey.


  • Plan your route

If you are going on a long car journey, your dog will need regular breaks just the same as the rest of the family. So, it is a really good idea to plan your route in advance, including where you will stop for breaks. Most motorway service stations do not allow dogs inside, but many have outdoor grassy areas to walk, sometimes with outdoor picnic areas where the whole family can enjoy a break. Motorway Services Online is a good place to start finding out which service stations are en route and what facilities they offer.


  • Pack the necessary supplies

Packing for a family holiday is always stressful, but don’t forget the dog! They will need water and food for the journey, as well as poo bags, treats, cleaning products and towels to cope with any situation. Plus of course their favourite toys!


Leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter

It can be a lot easier to leave your pet(s) at home when you go away. Not only will they appreciate the comfort and familiarity of everyday life, but it gives you a complete break from the responsibility of looking after them. 

The key thing is to find someone reliable to either stay in your home, come in regularly or have your pet to stay with them while you are away. The first port of call is to see whether family, friends or neighbours could help you out. Also ask around to see if anyone knows a local pet sitter who may be able to do the job for you. If not, you could look online at house sitting websites, for example House Sitters UK.

If you do use a pet sitter or house sitter this will add to the cost of your holiday, but can be well worth it for the peace of mind that someone is looking after your pet(s) and also keeping an eye on things at home.


Booking your pet into a kennel or cattery

A third option for pets while you are on holiday is to book your pet to a kennel or cattery. This can be expensive but you will have the reassurance that they are being professionally cared for, even though they are not in a home environment.

Word of mouth is a good way to start looking for a kennel or cattery. You need to check that other pet owners have had positive experiences and would recommend them. Also feel free to ask if you can visit the kennel or cattery to have a look round before you book.

Two things to be aware of with kennels and catteries are:

  • You need to book early

Kennels and catteries can get booked up way in advance, particularly for busy holiday seasons. So, if you are considering this option you need to get in there quickly otherwise you may end up being disappointed. 


  • Your pet must be fully vaccinated

Kennels and catteries have very strict rules about your pet being up to date with their vaccinations. Otherwise your pet will not be admitted. So, check at the time of booking what the specific requirements are for the kennel or cattery you are using.

General requirements for dogs is that they will need to be up to date with their routine vaccinations/boosters against Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Distemper. Most kennels will also require them to be vaccinated against Kennel Cough. 

Cats will usually need to be vaccinated against Cat Flu and Feline Infectious Enteritis plus Feline Leukaemia Virus and Chlamydia. A mixed kennel/cattery may also require them to be vaccinated against Bordetella Bronchiseptica, a respiratory infection which can trigger Kennel Cough in dogs. 

It is important to note that you usually need to leave at least 14 days between your pet being vaccinated and them going into the kennel or cattery. So, if you are planning to board your pet, check that their vaccinations are up to date and, if not, get this done as soon as possible


We hope that this article helps you to decide what to do with your pet(s) when you go on holiday and that you all have a wonderful time.

Remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from direct lender Munzee Loans.