Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash

Taking pets on vacation is sometimes challenging, but they are your family so you must leave them under proper care if they don’t tag along. Many dogs and cats get car sick while some hotels and Airbnbs have restrictions regarding the size and breed of dog, and often, cats are not allowed at all, so depending on your trip, it might be best to leave them home under proper supervision.   

Leaving Fluffy or Fido home can save you a lot of stress since you don’t have to worry about solving problems:  Where can we eat where our pet can come along (of course, you would NEVER leave them in the car while going to a restaurant or anywhere)? 

Additionally, some parks or vacation centers charge extra fees if you have a pet. One consideration is leaving your pet at a place where they can be with their kind, a dog daycare. Always visit the place first, with your pet, so he can get acclimated and you can assess the staff and facility to make sure you are comfortable ensuring your best pal to their care.

Other ideas to help you decide what to do with your pets if you can’t take them on vacation include: 

  1. Hire A Professional Pet Sitter 

Just like humans, pets have comfort zones and many will be uncomfortable if you shift them to other environments when going on vacation. Hiring a professional pet sitter to visit your home and spend quality time, or even stay overnight, may put your pet at ease and provide you with peace of mind.   

Some pet sitters offer additional services, like watering flowers, picking up the mail, and making sur your security lights are on at night. Getting a professional pet sitter is an excellent option if your pets will stay at your home while you’re gone.

One thing you should do before you hire a pet sitter is find one through recommendations from other pet parents or  through a reputable site.  Do a background check and talk to references, and always have them do a meet-n-greet with your pet before you go.  The dog or cat must feel comfortable around this person and you need to observe how the pet sitter interacts with your pet.    Installing a pet camera will allow you to check on your fur buddy throughout the day, but most pet sitters will also email photos to put your mind and heart at ease.  Knowing that your dogs or cats are getting the right pet care services is priceless! 

  1. Consider In-Home Boarding Services 

Another option you can consider is in-home boarding. This is ideally taking your pet to the pet sitters’ home before you go for the holidays. Before you choose this option, you must be sure that your cat or dog will be comfortable and easily adjust to the new environment because they may be too attached to your lovely home, so always do a pre-visit to the house with your pet. 

Once again, check out the sitter thoroughly and check references.  Also, make sure both you and your pet meet this person and they interact.  Provide detailed instructions regarding feeding, medication, water, and exercise along with the name and directions to your veterinarian and a way to pay for any emergency services should something arise.  This applies also to a pet sitter visiting your home.   

One good thing about taking the pets to the pet sitter’s house is that they’ll be under 24/7 care and will get more attention. Moreover, they’ll be able to interact and play with other pets, if that is what your dog or cat enjoys. 

The other advantage of in-home boarding is that you’ll be sure your house will be secure while you’re on vacation since you have not left your keys to anyone. Sometimes leaving your house keys with someone can cause anxiety.  

 Often, this option is more affordable than having the pet sitter come to your house daily. 

  1. Request Your Neighbor, Relative, Or Friend To Help You 

Your pets are probably familiar with some of your friends, relatives, and neighbors. For some, it will just be like having a playdate with their furry and human neighbors, friends, family.  Just however, make sure whomever you entrust your pet too knows what to do should your dog or cat become ill or injured.  Basic pet first aid techniques are a must plus, they must know how and where to get veterinary help. 

  1. Get An Experienced House Sitter 

You can decide to get a qualified house sitter (aka professional pet sitter) who’ll stay full-time at your house while you’re away. In essence, this person will provide your pets the same care, supervision, and attention you would give your own fur family.  

When hiring a house sitter, you must get someone you know or someone you’ll be comfortable allowing into your space while you’re away since they’ll have access to your entire house and its amenities.  They need to speak dog or cat and know how to handle any household or pet emergency that could arise, including pet first aid and getting your fur kid to veterinary care.  

Again, this person and your pet must meet ahead of time and you need to observe their interactions, if both are comfortable with each other and that the sitter has been thoroughly vetted.

  1. Take Them To Your Local Vet 

Some veterinary professionals offer boarding services for pets , so you can consider leaving your pet at the vet center, where you take them for regular checkups. This would be a great option if your pet has been sickly or experiencing medical issues in the recent past.  Very likely though, in this environment, your pet will be confined to a cage with several walks daily.  Not much of a vacation for your pet!  Since the people caring for the animals are professionals, you might have more peace of mind while enjoying your vacation.  

  1. Leave Them At A Pet Hotel  

If your dog likes the company of others, you may want to take him to a kennel with renowned professionals with extensive knowledge about animals and how to care for them. These facilities should have all the necessary tools and adequate space for your pets, but once again…check them out in advance, bring along your dog so that he can get familiar with the facility and the staff, and ask others what their experience has been like boarding their pets at the kennel/hotel.

If you know your dog is active and requires a lot of supervision, the staff in these facilities are trained to provide what your dog needs, but don’t just believe the website.  Visit and vet the location.    

Other factors you need to consider as you determine the pet hotel where you’ll leave your furry buddy include: 

  • The available space: You’d want to leave your pet in a kennel with adequate space to sleep and play, preferably an indoor and outdoor area so he may answer nature’s call on his own. You need to confirm whether your pet will share an area with others or have its own space. The personality and behavior of your pet should determine the type of housing you’ll choose for them.  Getting out for exercise several times daily though is a must for all dogs.

    If your pet is active and loves to play, you can go for a kennel with ample space. On the contrary, if your pet is quiet and calm, there’s no need for adequate playing space. A small relaxing and sleeping room will do.


  • The number of staff: It’s important that you leave your pet in a pet house or kennel with adequate staff to get proper care and attention. Ask the management how many caregivers work there and their experience level before you leave your dog there. Do they know pet first aid?  How close is the nearest veterinary ER?
  • The prices: You need to know the rates for boarding and services so that you can plan your budget. This will help you choose a high-quality kennel with affordable services that are easy on the pocket. 



When going for a vacation, plan ahead!  Determine the best situation for your pet’s care, vet the individuals caring for your pet and make sure both you and your pet meet this person in advance so that you may watch the person and your pet interact and decide if it is a good fit.  Whether you choose to leave your precious Fido or Fluffy at home with a profession pet sitter, take them to the pet hotel or kennel, or leave them with your local vet, neighbor or family member, be sure the person caring for your dog or cat knows what to do in an emergency.  That is the only way you’ll have peace of mind while enjoying yourself on vacation and come home to your fur kid safe and sound.