Preparing for a trip requires a lot of forward planning, and pet owners have the added pressure of finding someone to care for their furry friends while they’re away. Pets are, after-all, part of the family, so it’s important they are not just fed, but also kept comfortable, healthy and happy.
Whether you have a boisterous dog or a cuddly cat, a caged bird, rabbit or reptile, there are different types of pet-minding solutions that cater for all types of animals. The one that’s right for you will depend on the needs of your pet and of course your available resources.
To help decide on the best solution, we take a look at a number of different pet minding solutions:
If you’re on friendly terms with your neighbour, asking them to pop in each day to feed your pet, give them a cuddle, clean out the litter tray, or take them for a walk, is an ideal solution. Your cat or dog may already know your neighbour and feel comfortable around them, and the familiar surroundings will help to minimise any stress on the animal. It’s also a cheaper alternative to pet boarding, or hiring a professional pet sitter, and helps to keep a regular eye on your home, too. Best of all, if your neighbour has pets themselves, you can offer to return the favour.
Boarding kennels or catteries
Not everyone has a neighbour or nearby family they can call upon when they go away. Many Australians use kennels or catteries when they head off on a holiday, with a choice of options in most locations to suit different budgets. There are even luxury ‘pet hotels’ at the pricier end, with amenities such as heated flooring, themed ‘suites’ and supervised swimming pools! When considering a kennel or cattery, do your research, read reviews and ask friends for recommendations. If you’re worried about leaving your pet in unfamiliar surroundings, consider booking them in for an overnight trial before you go away or inspect the facility in person beforehand.
Some vet practices also offer boarding facilities which can be particularly comforting if your pet is elderly or has any special needs. If they require any medication or treatment, the experts will be on hand to care for them.
Be aware that boarding kennels and catteries will need to see proof that your pets’ vaccinations are up to date. It is also a good idea to give your pet a flea and worm treatment before their stay.
An increasingly popular pet minding solution is hiring a pet-sitter, which can be found using a range of new apps that identify available sitters in your area. You can have the sitter drop into your home on a daily basis to care for your pet, have them move into your home for the duration of your holiday, or have your pet stay at the sitter’s home. If your furry friend likes companionship then the latter two options will be preferable. However, if you have an independent pet such as a cat who likes roaming the neighbourhood but returns home for dinner in the evening, then a casual visit from a pet sitter may be all you need. When choosing a new pet sitter, remember to ask lots of questions, request references or check the user reviews against their profile.
Pets have close bonds with their owners and chances are you’ll miss them when you’re away. For extra peace of mind, consider adding live streaming cameras to your ADT home security system. For an additional cost, cameras may be connected to your existing system to allow you to view a live feed of your pet’s escapades, from anywhere in the world, using your smart device. This means that if you have left your beloved feline or canine at home, you can simply log in to the ADT Interactive security app to see what they’re up to and check that they are safe.
Remember, whichever pet minding solution you decide to use – even if you plan to ask a neighbour to help out – make sure to book them well in advance, especially during peak holiday periods such as Christmas or the school holidays. Boarding kennels can get very busy and, of course, so will your family and friends!