Planning a Holiday?

Should your pet stay at home instead of a Kennel or Cattery?

I spent a holiday unable to enjoy myself as I kept thinking about my dogs wondering where I was and why they were in a kennel, did they think I had abandoned them, and wouldn’t be coming back? It was too much and I vowed never to do it again.  If I couldn’t find someone I trusted to take care of them, then I wouldn’t be going on holiday again!

Pet boarding varies considerably, and it is often a last mad dash to find out if they even have availability before booking your next holiday.

When enquiring recently I was shocked to find out the huge increase in prices over the last few years, and that there was now a tier service ranging from standard to deluxe kennels.  I had a horrible image in my mind of the ‘standard’ dogs in small concrete kennels looking on enviously to the ‘deluxe’ dogs in the lap of luxury.  These luxury dog kennels came with ‘human beds’ and ‘extra walks’ which made me even more worried about what the ‘standard’ option entailed.

The Kennel owner informed me that they only had 2 deluxe suites, but the rest were ‘perfectly adequate’, this did not set my mind at rest.  If I had been doing this for real I would worry that I wouldn’t be able to get my precious babies into the kennels deluxe suite, and they would have to settle for a ‘standard’.  These luxury kennels come with a luxury price tag, at £59 per night for a shared kennel and £44 for the standard option, I would be faced with at least £620 for standard and £798 for deluxe kennels on top of our 14 day holiday costs.

Then I reminded myself that they were not going to kennels as I had already arranged a verified Pet Sitter – to take care of my pooches in our own home – phew!

The Pros and Cons of Kennel and Cattery Boarding

Kennel boarding isn’t inherently bad, but it’s definitely different from your dog staying at home in their own environment.  Kennels and Boarding in someone else’s home is not for every dog, and can be quite intimidating for some. Strange smells, routines and unfamiliar dogs can cause stress and anxiety for many dogs. If your dog is a rescue or nervous around other dogs then kennels and strange environments can be a huge stressor for them.  

Some owners prefer Kennel Boarding as they know that their dog(s) are in an insured environment with experienced staff.  Some owners even say their dog looks forward to going to kennels as they know the staff, and had a great time on their last holiday. As an owner it is up to you to consider what you feels is right for your pets.

As a Cat Owner I would say that my cats did not take well to holidays in a cattery. 

Cats are creatures of habit, and taking them out of a familiar environment to a strange place can be very stressful. 

Even worse, if an outdoor cat is forced to spend 2 weeks in a cage when used to roaming the neighbourhood then expect them to be very cross on your return!  I say this from experience when my cat came home from a Cattery several years ago he refused to come back into the house for almost 3 weeks.  He was very upset with us and we did not do the Cattery option again!  

Why Staying at Home is Great for Pets!

When I first thought of getting a Pet Sitter to watch my dogs and cats at home I thought ‘how do I even find these people?’ My parents and siblings had previously watched the pets when we went away but as time went by it became more difficult to plan our holidays and we ended up quite a few years not going away at all. As parents got older and slightly less flexible in their ability to come to us, we felt that we needed another plan for the pets. 

We tried the option where the pets go to someone else’s home (pet boarder) but after finding out that the boarder would be ‘hosting’ another 5 dogs at the same time, we thought this wouldn’t work. Our two small warriors would create Merry Hell and no doubt would be stressed and anxious.  

The only option that would work would be if we could persuade someone we trusted to come and look after the dogs in our home. 

We tried it, it worked, the dogs didn’t even notice we had gone on holiday!