Taking care of your pet while on holidays

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Taking care of your pet while on holidays

Everyone deserves a holiday once in a while. Once summer and the Christmas break hits, many Australians pack their bags and jet off somewhere for some much-anticipated rest and relaxation.

However, if you're going to be leaving your pets behind, here are some things to consider when organising care for your furry friends while you’re away.

Organising a pet-sitter

Your pet will need plenty of care and attention while you’re away, so make sure you have someone you trust in place as your pet-sitter. Someone close to you such as a family member or friend is a great option, as they'll have met your beloved pooch or kitty already and will be well-acquainted with their particular quirks.

If you're leaning towards a professional pet-sitter, it’s important to ask around for recommendations first or look through their testimonials before hiring them, so you can feel more confident about leaving your pet in their care.

Make sure the pet-sitter is well-prepped about your pet’s individual habits and arrange for them to meet your pet before you leave for your holiday. That way, your pet can get to know the sitter better and they’ll be more comfortable once you’re gone.

Whether you go for a professional pet-sitter, a friend, or family, make sure they have all of your contact details (plus an emergency contact just in case) on hand so they can get in touch if anything happens during your absence.

You’ll need to note down their contact details as well, so you can let them know if there are any changes to your return time or date.

Boarding options

Alternatively, kennels and catteries are another option to consider if you don’t want toor can’tget a pet-sitter. Make sure you choose one that's council-registered as they have proved that they can meet the pet care standards needed to operate, and drop by yourself to have a look at the facilities.

To help decide if it's suitable for your pet, it's a good idea to check out the general appearance and cleanliness of the facility and also the security.

Some questions you may want to ask:

  • Who's going to be there and how often will they check on your pet and interact with them?
  • What will your pet be fed whilst they are there?
  • What happens if your pet needs medical treatment?

While all boarding facilities will offer basic services such as accommodation, meals and playtime, there are a number of luxury facilities that offer additional services such as pet day spa’s, training and video calls while you're away.

Once you've decided on where you're going to board your cat or dog, you should make a plan of when you're going to drop off your pet, as the kennel or cattery may not be local and you may need to factor this into your travel plans.

Don’t leave organising your pet-sitter or boarding to the last minute, especially as many places fill up fast during the busier periods of the year.

Animal-proofing your home

The other step you need to take if you're leaving your pets for a period of time is ensuring your home is ‘animal-proof’. Just as new parents need to ‘baby-proof’ their house, so too should pet owners.

Proofing inside your home

Take extra care to ensure that any medicines or potentially dangerous household items are secured safely away, so there’s no chance your pet could get into them or ingest them accidentally. It pays to do your research, as you might be surprised at what could be harmful to your pets.

For example, according to the RSPCA, xylitol – a type of sweetener that is found in many sugar-free lollies and gum products – can be toxic and may even cause life-threatening problems for many pets.

Here are some other common items that are highly toxic if ingested by your pet, so make sure these are stored safely out of reach in your home:

  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Bread dough
  • Onions, garlic, leeks and chives
  • Grapes, raisins and currants
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Batteries

Proofing outside your home

The exterior and outside areas of your property also need a thorough once-over before you leave for your holiday.

Checking and reinforcing the outer boundaries of your home (including doors, gates, and fencing) will keep your pet safe and also give you the peace of mind you need to really relax and enjoy your holiday.

Also, some pesticides and other chemicals used in lawn and gardening products can be extremely harmful for pets. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind when you're doing some work in the garden, and make an effort to switch to more animal-friendly products if you can.

Arranging pet insurance 

Pets are a much-loved and valued member of the family—and just as with any other family member, it’s important to make sure that your pets can be properly cared for should they ever fall sick or get injured, especially while you’re away and can’t be with them. A pet insurance policy can cover for specified accidental injuries and illness, so you can cover the cost of the medical care your cat or dog needs.

Pet insurance can help you achieve peace of mind about your pet’s safety and health.

There are many different types of pet insurance policies available, with different levels of cover offering different benefits. Not every policy will work for you, so it’s a good idea to shop around, and Choosi can help you compare different options to find the product that best suits you and your pet’s needs.

Posted: 09 Oct 2013

This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the relevant PDS available on this website prior to purchasing any product. Choosi offers insurance products from a range of brands but does not compare all products available in the market.

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