Planning is the key for pets and people to enjoy your next holiday

It’s a bit of a juggling act for pet lovers who also love to travel.

On one hand, you love your pets, they are part of the family, but on the other hand, dragging a cat carrier around for even the most well-behaved pet can really be a mood killer, and the vast majority of accommodation doesn’t allow them anyway.

So what to do with Fido, Whiskers or even Polly?

The easiest on your pet’s mental health is to keep them in their own home, so either hire a housesitter or petsitter.

The internet is your friend here. Put the call out to close friends and family first and if that doesn’t reel them in, there are plenty of agencies who can match you to a suitable sitter.

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It’s a good idea to meet them first to see if they hit it off with your pets and to go over routines. If this is not possible, leave detailed instructions about the household routine and make sure you provide at least two phone contacts for emergencies.

Be very clear about what is, and what is not expected of the sitter and any reimbursements. If they must take your pet to the vet or need more food, make sure it’s understood how this will be paid.

We previously got around paying for a petsitter by allowing a nephew desperate to get away from mum and dad full run of the house while we were away.

The neighbours still talk about the death metal played over that weekend, but at least everyone can agree it was at a respectable time and the guinea pigs survived.

Do you have friends or neighbours who can take your pets? This is another hassle-free solution.

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Pets who know their sitters are much less likely to get stressed.

Our regularly travelling neighbours often used to leave their dog with us, and it was a great boon to our children (who were previously fearful of dogs) to get used to having one around the house.

You don’t even have to leave them there, it might be enough to ask them to feed them, take them for exercise and clean up after them in their own home, especially if they are indoor pets.

If you are considering a cattery or kennel, research is vital. Ask around for recommendations and check out online reviews.

Visit the establishment unannounced to check out the facilities. Responsible owners will be happy to show you around and discuss prices. Try not to have a shocked face when the figures come out.

The cost is high, but they are professionals who are used to dealing with animals and will know when to take them to the vet, unlike the guy from down the road’s teenager who is looking for some pocket money petsitting.

While the idea of a kennel or cattery might horrify you, your pet may love it.

For dogs, as pack animals, it’s often a chance for some serious socialisation. Lolloping around with a bunch of new mates in the countryside? Sounds fantastic.

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My brother went to pick his dog up from a kennel and it took one look at him and ran in the opposite direction.

However, for some pets, it’s going to be the opposite of fun. Seriously consider if your pet is suitable for a group situation before you go down this route.

And finally, consider taking your pet with you.

There are accommodation options that accept pets, with the amount growing every year.

It may take some planning, but a domestic itinerary is completely possible travelling with your pet. There are plenty of online resources to help you out.

But maybe on a driving holiday is best. No Australian airline will accept pets in the cabin unless it’s a recognised service animal so they will have to be transported in the cargo.

The expense and quarantine regulations rule out overseas travel with your pets for all but the most dedicated overseas traveller. Ask Johnny Depp.

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