We love holidays here at Mishy Moo Pets, especially the ones where Mishy Moo can come along too! It's great to see so many pet friendly camping grounds as well as hotels now. But what happens when you can't take Fido along for the family vacay?
It's interesting to see the rise in holiday care offered for the furry ones in our lives. Gone are the days when you left your poor pooch or feline to the neighbours to stop in once a day and leave a tin of food out, while you soak up the rays on a beach somewhere. Nowadays discerning pet owners are looking for a mini-holiday retreat if you will, for their pets to enjoy at the same time - a home away from home.
So how do you find the right kennel or minder for your Fido or Felix? It's simple - you just gotta do a little research and don't be afraid to ask questions!
The first thing to look at is how long you are going away for and what your budget will be to kennel your pet. Kennels, catteries and dog minding services range from about $12 per day up to $50 per day so you need to know what your budget is at the outset. Most will include food, however if your dog or cat has strict dietary requirements you should discuss this with the minder BEFORE leaving your pet in their care.
Another great idea is to ask the minder if you can come and inspect the property where your pets will be housed. The last kennel and cattery we researched allowed us to come and look at the housing prior to booking our pets' stay. This is particularly important for cat owners as unlike their "happier" counterparts, the dog, not all cats are "cat lovers". Some cats may enjoy a more plush surrounding in a private suite and a comfy bed to curl up on. As for the pooches, ask the minder if they will be exercised during their stay or if they are given "play" time with other well-socialised dogs. This is an extremely important question if you are kenneling for an extended period as your dog may find the experience more stressful if they cannot release built up energy throughout the day. If you don't think your pet will be comfortable in the surroundings, you should probably keep looking.
It is imperative to look at the operation hours of the business. Some kennels and cattery's run limited hours on Sunday's and public holidays so be sure to confirm that you can pick your dog or cat up on the day you have in mind. Some kennels and minders operate a door to door service so you don't even have to worry about going to them, you can schedule for your dog or cat to be dropped back home on your arrival.
You need to ask the business operator what their policy is around what happens if your pet gets sick while in their care. A good operator will ask you for your preferred vet contact details as well as a contact in the case of an emergency. Although the kennel, cattery and pet minders are professionals you should always expect the unexpected and be prepared for the worst. Ensure you are upfront about how you would feel about being contacted directly if something was to happen to your pet while you are away. There are also a few things you will need to take care of before taking your holiday, like ensuring your pets vaccinations are up to date. Most kennels and catteries require you to provide them with a certificate of vaccination and a flea treatment record before they take your pet in as they need to ensure no nasties are spread between the dogs and cats during their stay.
After all these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, all you need to do is pack your bag for a well-deserved holiday and let your pet enjoy theirs too!