Should you take your pet on holiday?

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Or should you leave them to enjoy the comforts of home? Here's what to consider...

Pets are a part of the family, so taking them on holiday with you can seem like a natural thing to do, especially if you’re staying in the UK.

With plenty of animal-friendly places to stay in the UK, it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone, but is it always the right thing to do?

Generally, dogs want to be wherever their owners are, and usually settle quite quickly into a new environment, whereas cats are homebodies and prefer to stay in a familiar place.

Key things to organise – whether they travel with you or stay home – are making sure all vaccinations, flea and worming treatments are up-to-date. If you choose to keep your pet at home, ensure that whoever looks after them is responsible and has your vet’s number in case of emergencies.

The best way to ensure peace of mind is to insure your pet with Petplan pet insurance, in case of unexpected illnesses or injuries.

If you’re not sure what to do, here’s a few things to consider…

Taking your dog on holiday

Boarding kennels and pet sitters can be expensive and not be suitable for every dog and therefore taking your pet on holiday with you can ensure you both enjoy yourself without worrying about the other!

Pets can get very stressed by travel and change of environment so we always suggest working your way up to longer journeys and starting with smaller stays closer to home.

There are even more rules in place and things to consider if you take your dog abroad including the need for a pet passport, therefore holidays in the UK are always recommended with your pooch.

If you do take your dog away with you in the UK there are a few things to consider;

• Is your accommodation dog friendly?

• Are there pubs/restaurants/cafes near by which welcome pets?

• Are there activities you can do such as walking which can include your pet?

• Where is the nearest vet?

Planning in advance means your dog can join in the holiday with you.

Getting organised

It’s essential that your dog is micro-chipped and wears an identity tag with your contact details and holiday address so should they get lost you can be contacted.

If you decide to leave your pooch behind, then make sure you do your research on the boarding kennel or pet sitter you have picked. A few things to consider are;

• Do they get on with your pet? Ask them to come over for a meet and greet before you go away.

• Are they fully insured?

• Are the facilities adequate for your pet?

• Do they have recommendations and positive reviews from other pet parents?

• Will they be kept with other pets?

Doing your research not only ensures peace of mind for you whilst away, but also makes sure your dog enjoys their time too. Leaving their favourite toys, blankets, beds and a list of their likes and dislikes will also ensure they feel at home whoever is looking after them.



Some cats like to be around their owners and can become distressed when they’re not. If you have a particularly laid-back cat, or house cat, they should adapt quite quickly to a new room.

For the most part, though, cats dislike change, and taking them away from a familiar environment may be confusing. If this is the case, it may be best to leave your feline friend at home.

What to consider

Most cats like familiarity, so if you think they could cope on holiday then taking their feeding bowls and toys to a new place will help them settle in. It might also be a good idea to accustom your kitty to the cat carrier to prepare them for the journey ahead.

Again, travelling abroad with a cat can prove highly stressful for them, so they should sit holidays abroad out.

If you feel your cat would be better staying at home, ask a friendly neighbour to feed them and give them a little love and attention.

A pet sitter may look after your cat in your home or in theirs, or you could try a local cattery. Check out references before you book.

With just a little planning, both you and your pets will enjoy a carefree summer. Happy holidays!

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