Pet Care While On Vacation

The holiday season is here! While it means fun, snow, and holiday cheer, it can also mean pretty significant travel as many of us go home to visit with family and friends. For pet owners, one of the biggest perks of the season can quickly become stressful, if pets aren’t allowed at your family’s home or if you have to fly to get there.

Here are a few creative ideas to care for your pet during quick trips away from your first place, split by type of pet, to make sure your precious pet has a great holiday season as well. Keep in mind, this post is geared toward pets that need daily care (think dogs, cats, and other small furry creatures). For pets that don’t need much attention, consider asking a trustworthy neighbor or local friend to stop in your apartment a few times to reload food and water (fish, reptiles, etc.).

Bring it with you (Cost: Minimal)

Cocker Spaniel dogsBringing your pet with you to your family’s house can be both a great and horrible option. Consider a few things before deciding to do so:

  1. Is your pet allowed in the house?
  2. Can you easily bring them with you? (i.e. Are you driving home?)
  3. Does your family like your pet? Enough to have them live there for a few days?
  4. Does your pet interact well with strangers?

All of your answers should be YES in order to go with this option. Not only does your pet need to be able to get there safely, but you also want to avoid any drama if your pet misbehaves or if family members are allergic or don’t like animals. Ideally, this one has a very low cost, but be sure to check with the homeowners before bringing your pet along.

Hire a petsitter (Cost: Ranges from $10/day+)

Cute European kitten eating isolated on white background, animal portraitPetsitters are generally a safe option, as long as they are trustworthy. From local friends to kind neighbors, you likely know someone in your new town who has both met your pet and is responsible enough to watch out for it for a few days. Check out for options in your area if you don’t have an available friend, but make sure to check references and ensure they are capable.

Petsitters can either stay over at your apartment (recommended only for friend petsitters) or drop in a few times per day to take care of your pet. Hiring a stranger can be more costly (as you’ll have to pay them cash, versus ‘hiring’ a friend who you can bribe with free pizza). Be sure to check with your landlord before hiring a stranger and make sure not to copy your key for them.

Remember, the key here is finding someone who is trustworthy and responsible. As always, you are responsible for any damages to your apartment, so choose carefully.

Find a good boarding facility (Cost: Ranges from $20/day+)

Dog daycareOne of the safest bets is finding a boarding facility to care for your pet. Many places include video monitoring, so you can check in on your pet throughout your trip to ensure they are safe and having fun. Check reviews or ask local friends with pets for recommendations before making a selection, and try dropping into the facility before making a reservation to check cleanliness, staff responsiveness, and your overall feeling toward it. Pricing for overnight care can vary, so do your research and make sure to reserve your pet’s place well in advance.

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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