Travel and Pets

Traveling Without Your Pets

You’ve planned your vacation and the time is coming near.  Instead of being totally ready and excited about your vacation, you realized you haven’t planned care for your family pet.

What should you do?  You’re not going to cancel your trip, but you can’t have fun unless you know your pets are going to be well cared for.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about this because over the past few months our cat that just turned 1 has fractured/broken and cracked his leg and is on surgery #3 this week.  Since this happened at a time we were thinking of traveling to celebrate our birthday’s and for obvious reasons couldn’t, I wanted to share some ideas for what you can do with your pets when you travel.

What Will You Do With Your Pets?

1.  Bring them along.

This option has become easier as many hotels and destination resorts are now catering to the family pet, namely dogs.  The higher end resorts will even pamper your dog with doggy daycare which includes grooming, a couch, and TV privileges.  Even if you’re not staying at one of these resorts, you’ll find smaller hotels, condos, and rental units now allow dogs.

This option works best if you’re driving a short distance to your vacation destination.  Flying does not make this choice feasible, unless your dog is small enough to bring on board in an approved carry-on crate.

2.  Leave them at a family member’s house.

Your pets probably won’t even miss you if they are used to going to a family members house.  This is even more true if your family has pets of their own for yours to play with (namely dogs).  However, if you’re not able to return the favor in the future, things could get awkward.  So this would be my last resort especially when you have other great options.

3.  Board them at a kennel.

You can rest assured your pets will be properly cared for and will get meals on time. We have never boarded our cats at the kennel but have heard of others that do and their home away from home looks comfy (at our local kennel anyway).

If you’re leaving your dog at the kennel, they might even get play time with other dogs.  If your dog likes to create mischief at home and can’t be trusted, then a kennel may be the best choice.  Also, if he needs medical attention, you know there will be someone around to attend to him.  Not all dogs do well in kennels and since you know your dog’s personality best, you should tour a few dog kennels and decide for yourself.

4.  Hire a pet sitter to come to your home for visits.

This choice may give you peace of mind because your pets stay in the environment they know and love best.  They get to sleep in their own bed, eat their normal food, and be in familiar surroundings.

These are four possibilities of what you can do for your pets while you are on vacation.  You might have to try a few options out to see what fits best for your family.

Happy Traveling!


  1. says

    Our buddy (German Shepherd dog) doesn’t do well at the kennel, so we found a pet sitter. It is wonderful to be able to relax knowing he is being cared for and played with and not stressed out.

    Also we have taken him on some vacations- we took him to Disney World for example, (crazy I know) but it was mostly because we dreaded the thought of taking him to the kennel.


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