The decision to add a cat, dog, or other pet to your household was a BIG one. And while our furry, feathery, and scaly companions do bring a new set of responsibilities, they don’t mean we never get a break. If you have dreams of traveling abroad, or locally, or just want a pet-free weekend getaway, these tips will help you prepare yourself and your pet(s) for the best vacation pet care.

Types of Pet Care for Vacationers: Boarding vs Pet Sitting

dog in doghouse while owner is away on vacation

When choosing what kind of care to seek for your pet while you’re on vacation, always keep your pet’s happiness at the top of your mind. As well as your expectations as a pet parent and your budget. There are multiple options when it comes to your ideal vacation pet care.

Pet boarding is typically done at a vet clinic or other specialized facility staffed by animal care professionals. Sometimes called doggie daycare (for short-term stays to allow pet parents a quick trip) or kennels (for lengthier stays).

dog staying in pet boarding while pet parents away

Boarding can be an excellent choice for youngsters, pets with special needs, or those with chronic illnesses like diabetes! Being boarded ensures your fur baby gets plenty of potty breaks, playtime, and socialization to keep them happy, active, healthy, and engaged. Boarding facility employees are also trained to maintain any obedience training and administer medication. If you’re in need of local pet boarding in Kemah while you’re away, don’t forget to call our neighbors next door at the Bayside Bed & Biscuit to schedule your pet’s stay.

Pet-sitting is a personal service offered by an individual, which may be a friend or relative that your pet already knows and loves. Local pet sitters may be hired to come to your home. If your sitter is a friend, relative, or neighbor, your pet may also do well staying with them for the duration of your trip.

cat staring at computer screen with pet sitter

How to Prepare Your Pet(s) for Vacation

Regardless of whether you choose to enlist a sitter or board your pets while you vacation, your fur babies will also need to pack.

Vacation Packing Must-Haves for Pets

  • Plenty of food + food and water bowls
  • Any special treats
  • A few of their favorite toys
  • Leashes, collars, leads, and/or harnesses
  • Pet bed(s) or other comfort items
  • Medications and supplies, if applicable, with clear dosing instructions
  • Kennel or crate for transport

Preparing Your Pets for Your Vacation

dog mom talking to her puppy before boarding her pets for vacation

Pets are creatures of habit. They’re used to rituals and routines–like mealtimes, walks, and sleeps. A vacation can throw them off of their groove, but don’t fret. Although your fur baby may suffer from separation anxiety, often these feelings will ease after a few days in their new environment. Choose a boarder or pet sitter that meets their needs, and your pet will be safe and happy upon your return. If you know that your pet tends to be anxious, ask your veterinarian about medications that can relieve symptoms and give you peace of mind while you travel.

Pet care is always important, but it’s even more important when you won’t be present to actively attend to their needs. If you prefer to travel with your pet, make sure you’re fully prepared for that adventure–read our blogs on pet travel or ask our expert staff for guidance.