Caring for your pet when on Holiday

by Angela Hickey | July 2022


You may be jetting off abroad now that holiday season has finally come back around. As a pet owner, it’s important that you organise the best care for your best friend! Plan ahead by considering various kennels or a professional pet sitter. Another option is to ask family or a friend to take care of them, giving your pet a summer holiday of their own. Read our advice below to choose an option that best suits you and your pet and some tips to make the transition a happy one for all.


You may have a friend, neighbour, or family member who is willing to take care of your pet. This may make your pet feel more at ease if they know this person well. They could stay in your home and look after your pet, or your pet can have trip to their home. Check that they realise the commitment they are taking on and that you feel satisfied that all of your pet’s needs will be met. It’s a good idea to leave written instructions in case you can’t be reached, should they have any queries.
Another option is to hire a professional pet sitter who will stay in or visit your home, or else mind your pet in their own home. There are many websites nowadays where you can choose a pet sitter, or you can even hire a house sitter, and specify that you want a pet cared for too. Make sure to look at their recommendations and references from other happy customers. Again, it’s a good idea to leave written instructions in case you can’t be reached, should they have any queries.

Boarding kennels are a another option, and if you’re lucky enough to have one close by, why not check them into a Pet Hotel! 

Consider the following points to help choose the right one for your pet:

Book early: to be sure you will get a place, especially for peak times. Start by looking up different websites and getting a sense of what is on offer. You may also get recommendations from your local vet, dog trainer, or other pet owners. Make a shortlist of places and visit them. If they are unwilling to give you a tour of the place, it may be best to find another option.

Trust your gut feelings as you look around the facility. Look at the pets there - are they happy and stress free? Is the place clean and odour free? Are the staff genuinely friendly and interested to hear about your pet?

Ask what the staff to pet ratio is. It’s best to have a ratio no more than 1:10. Also check that there is someone on the premises at all times.

Ask about their daily routines for feeding, exercise, and play and explain about any special needs your pet may have. Some dogs will not do well mixing with other dogs for communal play and may need more regular, individual walks.

Check that each dog has their own individual indoor space with a comfortable bed and food and water dishes. If you have more than one dog, see if they can stay together. They will also need access to an outdoor run for toileting and movement.

Cats will become stressed if they meet or even see unfamiliar cats so should definitely have their own private kennel space, ideally with shelves or ledges, toys and food dishes at different heights so that they can climb and play.

Consider how secure the facility is. Does it have double doors between inside and out, good high fencing all around play areas, etc.?

Familiarise yourself with the company’s emergency policy.

Ask if there is strict adherence to full vaccination for all pets at least 2 weeks prior to admission. This prevents the spread of disease, especially Kennel Cough in dogs and Cat Flu in cats. Also check for a requirement for flea and tick prevention prior to admission.

When you’ve chosen the option that best suits your needs and your pet’s, there are a few things you need to pack and a few things that can be helpful to consider:

• If your pet has any long-term illness or is on current medication provide an adequate supply of medication in the labelled containers provided by your vet.

• Supplying your pet’s own food can help avoid tummy upsets from a change in diet.

• Leave a favourite toy or blanket with your pet for comfort.

• Check the times when you can drop off and collect your pet and, on collection, get details of how they adapted and any issues that arose.

• Leave your vet’s contact details along with your own or an alternative contact so they can get in touch with someone if necessary.

• If your pet has any temperament or behavioural problems in their interactions with people or other pets make sure to explain this to their temporary care-giver.

Good research can lead to a good boarding experience for your pet, helping you to make the most of your trip away with peace of mind, now and in the future.

Allianz Pet insurance covers:

• A boarding kennel, cattery, or homecare with a friend when you have to be hospitalised for more than 4 days*

• Cancellation of travel and accommodation if you have to cancel your holiday because your pet needs immediate life-saving surgery due to an illness or injury up to 7 days before you leave*

• Cancellation of travel and accommodation if you have to cut your holiday short because your pet goes missing or requires life-saving surgery*

*Policy limits apply. 

For full details and exclusions and to learn more about Allianz Pet Insurance, check the policy document.


This guidance is for general information purposes only. Information correct as of date of publishing. This blog will not be updated or edited so the information may become outdated.

Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria and policy conditions apply.