Leaving your pet behind
It can be tough to leave your pet behind, especially with those doleful eyes trying to sway you.
But it may be more appropriate to leave your pet at home if you're holidaying abroad or in a far-flung place in the UK. And it can sometimes be best for their health and wellbeing.
It’s also worth noting that the RSPCA recommends not taking a cat or rabbit on holiday with you, especially if they aren't familiar with travelling.
Choosing who to look after your pet
When it comes to choosing a pet sitter to look after your pet, there are two main options:
Friend or relative
A friend or family member will likely be cheaper than paying for boarding accommodation while you’re away. They might also know your pet well and be comfortable with them.
If they’re not available for your pet 24/7, you could consider using automatic feeders, like timed cat feeders or holiday rabbit feeders. But even if you do use one of these, it’s still important that your pet isn’t left alone for a long period of time.
Of course, there is one downside to relying on friends and family – they may not be available to cover the dates while you’re on holiday.
Choosing a kennel or cattery carefully before you leave could help ensure you have someone professional to look after your cat or dog.
If you’re wondering where to leave your rabbit when on holiday, there are small animal and rabbit holiday boarding options available too.
So whether you’re leaving a cat, dog or rabbit behind, they should get expert care, regular exercise and any medication they need.
How to choose a kennel, cattery or rabbit retreat
If you decide to book your pet into a boarding kennel, cattery or rabbit retreat while you’re away, you’ll want to make sure they’re in the best place possible.
Before you decide, here are some questions you may want to consider:
- Have any friends used catteries, kennels or rabbit retreats before? How do they rate them? How much did it cost?
- Can you visit the place in person so you can get a feel for it? Could you arrange a trial day for your pet?
- How much time do the staff spend with your pet each day, for example grooming or walking?
- Are there any discounts or offers available if you have more than one pet?
Before you go on holiday pet checklist
Whether you decide to take your pet with you or leave it at home, proper preparation will go a long way.
Before you head off on your travels, check your pet’s immunisations are up to date, its claws are trimmed and its coat is washed and clipped.
Checklist for your pet sitter or boarding accommodation
If you're leaving your pet behind, make sure the boarding accommodation or person looking after your four-legged friend has the following:
- An emergency contact number for you
- Information on your pet's diet, mealtimes and exercise regime
- Any bedding, bowls and toys your pet is familiar with
- Details of the microchip database in case your pet gets lost or stolen
- Information about any of your pet's behavioural traits and temperament
Protection for your pet
If you protect your cat or dog with Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance, we’ll make sure they’re protected while you’re abroad – whether they’re with you or not.
These cover options are only available with our pet insurance for cats and dogs – they’re not included with our rabbit insurance.
Provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc.
Whether you’re sightseeing with your Siamese cat or enjoying a beach break with your Beagle, our holiday cover will give you:
- Cover for overseas vet fees
- Help with quarantine costs due to illness or misplaced travel documents
- Cover for additional accommodation bills if your pet is lost or too ill to return as scheduled
- Help towards the cost of replacing pet travel documents if they’re lost or stolen
Holiday cancellation cover
Even if you decide to leave your pet at home, we can still give you the peace of mind you need.
With our holiday cancellation cover, we’ll help towards covering the cost of any lost travel and accommodation expenses – up to the maximum benefit. You’ll be covered if you have to cancel your holiday because either your pet has gone missing or needs life-saving treatment while you’re away.
Helpful pet guides
Looking for some light holiday reading? Check out our handy guides for you and your pet.