When you have pets, leaving town for the holidays or going on vacation can produce some extra worries.  You need someone to look after your pet and sometimes that costs a lot of money.  You also want to make sure that your dog or cat isn’t just looked after, but lovingly cared for. We’ve got some ideas to help you with your furry little ones – they’re family, too, after all!


  • 1. Kennel

    Kennels are well equipped to take care of your pet, but they're usually caged.  Check to make sure your pet will be comfortable.  Fleas can be passed from pet to pet in kennels, but good ones make sure all pets have vaccinations and are in good health.
  • 2. Check with your Vet

    Many veterinarians offer boarding services and this is a great option for pets that need some extra TLC due to medical issues.  Pets may have to be housed in crates or cages, however.
  • 3. Boarding

    Several large chain pet stores offer boarding services.  They offer treats, toys and other special services. If you board your pet anywhere, make sure there are no extra costs for dog walking, feeding and check out what accommodations your pet will have. 
  • 4. Pet Hotels

    Pet Hotels are becoming popular. A human is there 24hrs a day and your pet's accommodations are relatively plush.  The aim is to make it as fun for your pet as it is for you on vacation.  This can be costly, so check around for rates.
  • 5. Meet the Grandparents

    Grandma and grandpa might be willing to take care of your pet either at their home or yours.  Check with all your family members to see if they are willing to take care of your dog or cat and not charge you a fee.
  • 6. Friendly Neighbor

    A friendly neighbor might be willing to come over every once in a while and take out the dog, feed and play with them.  Train them to take care of your pet to know how much/when to feed, when walks are needed and what games your pet likes.
  • 7. Any Volunteers?

    You might be able to find a volunteer to care for your pet from church, a club or at work. Make sure you trust this person and can depend on them to do the job since you aren't going to be paying them.
  • 8. The Kids are Alright

    A neighborhood teen might be very reliable and love animals.  Give them one of their first jobs and a chance to earn a few bucks by taking care of your pets.  Check with their parents and leave some snacks in the house for the kid and your pets. 
  • 9. Neighborhood Watch

    Set up a pet care system in your neighborhood. Each neighbor gets instructions and, if they watch the pet in your home, a key to your home.  You care for their pet when needed and they care for yours.
  • 10. Foster Families

    Humane societies can supply foster families for pets. Foster families bring your pet to their home and care for them.  This way someone is always with your pet and they'll have a home environment to stay in.
  • 11. Keep it in the Family

    Your college age niece or nephew might like to house sit and take care of your pet while you're out of town.  This is a mini vacation for someone that normally lives with their parents or in a dorm, so it's a win-win!
  • 12. Go Pro - Professional Pet Sitter that is

    Professional sitters feed, water, walk, administer medicine and play with your fur babies - as well as take care of other needs like checking mail and watering plants.  Many have their own insurance and are bonded. Just be aware they do cost more than the kid down the street.
  • 13. Let them be Independent

    Cats can be left at home alone for a period of time. Make sure to use automatic-fill food and water dishes.  It's a good idea to have someone check in on your pet felines just to make sure the food dish isn't out and all is well.
  • 14. Take your pet with you.

    An increasing amount of hotels are allowing pets to come with their people on vacation and they cater to them by supplying goodies and beds for the pet. Make sure your pet has all their shots and are in good health before bringing them with you.