Do You Take Your Pet on a Holiday?


When you go to a holiday abroad, do you take your pet, or leave them at home? There are lots of arguments for both options so it’s a case of weighing up the different factors and deciding which is right for you and your animal companion.

Type of pet

Most dogs are bonded to their owner and will go almost anywhere with you if given a choice. Most cats are bonded to a place, given a regular supply of food and water and the litter tray kept clean the average feline will prefer to stay home.

There are exceptions to these general rules of course. Caged pets, such as rodents are usually easier to make arrangements for, the chances are there’s a neighbour who’ll look in or a friend who’ll be happy to have them to stay.


A well socialised dog may enjoy the chance to travel with you, meet new people and see new places, a more nervy character could find the whole experience stressful and a badly behaved one can be something of a social embarrassment at times.

Type of Holiday

If you’re travelling independently you can often find pet-friendly accommodation, but an adventure holiday or a trip abroad is a different matter. You can take a dog on a plane but the cost may be prohibitive.

If you’re taking your pet with you

  • Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, even in the UK you’re going into new territories and that could mean exposure to diseases that aren’t common in your area
  • Make safe arrangements for car travel, large animals need seatbelts or pet harnesses, smaller dogs and cats may be safer in a cage for the journey
  • Make sure your pet is microchiped and the details associated with the chip are up to date
  • Check the regulations for taking your pet out of the UK and even more important, bringing it back with you. Your pets need passports too!

Options for Alternative Arrangements

Kennels are always an option and there are some great ones out there, but most animals generally prefer their own familiar environment. You may have neighbours who’ll look in but if you’re worried your pet might get lonely or destructive don’t forget Balham Doggy Centre offers pet care services.

Another possibility is to arrange an exchange program with fellow pet owners, especially if your pets get. Maybe you can arrange for them to look after your dog in exchange for you looking after theirs on another occasion.