Planning a holiday? What about your pets?

Dogs love the freedom of safe open spaces like this wonderful beach at Dornoch in Sutherland.
Dogs love the freedom of safe open spaces like this wonderful beach at Dornoch in Sutherland.
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It is the time of year when many of us are booking holidays. For those who also have much loved family pets there are a few extra considerations.

This is the first in a series of articles aimed at helping new or inexperienced pet owners to avoid some of the difficulties in arranging care for their animals.

Of course many dog owners choose to take their canine companions with them and will choose suitable UK destinations. You should check what local restrictions apply to dogs on beaches especially at popular resorts in summer before you book. This is not normally a sensible option for cats and some form of care arrangement will be needed.

Catteries and kennels vary enormously. You should always ask to look round before you book. For dogs in particular try to find out how long they are shut up overnight and how many times they are taken out for walks or given access to a clean and secure exercise area.

Recommendations from other local pet owners on the cattery or kennels you are considering are especially valuable. Most animal boarding establishments now have a website or a Facebook page, and that is a great way to find out what is available and what it might cost.

Always check the terms and conditions of boarding and make sure they are acceptable. Many have restrictions on unneutered animals and specific breeds of dogs. Most have published opening times and may be quite rigid regarding times when animals can be accepted or collected. Some will make special arrangements if requested.

The best catteries and kennels are often fully booked at peak times so it is best to make your arrangements early. Don’t expect to find places available during school holiday periods unless you make your bookings early in the year, especially for the peak summer weeks and the Christmas period.

You will enjoy your holiday more if you know your pet is happy and well looked after. Perhaps consider a trial booking for a day or two well before your holiday especially if your pet has not been to a kennels or cattery before.

Next time we will look at what to do if you have a multi-pet household.