If your animals are prone to anxiety of any sort, your best bet is to arrange for a house-sitter to come and stay. Picture: Supplied

The holidays are nearly here, and while you may have planned your vacation down to a T, have you ensured your-fur family is safely looked after if you aren’t going to a pet friendly holiday destination?

To assist with your holiday prep, consider these handy tips as you and your family prepare your fur kids for the holiday season ahead:

Hire a sitter

If your animals are prone to anxiety of any sort, your best bet is to arrange for a house-sitter to come and stay with them at home while you’re away. Doing so will mean that the animals will be reassured by being in their own space with their own bed and toys, even though you won’t be there. 

If you don’t have someone in mind, check out your community vet or Facebook page for recommendations, and fully brief your pet sitter on your animals’ eating habits, whether you want them walked or not, and how to administer any medication.

Pack for your pooch

If your pet is going to be staying at someone else’s home while you’re away, make sure that their bed and favourite toys go with them too so that they have something familiar with them. If there are animals at their ‘holiday home’, make an introductory visit beforehand, so that your animals can get to know all their hosts while you’re still around. 

Send an old unwashed item of clothing of yours to add to your pet’s bed while you’re away – it will make their bed smell of you and should be a comfort in your absence.

Choosing the right kennel facility

If kennelling is your holiday pet solution, make sure to meet the people that will be caring for your pet while you’re away. If possible, choose a kennel that has space for your dogs to exercise during the day, and ask if you can take their bed from home too or if they can send you pictures while you’re away so that you have peace of mind that they are okay.

Something to calm the nerves

If your dog is prone to anxiety, chat to your vet about medication that can help with this, or consider other interventions such as anxiety wraps, and show their carers how to use them. 

Before you leave, take your dog for a walk or play a big game with them. Using up some of their energy before you leave will help them keep calm during any changes in their environment.

Consistency of diet is key

One of the most important things to consider when booking your pets into a kennel, doggy hotel or dropping them off to stay with a friend is that a sudden change in diet can negatively impact their health and well-being during their stay.  

Be sure to take enough of your dog’s regular food to last while you’re away – this is particularly important for animals who are on specialist diets. This is to ensure there are no digestive issues caused by incorrectly transitioning across food types, or brands, while you’re away as transitioning food takes time and must be done according to strict feeding guidelines.