Your bags are packed, but what about your dog? Here’s how to ensure your canine companion is well looked after when you’re away.

Use a boarding kennel

A boarding kennel is a facility that houses and cares for dogs while their owners are either away or unable to look after them. Also known as pet hotels or resorts, they range from a basic care model to offering luxuries a human would envy.

Boarding facilities book up well in advance, especially during peak holiday periods like Christmas, so make sure you reserve your pet’s spot early. Petbarn Hotel offers professional boarding services with free pet collection at selected locations in Sydney and Melbourne.


Use a professional pet minder

A pet minder, or dogsitter, looks after your pet in your own home. Depending on the level of service you require, they may either live in your home for the duration of your holiday, or drop in regularly to feed, walk and play with your dog. Pet minders can be a great option for senior dogs or dogs with special needs, as these canines tend to cope better in their own environment than in an unfamiliar boarding kennel.

Ask friends, fellow dog owners or even your local Greencross Vets for recommendations. Your chosen pet minder should be able to provide references, proof of public liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and specific information about how much time they will spend with your four-legged friend. Join Petbarn Sitters to connect with Australia’s trusted network of pet care providers.


Ask a friend

The main advantage of asking a friend, neighbour or family member to mind your dog while you’re away is that, if your friend is going to stay at your place, your dog will enjoy the added bonus of remaining in a familiar environment and sticking to the same diet and routine.

If your dog will be going to an unfamiliar house while you’re away, it’s up to you to check that it’s secure before you depart.

Make sure you’re confident that your friend or relative is reliable, too. If you aren’t certain they’ll remember to feed your dog or administer medication, you may be better off paying for a professional dog hotel or pet minding service.


Take them with you

Why leave your dog at home when it’s just as easy to bring them on holiday, too? From caravans and campsites to self-catering holiday homes and even five-star hotels, there’s a pet-friendly accommodation option for every dog owner these days. Travel websites like Stayz and Airbnb offer pet-friendly search filters, while companies such as Jet Pets specialise in interstate and overseas air transport for pets. Make sure you have all the accessories you need for your dog before going away, including their harness, lead, crate and toys.