Taking a holiday when you have a pet (or two) requires some serious thinking. Will you take it with you -“ and if you don’t, how can you make sure your animals will be happy and well cared for?

The RSPCA has released a list of things to consider when looking for pet holiday care.

First of all, animals should be microchipped, in case they go missing, and should always wear an identity tag with holiday contact details. There’s no point leaving a tag on that has your home number if no-one will be answering the phone for a fortnight.

If you decide to leave your dog or cat in boarding, make sure the boarding establishment is up to scratch.

Visit the boarding place and check out the conditions other animals are kept in. Make sure the facilities are clean and the resident pets seems happy, well-fed, exercised and comfortable.

It’s also important to check if exercise is included in the price, or whether you’ll have to pay extra. When you take your pet to drop him or her off, take the animal’s usual bedding and toys with you to make the transition less traumatic.

If you are leaving an animal in the care of a friend or pet-sitter, make sure they are trustworthy and available to spend significant time with the pet every day.

Leave them a holiday plan, with contact numbers for you, another possible carer and a vet, details of food and health requirements, information about how to prevent the animal from escaping and information about what to do if the animal becomes overheated. It’s also a good idea to let neighbours know that a pet-sitter will be entering the house and give the neighbours their mobile phone number in case of emergency.

If you take your pet with you, make sure you never leave him or her in a parked car, and be sure to restrain them safely when driving.

Remember that Christmas lunch is potentially dangerous to pets. Fatty meats like pork and ham can cause pancreatitis and chocolate and macadamia nuts can be toxic.

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