Knowing what to do with your dog when you go on holiday is always difficult if you don’t have a reliable friends or family on hand. We have made a list of options for you to consider and where you can go to look for the help you.

Get Prepared Early

The majority of good animal care is often booked up months in advance and it isn’t unusual for places to be booked up for over a year. Before planning your holiday it’s worth messaging the service provider you would like to use for your dog to ask what their availability is to prevent booking a holiday and then being stuck for pet care. You can even book the dogs in before you book your own holiday so you have one less thing to worry about!

Where to look for the right options

– Post on your local social media pages asking for what you need. This will bring up a lot of options and links to their social media pages so you can have a look and read reviews.

– Ask your behaviourist, trainer or dog walker. Dog professionals often have their own networking groups where they know what services they all offer and they can recommend appropriately.

– Ask in your local pet shop! Often pet shops will have leaflets to pet care professionals on display or know of them locally.

– Googling is of course a great way to find the right people for the services you need, taking you to their website or social media pages.

House Sitter

This is a great option if you can find a house sitter you can trust. Often they can be a good one stop shop to look after any other pets you have, water your plants, take your bin out or whatever you need. It’s worth asking local dog walkers if this is a service they offer.  If you dog is nervous of new people, arrange some time for them to come and sit in the garden with you all or go on a few walks together so they can get to know each other. If your dogs are able to be left for a few hours in the day, you can also get quite a good price for this service too!

Home Boarding

Home boarding is where the dog goes to someone else’s home to stay, often living amongst dogs from other households. This is a great option for dogs with issues around being left alone, as they will be with someone all of the time! Be aware when looking at home boarders as there are a lot of unlicensed boarders, meaning their insurance (and possibly yours) is completely void if an accident happens, as well as meaning they haven’t had the relevant safety checks from the council. A licensed home boarders will always be happy to show you their licence and will have the licence number displayed on their website and social media pages.

Friends and Family

Having friends and family who will look after your dogs is a good solution, especially as your dog probably already knows them. The issue can be that because this is not a professional service, we often see their plans changing at the last minute and not being able to provide pet care any longer and not understanding the issues that arise for you when they cancel last minute, so be sure whoever you use is reliable and trusted. This option can be used in conjunction with a dog walker. Often if you offer to look after their pets or children in return people are more than happy to help!

Take your dogs with you

More and more places in the UK are becoming dog friendly with airbnbs and hotels accepting multiple pets. If you wanted to go out for a day or an evening somewhere which is not dog friendly, have a look and see if you can find a local pet sitter to look after your dog.


Probably the least glamorous of all the options but most likely to have space as short notice. This is a good emergency option but can be a stressful environment and quite boring for some dogs. Be sure to ask where the dogs are exercised, for how long and if you can go and have a look around. By having a look around you will see how the other dogs that are currently staying are getting on and be sure you are comfortable that your dogs will be happy here.

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