Now is the ‘purrfect’ time to book Fido’s Christmas Vacay
With many Australians booking their Christmas holiday at this time of year, Australia’s leading pet sitting platform PetCloud says now is also the time to book Fido’s ‘vacay’.
Each year, millions of Australian pet owners travel over the Christmas period, which can see kennels, catteries and pet resorts fully booked months in advance and it’s no different for pet sitters, says Founder and CEO of PetCloud Deb Morrison.
“One of the reasons we launched PetCloud was to allow Australian pet owners to travel and to ensure that animals weren’t being abandoned during holiday periods. We are an animal-loving nation that also loves to travel and pet sitting offers a safe, easy and affordable solution for pet parents so they can have the best of both worlds,” Ms Morrison said.
“Instead of using costly kennels and catteries, many pet owners prefer to leave their pets with a pet sitter as they know their fur baby will receive the same care and attention as they do at home, and for a fraction of the price.”
According to a Facebook poll, 54 per cent of PetCloud followers book a pet sitter three to six months out from travel.
“These statistics show that pet parents are booking pet stays earlier and earlier, which is backed up by reports that some of our most popular pet sitters have already received multiple bookings for the Christmas break. So we’re reminding holidaying Aussies – when you book your stay, don’t forget your pet’s vacay,” Ms Morrison said.
PetCloud pet sitter Debbie Taylor already has two bookings for Christmas with pet parents eager to send their dogs on a holiday at her patch of paradise on the Sunshine Coast. From just $30 a day, dogs can enjoy a summer getaway at the two-acre Caboolture property with lush lawns and a pool.
“We have a huge backyard and we’re surrounded by nature so we like to think we have the perfect property for pets – it’s like a five-star resort for dogs,” Debbie said.
In comparison to pet sitting, boarding a dog at a kennel might cost around $100 per day (According to Finder, Australians spend an average of $12 million on boarding and kennels over the Christmas period) and pets often spend much of that time in cages with the potential to catch a disease or suffer anxiety.
Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland said holiday peak times were the worst for animal abandonment.
“We urge all pet owners not to leave holiday arrangements for pets until the last minute – particularly at Christmas time. There are a number of alternatives ranging from kennels to
pet sitting services but all of them get very busy at this time of year. RSPCA Queensland is a big supporter of PetCloud, a service that offers affordable and reliable pet sitters all over Australia. But they too can get very busy over the summer holidays so plan ahead and book your pet sitters early,” he said.
While there is a rise in pet-friendly accommodation and services, Ms Morrison said the cost of travelling with a dog can add up quickly and wasn’t always conducive to a relaxing break.
“Depending on the type of holiday, leaving a pet at home with a house sitter or pet sitter might be a more affordable and less stressful option. Daily pet sitting rates are usually around $15 for a cat and $30 for a dog, a home visit for a cat might cost $18 and house sitting usually starts at around $30. For peace of mind, police checks, property checks, insurance and meet-and-greets are all part of the PetCloud process,” she said.
Here’s PetCloud’s travel check list for Australians considering taking their pet on holiday:
· Read the fine detail on pet-friendly policies, sometimes rental homes and hotels charge a daily rate or a one-off fee for pet guests which might be around $25/day
· Ask the airline how much it costs for Fido to fly. An approved airline travel carrier can cost between $120-250 and travel fees can cost hundreds each way
· Rental car cleaning fees can cost between $25-$400, a car seatbelt harness or booster seat can cost up to $130 and car seat covers are usually around $30
· In some cases, dogs will need to have a health certificate from a vet and vaccinations which might start at $50
· Make sure Fido’s flea and tick prevention is up to date ($60)
· For beach holidays, don’t forget pet-safe sunblock ($15)
· Don’t forget – dogs are banned on some beaches and in some national parks
· Check pet policies at caravan parks – many don’t allow dogs to be left behind while guests head out on a day of exploring or for a meal
· Make note of the nearest emergency vet in the case of a tick bite or accident
· Make sure dog tags and microchip contact information is up to date in case Fido goes walkabout or gets disoriented in an unfamiliar environment For more information on PetCloud, visit www.petcloud.com.au