Home alone: How to prepare your pets for your holiday

Tickets, the mail…pets. Kiwis are embracing getting out and seeing New Zealand like never before.

Before you pack your bags, make sure you sort your pets so everyone can have the best holiday ever.

Book things early

You might find some great deals on accommodation by booking last minute, but don’t take the same approach with your pet’s wellbeing.

Think about where they will stay. Will they be with friends or family, or staying with a house-sitter? Or will you book them into a kennel or cattery?

Whatever you choose, lock it in nice and early. Nothing ruins a holiday like a “No Vacancy” sign at your favourite pet resort.

Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date

It's always a good idea to keep pet vaccinations up-to-date, but for pet boarding, it's essential.

Kennels will likely require your dog to be vaccinated for:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvovirus

It’s also recommended you vaccinate for kennel cough too.

For cats, you will most likely need your moggy to be up-to-date for:

  • Calicivirus
  •  Rhinotracheitis (snuffles)
  • Feline Enteritis

Talk to your vet and the team at the kennel or cattery to make sure everything is sorted.

Prepare an info pack before your holiday

For friends and family, and house-sitters, make a decent information pack. Include things like:

  • a recent photo of your pet for identification
  • your pet’s emergency contacts
  • vet contact details
  • pet’s medical records
  • preferences (favourite food, hiding spots, parks, games, etc.)

Also, consider microchipping and registering your pet on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register before you go. If your pet does scamper off, this is the best way of identifying them when found. If your pet is staying at someone else’s home with a sitter, it pays to double-check the house is pet-safe.

Pack a home away from home

Stock up on your pet’s favourite food and treats and pack your pet’s favourite toys and blankets. Familiar food will help avoid your dog eating something new that might not agree with them, and those home comforts will help them settle and bond with a carer.

Also, remember that home isn't just where the heart is - it's where the scent is. So, pack an old t-shirt that smells of you.

Goodbyes and homecomings

Keep these short and sweet. Your pet may be looking at you for cues on how to act. Seeing you say goodbye confidently and calmly saying hello again, teaches them that this is normal, and not something to get worked up about.

Does your domestic travel insurance include cover for your pet?

We’ve all had it happen to us - you’ve not even left New Zealand and the journey home is delayed. Whether it's a cancelled flight out of Wellington or an accident on the slopes in Queenstown that's seen you laid up in a hospital bed, the last thing you need is a bigger bill from the cattery or kennel.

This is where choosing the right domestic travel insurance comes in. Make sure that you choose a travel insurance that covers Pet Services (like Southern Cross Travel Insurance’s Domestic policy) so you have one less worry should something happen.

For terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub-limits) we recommend you read the travel insurance Policy Document