How do you take care of your dog or cat during the holidays?

The time for the big holiday departures is approaching, with as every year the same problem for millions of French people: how to keep their pets?

Camping, summer rentals, hotels … It’s not always easy to take your four-legged friend with you everywhere.

One situation that can lead to extreme situations: abandonment of animals.

Every year, 100,000 animals are left, of which at least 40,000 during the summer holidays.

In 2021, the SPA shelters thus collected 16,894 animals between 1 May and 31 August, which is a record.

However, there are many solutions to keeping your pet, such as pensions, “pet sitter”, help between individuals or simply custody of relatives. We have researched for you, and with the help of our readers, requested through a survey, we have found solutions.

Call relatives or neighbors

The first option is the simplest and the cheapest. It consists of addressing those who are close to you. Friends, family, neighbors … One of them will definitely be happy to take care of your fur ball. If you have a cat, for example, you can give your keys to your neighbor or a friend who comes and feeds it, and they can even take the opportunity to water your plants. If your pet needs attention, you can take it to your loved one; or the latter may find itself at ease with you during your absence.

That’s what Caroline, who lives in La Garde (83), does.

“A girlfriend comes to my house to look after my cat and look after the house instead of going to her parents’. Everyone gets something out of it!”

More than a third of readers who responded to our survey leave their pets to a loved one when they go on vacation.

However, it is not always possible to find a relative or neighbor who is willing to keep an eye on your pet. Do not panic, there are other options.

Photo by Hannah Wright.

Exchanging custody or volunteering: financial solutions

If your budget is a little tight, there are two alternatives: volunteer work or swap pet care.

You can actually arrange to find someone who will take care of your animal during your absence, and in return you will take care of their companion during their absence. Depending on the event, your pet may stay with you. To do this, the free Animal Keepers website offers to put you in touch with other owners.

Finally, if you have not found volunteers to keep your companion around, you can always turn to specialized sites. A service that, however, is subject to an annual subscription. There is Animal smart (€ 9.90 / year) or Borrowing Mon Toutou (€ 29.90 / year).

Picture CD.

Book a place in a guest house

One of the most popular solutions is the pension. You can leave your pet to a professional for a few days or a week. Your companion will thus be taken care of within a regulated framework, will benefit from a box or a large space, and will be able to have fun with his congeners.

The price for dog boarding is generally around 20 € / day and per. animals. Take a few euros off if it’s a cat. There are many kennels and guest houses in the Var and Alpes Maritimes. Our readers have recommended us i.a. Dog Méditerranée pension, located in Mouans-Sartoux (18 € / day for a dog, 13 € / day for a cat), and Dog Attitude, in Mougins (from 18 € to 24 € / day for a dog, from 12 € to 14 € / day for a cat). Also in Mougins, the Argeville kennel offers to welcome your dog from € 17.50 / day. In Var you can find the pension des Coeurs Poilus in Cannet-des-Maures (20 € / day).

In Toulon, a reader recommended us Matoulonnais cat boarding house. If your cat is a homebody and does not like change, you can instead turn to Katzamis, also in Toulon, which offers home boarding.

In order not to be separated from your companion, you can also find a guest house next to your resort. This is the option Valentin, who lives in Aspremont (06), prefers.

We take our two dogs with us and generally go on board or go on board near our resort. ” – Valentine.

Photo by Anthony Duran.

Request paid individuals, or “pet sitter

For the same price as the pension, or even a little cheaper, you can also leave your pet to a private person that you pay. Based on the same concept as childcare “pet care” is an increasingly popular activity. For a fee, your pet is fed, taken out, cuddled and housed as needed.

Many sites are dedicated to offering “animal keepers“: Animaute (approx. 20 € / day), Animalin (10-15 € / day). Just enter your postcode to see the offers from”pet sitter “ near you.

Fanny, who lives in Nice, went through the Gudog platform to find her “pet sitter”.

It’s both reassuring and at the same time I know he’s in the same neighborhood as mine and I get a lot of news. And the price is still very fair.

She prefers this option, which allows her to find someone available, with experience and listed by previous clients. This saves him from putting the responsibility of caring for his dog on a loved one.

Photo by Matt Nelson.

Choose Animal Welfare Association Shelters

Some shelters and animal welfare associations also offer boarding, often for a donation. Thus, Espoir SPA offers the refuge in Grasse, located in Mougins, to keep your dogs and cats, primarily dogs, from a few days to several weeks, for 14 € / day.

By offering the pension, the independent crisis center, which lives only on donations, can finance itself. But the goal is also to combat abandonment by offering a reasonable price, or even free, to owners who have no other solutions.

“If people after a temporary change want to give them up because they can’t pay pensions, then we keep them for free.”
Marie Pelou, responsible for the Espoir SPA refuge in Grasse

Be careful though, many shelters do not provide boarding.

AFP photo.

Preparation for departure

In addition to your wallet, the solution you find will also depend on your animal’s needs and character. But no matter which option you choose, there are a number of steps you need to take before leaving it. You will need to entrust your hairball ID card and health book; verify that the coordinates of the I-CAD (Domestic Carnivores Identification) file are up to date.

Also check that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, especially against rabies and kennel cough, as most boarding houses, shelters and kennels will ask you for them. Give a list of your pet’s needs: portion of food, number of excursions …

Finally, leave your phone number and your vet’s phone number. The SPA also recommends having a care certificate signed by the person caring for your companion.

This allows you to leave your pet with confidence and you will spend a quieter holiday. In any case, giving up is never the solution.

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