Navigating Pet Care: Tips for the Perfect Kennels, Cattery or Pet Sitter

Leaving our pets behind when we go away can be a daunting prospect. However, with the right preparation, we can ensure our animals are in good hands. 

There are different options available such as friend and family, pet sitters, kennels and catteries. At Donovan Veterinary Behaviour Practice, we understand the importance of finding suitable care for your pets, which is why we’ve compiled some helpful tips to guide you through the process.

Finding the perfect Kennel or Cattery 

Your pets’ comfort, safety, and wellbeing are of utmost importance, so it’s essential to consider several factors before making your decision. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:


  • Dogs often find comfort in their familiar belongings, such as their bed, toys, and blankets. Having these items with them can help reduce stress and anxiety during their stay.
  • Ensure your Dog will be walked at least once a day outside their kennel.
  • When evaluating kennels, enquire about the availability of private areas or quiet spaces where your pet can relax away from the hustle and bustle. Look for kennels that provide individualised accommodations, such as separate sleeping areas or cosy nooks, to ensure your pet feels secure and at ease.
  • The environment within the kennel plays a significant role in your pet’s comfort. Opt for kennels that are sound-absorbent and designed to minimise noise pollution. Metal kennels can often amplify sounds, including barking from other dogs, which may cause distress to your pet. Brick-built kennels often minimise sounds. 


  • Explore the possibility of leaving your cat with friends or family members who can provide personalised care in a familiar setting. Cats often prefer the comforts of home and may thrive better in a familiar environment surrounded by familiar faces. A pet-sitting service would be a good option for our feline friends.
  • When selecting a cattery, it’s essential to prioritise your cat’s comfort and safety. Look for catteries that hold certifications from reputable organisations such as the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) and employ licensed caretakers. Additionally, take the time to read reviews and testimonials from other pet owners to ensure you’re choosing the best possible option for your furry companion.

Personalised Care: Every pet has unique needs and preferences, so it’s essential to choose a kennel or cattery that can accommodate individual requirements. Whether your pet requires special dietary considerations, medication administration, or extra attention, ensure that the staff are experienced and capable of providing personalised care.

Finding the Perfect Pet Sitter:

Start your search well in advance of your trip. Consider reaching out to friends, family, and local pet communities for recommendations. Alternatively, websites and apps dedicated to pet-sitting services can also be valuable resources.

When evaluating potential pet sitters, don’t hesitate to ask for references and conduct interviews to ensure they are the right fit for your pet’s needs. Look for someone who is experienced, reliable, and genuinely cares for animals.

Jade Andrews, a valued member of our team at Donovan Veterinary Behaviour Practice, also serves as a professional pet sitter. Has given some tips on finding a suitable pet sitter:

When exploring your options, especially if you have a pet that wouldn’t fare well in traditional kennels or catteries, opting for a pet sitter like Jade who offers in-home care could be the ideal solution.

To ensure a harmonious match, your potential pet sitter should conduct an initial meeting with your animal or even engage in settling-in sessions (which may involve a nominal fee).

Here are some key traits to look for in a pet sitter:

  • Compassion and Consciousness: Your pet sitter should exhibit genuine care and empathy towards animals.
  • Behaviour-Friendly Approach: The sitter must understand and respect your pet’s behavioural needs.
  • Treats as Positive Reinforcement: A willingness to use treats as a means of positive reinforcement can greatly enhance your pet’s experience.
  • Attentive to Your Requirements: The ideal pet sitter should be receptive to your specific instructions and preferences.
  • Effective Communication: Clear and prompt communication is paramount for peace of mind while you’re away.
  • Regular Updates: A reliable pet sitter will keep you updated with photos or videos of your animal’s contentment.
  • Respect for Your Home: Your pet sitter should leave your home as they found it.

It is also good to make sure you do the following too…

  • Schedule a meet-and-greet with the pet sitter to introduce them to your pet and discuss expectations.
  • Provide essential information such as veterinary contacts, feeding instructions, and emergency procedures.
  • Ensure your pet’s vaccinations and medications are up to date.
  • Leave familiar toys, bedding, and comforts to help your pet feel at ease in your absence.
  • Emergency contact numbers for friends and family
  • Check the pet sitter is fully insured and DBS checked

By prioritising these qualities and being prepared, you can ensure that your pet receives the best possible care and attention while you’re away.

Animals, Cats, Cattery, Dog Kennels, Dogs, Pet Sitter, Pets

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