The holidays are upon us. If your plans involve travelling this season, it’s important to keep the family pet in mind.

There are plenty of options available, so plan ahead. That way, you can enjoy your holidays without the stress and worry of what’s going on back home.

If the family pet is small – like a hamster, bunny, or fish – it may be a good idea to find a child in the neighborhood looking to make a few bucks.

This way, they can also take the pet to their house and you don’t have to worry about people going in and out of your house while you’re gone.

If your pet is a dog or cat that is easily stressed, it may be best to hire an in-home caretaker. If hiring someone for the first time, it’s important to ask them lot of questions, and also make sure the person is bonded and insured. And don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Some pet sitters charge per visit and some charge per day. If your dog is sick or elderly, you may want someone to stay in your home while you’re away, as opposed to someone just stopping by.

If administering medication is a concern, you might want to find a pet sitter that is also a vet tech or has worked for a veterinarian.

Taking vacations and travelling is healthy and can boost your morale. It should be the same for your pet.

Think about how much fun your dog has socializing. Imagine your four-legged family member having that kind of fun the entire time you’re gone; that’s what you’ll get if you send your pup to a kennel or pet resort.

Your pooch’s day will be filled with long walks, plenty of play time, bubble baths, nail trimming, comfortable bedding and gourmet meals. Many places now offer a webcam option, too, so you can check in on your pup whenever you choose.

While fancy frills are always nice, it’s important your pet feel comfortable in the setting. Take a tour of the facility prior to your vacation. Be sure the establishment is clean and smells good. It should also be full of pets, as well as enough people to care for  them.

You also may want to try out their daycare before you leave your pet. That way, you can get a feel for the faculty and the facility before committing to overnight stays.

The best way to judge is to note how your pup reacts after a day there. Upon your return, your pup should be excited. If he/she is not, this could be a testament to how their experience was.

Chances are, you know your pet better than anyone so you’ll know if his/her experience was a good one. If you choose this route, make sure your pup is up-to-date on all shots and vaccinations weeks before your vacation.

One final piece of advice is to make sure you do your homework. Don’t hesitate to do background checks, and research on businesses to make sure you’re leaving your furry friend in the right hands.

Also, utilize the expertise of your local pet store owner. After all, if you entrust them to fulfill your pets daily needs, you should have faith in their recommendations for pet care.