Pets and Travel: Who Cares For Our Dog (and Rabbit) When We’re Away?

As we prepare for our next adventure, I thought I’d share a quick post about who cares for our dog (Hairy McClary) and our rabbit (Dash) when we’re away on holidays and short breaks, as well as using this as an excuse to share lots of pictures of our adorable family fluff ball!

Hairy McClary was born just before lock down began, although he came to live with us from his rescue in Macedonia during the first lockdown here in the UK. Hairy is now 16 months old, and he is a bundle of energy and fluff! One of the first questions I had when I realised the kids had ground us down and getting a dog was inevitable, was where would he go when we were away. We didn’t like the idea of putting him in kennels, and (for us personally) our concerns about this were confirmed when he did a single night trial in one at the end of last summer: It seems to bring back all the trauma of his early life, which were spent in a kennel. He was unsettled and soiling himself, which is not something he does at home, and we decide immediately we’d rather never holiday again than leave him so unhappy!

We needed somewhere for him to go that would feel like home: somewhere with a sofa, his favourite blanket, and someone to walk him and scratch him in that special spot under his chin. Enter Rover is basically a network of pet sitters and dog walkers; you can read profiles, reviews, and find the perfect match for your dog. The search criteria is enormous: you can search for a home stay with another dog or without, where dogs are allowed on the furniture (or not), and even where and when you would like your doggy to walk.

Hairy has two special ‘aunties’ that we use from the site, both of whom we couldn’t recommend more highly, and they both met with us and him before we booked them so that we could get a feel about how they would suit our dog and our family. The system encourages communication throughout our trips, and we receive daily updates and photos of Mr McClary, so that we can enjoy our breaks confident that he is enjoying his. Rover also takes care of the money side of things – you pay via their system when you book, and then the pet sitter receives the money after the stay is complete, which provides security and peace of mind for everyone. I don’t know what we would have done without it, or without our two favourite dog sitters!

On a similar, but slightly more niche note, we also have a house rabbit called Dash.Dash was also rescued, having been abandoned because he is allergic to hay and therefore more expensive than a ‘normal’ rabbit to keep and care for. Boy8 has a soft heart, and a passion for animals: especially ones with sob stories in need of a home!

For the past 5 years, Dash has gone on his ‘holidays’ to Poppy’s Holiday Hutches in Norwich and I really couldn’t recommend them or Steve more. Steve just loves small furries, especially rabbits, and offers so much more than just a hutch for Mr Dash: He has a full spa treatment, with his fur brushed, nails clipped, and more stroking, playing and love than any rabbit could ask for. I swear that he has such a good time that half the time, Dash doesn’t really want to come home!

Do you juggle pets and travel? I’d love to hear any tips you have for leaving your animals, and who looks after them for you whilst you’re away?

4 thoughts on “Pets and Travel: Who Cares For Our Dog (and Rabbit) When We’re Away?

  1. What a blessing to have a pet service to help out with the animals while you travel! I am blessed to have a neighbor who takes care of my animals while we travel, and when she travels, I take care of hers. It is such a blessing! How is your Mom, Lorraine doing? I am concerned, as she hasn’t posted in a while. Happy to read your blog today!


  2. Hairy is just adorable (looks as if he can talks 🐶). It’s great that you have someone to watch over him when you’re away … and it’s definitely a good sign when Dash prefers that you go on more holidays 😉.
    We had 2 cocker spaniels and whenever possible, they went with us on weekends or when we were travelling for longer, we would drive 300km to my parents where they were happy to stay … both of them have now past on, but we have such wonderful memories of them (like that ice-cream photo … they just loved ice-cream on a hot summer’s day!)


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