Pete The Vet with his pet terrier Kiko!
Going away on a holiday that can't include pets? Heading abroad on business? In the past, the only easily available options were to leave your dog/cat with a commercial boarding kennel/cattery or out-of-home boarding such as sending them to stay in the home of a friend or contact. A few people employed pet sitters to mind pets in their own homes, but it was not always simple to find someone affordable and trustworthy. Now, with the advent of TrustedHousesitters, it's easy to keep your pets in your own home when you go away.
Most people know instinctively that dogs and cats are likely to be happier in their own homes, but why should this be?
The most obvious reason is that animals are creatures of habit. They learn to know their own daily routines: where they sleep, their feeding schedule, the smells/sounds/layout of their immediate environment and the companionship of their non-human housemates.
The familiarity of home brings great comfort to pets: if you take them away from this, to a boarding kennel/cattery, or to someone else's home, there is certain to be some level of stress, with differing sights/smells/sounds, and a completely novel daily routine. Some boarding kennels and catteries, by their nature, can force pets into situations where they may be in uncomfortable proximity to other animals, and this can be an additional stress.
While some pets are able to deal with the novelty of being away from home, with some even enjoying the stimulation of a new situation, most dogs and cats, if they had a choice, would probably prefer to remain in their own homes.
Of course you, as their owner/guardian, are the main human in your pets' lives, and when you are away, they will miss you. But if the rest of their life carries on as normal, they are far more likely to feel safe and secure till your return.
Many thanks to Pete The Vet (Pete Wedderburn), the vet columnist for The Daily Telegraph and frequently appears on Irish TV as an animal expert, for providing this insight.
If you'd like to know more about Pete The Vet please visit his website http://www.petethevet.com/wp/