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Pet care while on vacation – Top options and major tips and tricks

While Dubai switches into vacation mood, pet lovers figure out how to take care of the pet while travelling.

As Ramadan passes steadily and people are preparing for Eid and slowly planning their vacations, we may even strangely perceive that it seems like pets have some sort of a sixth sense when it comes to travel - particularly when they are not on the list of invitees. They all have their sad faces on and act kind of nervous and don’t let you out of their sight the minute they sense something is different than usual. Cats may spin around your legs or lay next to you when suitcases are being packed, or dogs may start looking all depressed while you are trying to figure how to pack clothes intended for four into only two suitcases during the pre-vacation whirlpool at home.

Pet or no pet – the question is now

With that being said, before going away, definitely one of the principal and most important decisions for pet owners in Dubai is what to do with their pets. Regardless of your initial plans or your destination (the more exotic the destination the more difficult the execution of the plan) if you are going on vacation at some point you must decide to take your pet as your companion or leave them at home. Although and luckily pets are allowed in some hotels (their numbers are constantly on the rise due to high demand), still most of them do not provide nor offer a pet policy at all. Additionally, you always have to be aware that when visiting a public place or you are more into adventurous and active vacations you just cannot take your pet with you, they simply would not have the conditions and the accommodations. Moreover, even if you manage to bump into a pet-friendly hotel, your pet will still end up walled in in the hotel room for more than a few hours all alone.

Whether you are gone for a week or two months, in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the UK or in South America, there are three major alternatives for your pet while you are on vacation. You can have someone take care and pet sit in your house, have your fury (or non-fury) friend go to someone else’s place or just go for the more “we need to adapt option“ and take your pet with you. Whatever your preferences may be, you can visit sites like where you will find a whole list of available sitters and practical guidelines and you can read more about other people’s experiences from a reliable source. At the end of the day whatever you decide which concerns your pet depends on how long you’re traveling, the budget you’re willing to spend, your pet’s character and how much you are willing to trust others to hang out and take care of your extended family.

Start preparations early in advance

As it often happens, when vacations start dominating our plans and thoughts, finding reliable pet care in Dubai for an adored family pet is frequently put aside and on the margins of our to-do checklist and ends up as a detail to be left to a friend, colleague or the sweet neighbour down the block. However, it shouldn’t be, and some experts warn that your pet it is a living creature and a valued member of the family and accidents may and often do happen so more attention should be given to finding the best possible boarding solution. Definitely, with the right planning, a family vacation can be as pleasant and entertaining for the pets staying home as it is for their human partners who are doing all the travelling.

Like it or not, we are often faced with an omnipresent misconception that people either like and click with animals or just don’t and that anyone who generally likes animals can care for a pet. Reality is a lot tougher than it appears. Common sense would state to find a pet sitter in Dubai who is experienced with animals, knows how to adapt to their pace, is trained in basic first aid, and if you we not know him well – to choose one who is preferably insured and does not have problems with even signing a contract with expectations clearly outlined.

Pet care available options

On the other hand, what to do with a pet while vacationing depends on the type of animal and even more on its temperament. Most people see their pets not only as animals but as loving and inseparable family members and take them along on vacations while other animals don’t take well or are not keen to travel. (ex. big animals, dogs suffering from stranger anxiety or have a motion sickness, or even some breeds likely to have respiratory or movement issues)

So, while we are here, pet shelters are also a popular option in Dubai, and come in variety of options from modest and practical spaces to full-scale resorts. You can find more information about available options on popular sites like As with humans, for pets also there’s no place like home and many pets are way better off being cared for at home. You can tell that easily if they don’t do well in a common play area with other animals, or if they are not keen on hanging out, then home pet care is probably the best option.

So just to summarize it, wherever you go or regardless of what kind of animal do you have, these are the major options or alternatives if you do not want to bring your pet along while you are on vacation:

  • Pet sitting in your home - It is one of the most commonly used options because using a pet sitter is the best way to combine the personal with professional. Many dogs and cats (as most widespread pets) feel much more comfortable in their own surroundings, in space they feel at home, so having an experienced pet sitter in Dubai coming by for feedings, scheduled walks and playtimes is a really solid and practical option while you are taking care of your tan. This option offers flexibility and it is much easier for you to prepare everything before your departure. Just decide whether you want the pet sitter to just come to your home daily or even several times per day to spend some quality time with your pet, or simply invite and offer them to stay in your home while you are absent and hang out with your pet all the time. Be sure to provide precise guidelines on food, naps and walks schedule, pet temper issues, tips and tricks and medicaments. The pet sitter shall do the rest.

  • In-Home pet care or pet boarding - While choosing a pet sitter is always a good option, in-home pet sitting, or boarding is getting increasingly popular in Dubai. This type of pet care requires of you to bring your pet friend to a pet sitter’s home near your area of residence before leaving on vacation. This is a really good option for pets who are very friendly and enjoy the company of other animals. It gives them the pleasure to play and socialize with other pets under the same roof and under the supervision of an accountable pet owner who provides individualized attention and more daily interaction. In-home pet sitting is usually more affordable on the budget side than having pet sitters coming to the home and it offers the peace of mind of not handing over your house keys. Visit for more information and available locations.

  • Old-style pet care (kennels/catteries) - For not that social pets one standard option is to place pets in boarding kennels or catteries while you’re away. For the cat owners, it is advisable to go for a pet care facility where cats are not hanging with other cats and are boarded in feline-focused pet centres. Cats do much better in this type of environment and this is an important health and safety precaution. On the contrary, dogs are more of a pack animal and quite more sociable than cats, so they need a place with more activity time to play and run around with other dogs.

  • Trusted family member/friend/neighbour - People you trust from your surrounding are always the first and the best choice, literally for everything. Whether to take care of your baby, water the flowers, turn off the stove or just play with your dog which goes nuts the moments it sees them, they are always the man/woman of the match. Just plan the time you want to take your vacation, do not hesitate and definitely consider asking them come by to feed and play with your four-legged family member. Just make sure they are fond of animals and know the basics of dealing with too much pet attention. However, if your pet is keener on marking territory and doesn’t do well with non-family members than it would probably be better to go for the other options and save your friend the hassle. If your neighbour or friend is also a pet owner, offer a helping hand to return the favour someday.

Finally, you can always take your pet with you and enjoy each other’s company. However, if you decide to have a pet-free vacation, check sites like and learn more about similar experiences, ideas and credible information on how to find the best possible solution for your four-legged buddy while you are getting the sun tan you wished for all year round.

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