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I used to take my 12-year-old Springer Spaniel on holidays abroad quite regularly. She has since been diagnosed with a heart condition, so I don’t want to risk taking her away on trips out of the country. I am unsure about kennels. What are my options?

Paul Manktelow advises…

There are many alternatives to kennels if you are not keen on this approach. Having said that, many kennel set-ups are equivalent to five-star hotels, so don’t be immediately put off by any pre-conceived ideas you may have. A good kennel establishment will be more than happy to show you around and listen to your concerns.

Understandably, a pet with a chronic condition does make pet owners more anxious when it comes to trips away. Heart conditions require minimal stress, so a quieter and more familiar alternative may well be preferable.

If a family member or friend is unable to take care of your dog in your absence, there are plenty of other options open to you. Nowadays, there are plenty of services that provide boarding within a home-from-home setting or pet- and housesitting in your own home. These services will have their own insurance and your veterinary provider is likely to have a list of local businesses that can help with this. These companies work closely with local vet practices and emergency services to ensure the best care is provided.

Ask your veterinary practice if any of the staff provide a home-boarding or pet-sitting service if you would prefer a degree of medical supervision while you are away. This is not uncommon and if they can’t offer this, they may be able to direct you to somebody who can help.

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