Moving abroad? Here's who can watch pet while you're away

  • pet paws
Published on 2024-04-09 at 10:00 by Asaël Häzaq
Moving abroad without your cat or dog can feel overwhelming, and planning a move with a pet can be complicated. Besides the high costs of pet travel, there might also be various restrictions in your host country. So, what are your options if you choose not to bring your pet with you? Here are our tips for a smooth transition.

Family or friends

If your loved ones are animal lovers eager to host your pet, embrace their kindness and entrust your furry friend. Fostering with family or friends is a practical and economical option. Consider setting aside funds for your pet's care as a reward for their help. Additionally, ensure that your friends and family meet all the necessary criteria for accommodating your pet, such as the size of their home, the presence of a garden, and proximity to parks, etc. Also, confirm that they are knowledgeable about pet care. Even the most well-intentioned may lack the necessary skills.

Pet boarding

Professionals have capitalized on the difficulty of travelers unable to relocate abroad with their pets by offering a variety of accommodation solutions, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious options. Pet boarding is often the first choice that comes to mind. These facilities operate straightforwardly: your pet joins others and receives services based on your selected package. The staff at these establishments are typically government-certified. However, it's essential to consider your pet's adaptability. Is it sociable? Does it enjoy being in a group setting? These factors are vital for its adjustment, especially since it will be spending a long period in a boarding facility.

Luxury hotels

In some countries, the market is booming. Luxury hotels for pets are pretty similar to those we are used to. With spas, swimming pools, massage rooms, grooming salons, etc., everything is done to ensure your pet's maximum comfort. Of course, this type of service has a hefty price, which you might be ready to pay for your pet's well-being.


You already know about babysitting, but have you heard of pet-sitting? It's the same concept but for pets. Like babysitting, a pet sitter looks after your pet for a fee. You have two options: the pet-sitter can either take your pet into their own home or care for them in your home. It's best to avoid hiring a pet sitter solely for a few hours of wandering around your house. Your pet might not take it well, and neither would you. Keep in mind that leaving a dog alone for too long can lead to anxiety or depression. Opting to have your pet sitter stay in your home keeps it lively even in your absence. Your pet sitter can even look after your home while caring for your pet. However, remember that you should consider the cost of pet-sitting in relation to the duration of your time abroad.

Foster homes for pets

Like foster families for humans, there are also ones specifically for pets. These families are trained and accredited by veterinary institutions, ensuring they're qualified to care for animals. They provide their services for a fee and often have their own pets, offering your companion the chance to be part of a group rather than being alone. It's a fantastic opportunity to assess your pet's sociability.

Voluntary pet care  

In addition to the paid services available, there's a growing trend of entirely free solutions. Many animal lovers out there willingly open their homes to new companions, whether for a few weeks or an extended period. Online platforms connect you with volunteers, and you can negotiate the terms of your arrangement with them. Like pet-sitting in a relative's home, you can also offer a financial contribution, especially if they will take care of your pet for several months.

More tips for moving abroad without your pet

Just like you're getting ready for your new life abroad, it's important to prepare your pet as well. Consider your pet's personality when selecting a pet care option. A shy or introverted pet might feel uncomfortable in a bustling boarding facility. Conversely, an outgoing pet will likely thrive in such an environment.

Introduce your pet to its temporary caregivers and environment (whether it's a boarding kennel, hotel, or foster family). It's crucial that your pet feels comfortable and at ease. Schedule multiple visits well ahead of your relocation. Don't leave it until the last minute to part ways with your pet. Remember, the transition can be stressful for your furry friend, too, just like it is for you.

Don't settle for an option solely on financial grounds. If you choose a free or low-cost boarding option (such as with relatives or a volunteer), ensure they understand the commitment involved. Remember, you're not just leaving for a short vacation but for an extended period. Prioritize your pet's well-being and comfort above everything else.

Keep in mind that the accommodation you choose should be temporary, not only for your well-being but also for your pet. Being separated from your cat or dog for several years due to your relocation isn't ideal for emotional and financial reasons. Before moving abroad, consider your pet's future and aim to reunite with it as soon as possible.