If you are going away over the summer and not taking your pets, then now's the time to start thinking about who will take care of them when you aren't around.
If you don't have friends or family who will help you out, the options include:
1/ Kennels or cattery. Your pet will live in purpose built boarding facilities, usually with a small run attached. They will have minimal interaction with other animals but will be safe and secure. These get booked up quickly so get on the phone today. Get a recommendation and go and visit them, if you haven't used them before. There are some truly dire ones out there but also some lovely ones. Basically you'll get what you pay for. If you are going to use a boarding kennel, then your pet will need their vaccinations up to date, so make sure you schedule any boosters required in time for your holiday.
2/ Home boarding. Someone boards your pets in their home. Best suited for dogs and small animals in cages. Can be a great option if you find someone suitable. Often more than one dog is boarded at a time so potential for problems but probably more interesting for the dog to have someone to play with.
3/ Pet sitters. Pet sitters often come to your house once/ twice/ more often a day to feed , exercise or check up on your pet. Less stressful for pets and good for independent cats but if pet gets sick or injured, then no one will notice until the next check up.
Some companies such as Homesitters and Animal Aunts offer professional live in pet sitters. This means your house and garden are well looked after as well as your pet(s) but at over £40 a day, this can be an expensive option.
A cheaper option is to advertise on a site such as housecarers or mindmyhouse for someone to care for your house, garden and pets while you are away. You need to write an advert and vet the replies but many people on these sites are mature couples who enjoy living in different places for a few weeks. Check up on references carefully and you will have yourself cheap pet minding as well as the peace of mind of knowing your house is occupied while you are away.
And while you are organising petcare, make sure you check your families passports are all up to date as well. It would be a pity if the pets were sorted but the humans in the family missed out!