Home' Abode : November 23 Contents THE HERALD
Pet ownership in Australia is among
the highest in the world, with more
than half the population owning a cat
or dog. But what happens with these furry
friends - there are more than two million
cats and dogs in NSW and more than six
million across the nation - when it comes
time for the family holiday?
It comes down to a simple question: Does
Fido go, or does Fido stay?
Oft times it is a friend or relative who has
to look after the dog, cat, goldfish, guinea
pig, rabbit or reptile in vacation times, but
with a boom in pet-friendly holiday accom-
modation across NSW, families can now
take their pampered pooch with them or,
if they have to leave them behind, leave
them in care that will provide the pet with
a holiday as well as the family.
If this holiday season the family has to
go and the pet has to stay, and there is no
relative, friend or neighbour to look after
the pooch or pussy, then a glance in Yellow
Pages under Pet Care Services and Cat and
Dog Boarding provides dozens of options.
Pet care services, boarding kennels and
catteries are spread across the region from
Lake Macquarie to the Newcastle city
area, Cessnock to Paterson, Bobs Farm to
Lochinvar and Salt Ash and Williamtown.
Not only are there boarding options for
your pet, there are carer services that look
after pets in your own home, with daily
visits for feeding and watering, giving any
medications required, walking and that
much-needed cuddle and pat.
Some boarding services provide air-con-
ditioning for their cats, while home-care
options include sending photographs and
SMS updates so holidaymakers can see for
themselves that Fido or Princess is happy
Critter Sitter, based in Cessnock, has a
number of workers all with certificates in
animal care who visit pets in their own
homes daily or overnight, with services
tailored to whatever the homeowners want,
including taking care of plants and turning
lights on and off. Taking care of everything
including dogs, cats, ferrets and fish, the
service ranges from Singleton to Raymond
Terrace and Nelson Bay, to Newcastle and
Representatives of Sandy Paws, at
Hamilton, meet the family in their home
to discuss what pet care is needed prior to
a holiday, and then give mobile care and
dog walking for about $25 a half hour visit,
with photos and SMS updates sent to the
For animals that are boarded rather than
pet-sat in their own homes, Lochinvar Pet
Motel takes dogs, cats and the odd bird -
up to 45 pets at any given time.
The "motel" has a grooming facility, and
grass yards of up to 1000 sq metres in
which dogs can run. Food-and-care pack-
ages for a small dog are about $115 a week,
medium-size about $122 and large $140,
with cats $91 a week.
Absolutely Purr-rrr-fect Boarding, on
acreage outside Paterson, is a cat-only
property with 26 enclosures, so popular at
$12 a night that it is already fully booked
for the Christmas - New Year period.
These are just a random sample of the
dozens of options available in the Hunter.
If the decision is made to take a pet away
on vacation, then the holiday makers will
be part of a growing trend, as research
by Tourism NSW - which has a range of
pet-friendly accommodation all over NSW
listed on www.visitnsw.com - has found that
pet owners are now less willing to leave
their pets at home when they take holidays
and are keen to find ways to take their
companions with them.
They point out that Wotif.com has
around 150 properties in NSW that offer
pet-friendly accommodation, while Stayz.
com.au has 1115, and bookings of pet-
friendy accommodation through both are
Tourism NSW has given some samples of
pet-friendly accommodation and destina-
tions around the state.
The Medusa hotel in Darlinghurst has
special courtyard rooms for pets and can
also arrange pet nannies and pet-friendly
The Hughenden Boutique Hotel in
Woollahra has a private atrium for dogs
and is near dog-friendly Centennial Park.
Walsh Bay's Sebel Pier One has a dog-sit-
ting service if you want to step out for a
For five-star pets, The Observatory Hotel
has pet-friendly rooms.
When its time to play, Sirius Cove in
Mosman allows dogs on the beach and
in the water all day Monday/Friday and
before 9 am and after 4 pm at weekends.
Centennial Parklands has one of the big-
gest off-leash areas in Sydney plus there's
Rushcutters Bay Park in Darling Point.
Lilianfels has two pet-friendly rooms for
pooches under 20 kg and a five-hectare
garden. Cats and birds can also stay by
Pets are welcome at Turon Gates, west of
Lithgow, which has log cabins set in bush.
Tapion Guesthouse at Oberon welcomes
dogs, cats, birds, fish and guinea pigs.
The Fibro Majestic at Katoomba has des-
ignated dog guest rooms.
The Blue Mountains has a number of off-
leash areas, including the closed road loop
south of Lennox Bridge in Glenbrook,
the old air strip in Blackheath, Catalina
Park in Katoomba and Bulls Camp in
Pettina Park in Coffs Harbour provides
doggy day care.
Tropic Oasis Holiday Villas, also in Coffs,
welcomes pets and is just an eight-minute
walk to dog-friendly beaches.
Byron Stunning Stays has a fenced off-
Dog walking is allowed in many areas of
the Solitary Islands Marine Park, north of
Coffs Harbour, which covers 26 km, and
there are eight off-leash beaches around
Coffs Harbour, including Emerald Beach.
Port Stephens has a number of off-leash
areas including Bagnalls Beach Reserve.
Benjamin's Beach House can accommo-
date two families and their pets.
Gidget Goes To Culburra has a fully
enclosed front yard and well-behaved dogs
are allowed in the house.
Waverly and Lily cottages at Turross
Head provide dog baskets and beds, a fully
fenced garden and rear gate access to a
For exercise, Bodalla Forest Park is acces-
sible to dogs which are also allowed on the
Yadboro Flats area of Yadbro State Forest.
The holiday season is almost upon us, but if a trip is
in the offing, what happens to the family pet
- does it go or does it stay?
Packing up your pets
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