Whether you are heading out of town for a week, or your home is being repaired for a day or two, pet boarding is a valuable service for cats, dogs, and their owners. You may worry about leaving your beloved pet in someone else’s hands, but preparation can put your mind at ease.
Before you make boarding reservations for your pet at the first facility you find, consider the following tips to make the most of your furry pal’s boarding experience.
#1: Determine your pet’s personality
Before signing up your pup for an extended stay at an overnight doggy daycare facility, carefully consider your pet’s personality. Shy, nervous pets are typically more comfortable at home under a pet sitter’s care. Pets who enjoy companionship, but only with people they choose, may do well staying with a familiar friend or family member. Unflappable pets who are content in any situation can handle a boarding facility with ease, and will likely enjoy the activities and interactions that a full-service pet resort offers.
#2: Research boarding options
Many types of boarding and pet-sitting options are available, and your choice should depend on your pet’s needs and your wishes. Consider whether a standard kennel, luxury pet resort, or in-home pet sitter would best suit your pet, and then look for a reputable facility with trustworthy, experienced staff. If your pet has medical issues, you should consider a boarding facility associated with a veterinary hospital, or in-home pet care from a credentialed veterinary technician.
Ask for recommendations from friends and family who have boarded their pets, and read online reviews of various facilities and services. Ensure the facility is licensed, insured, and clean. If possible, take a virtual tour of their website or social media to determine if your pet would have adequate space, a comfortable sleeping area, and a safe and secure exercise area.
#3: Schedule a wellness visit for your pet
Before booking your pet’s accommodations, verify that they are in good health and up to date on essential vaccinations and prevention. Schedule a wellness visit with your Juanita Hills Animal Hospital veterinarian to discuss your pet’s health, or their comfort and wellbeing while they are boarding. For example, if you know your pet will be anxious in a boarding facility, but in-home pet care is not an option, ask about anti-anxiety aids to alleviate your pet’s stress.
#4: Set up a meet-and-greet for your pet
Your pet’s response to a boarding facility, family member’s home, and the caretakers you are considering are key to determining your furry pal’s wellbeing in a boarding situation. An initial meet-and-greet will go a long way toward making your pet feel comfortable while you are gone.
To build a relationship with your pet’s caretakers, come armed with your pet’s favorite treats. Watch how your pet interacts and ensure they will be comfortable and content being cared for by the boarding facility staff or your family.
A meet-and-greet before scheduling boarding arrangements also allows you to check that the facility that will be your pet’s home away from home is clean, well-ventilated, spacious, and comfortable.
#5: Pack your pet’s belongings
Once you’ve scheduled your pet’s boarding accommodations, it’s time to pack their bags. Make a list of your pet’s essentials so you don’t forget anything important. Include the following:
- Food for your pet’s stay, plus extra to avoid running out
- A couple of favorite toys
- A preferred blanket or bed
- Leash and collar with ID tags
- Carrier for transportation
- A copy of your pet’s vaccination records and medical history
- Prescription medications
- Parasite prevention, if necessary
Ask the boarding facility for their recommendations on what you should bring and what you should leave at home. Many places supply their own bowls and bedding, but may suggest you bring your pet’s for comfort and familiarity.
#6: Leave clear instructions about your pet’s care
When you leave your pet at a boarding facility, with a family member, or a pet sitter who will be coming into your home, leave clear instructions about caring for your four-legged friend. Notes about feeding schedules and amounts, medication administration and dosing, and walking routines are important. Also, ensure you leave your contact information, emergency contact information in case you can’t be reached, and the phone numbers of your primary care veterinarian and the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.
Before boarding your pet, ensure they are in good health and current on their necessary vaccinations. Give our Juanita Hills Animal Hospital team a call to schedule a wellness visit to get your four-legged family member up to date for safe boarding.