Spring is here and summer is close on its heels, and for many of us that means the time to make travel plans has arrived. But what happens to the family pet when the summer travel season is upon us? You could bring him or her with you, which can often be fun, but the time and expense of pet-friendly travel plans may be more than many pet owners want to deal with.
Asking family or friends to watch your pet isn’t always the best option either, which leaves many pet owners to look at boarding kennels as the solution to their pet care problem.
Professional pet boarding can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your pet is well taken care of while you are away. Indeed, more than 30 million pet owners utilize professional boarding kennels for their pets each year.
Preparing for Pet Boarding
Not all pet boarding facilities are alike in terms of the quality of care your pet will receive. To make sure your pet has a safe and enjoyable boarding experience, do your homework before you select a kennel:
- Ask for (and follow up on) references. Know what you want in a kennel and be prepared with a list of questions when you call.
- Take a tour of the facility. Pay attention to cleanliness, odors, noise levels, temperature, sleeping quarters, and exercise areas. Staff should be friendly and helpful.
- Inquire about emergency policies and procedures. What is the procedure if your pet gets sick or is injured?
- Ask about supervision – are the pets supervised 24/7? If not, what are the means of ensuring their safety?
- Reputable boarding facilities will require that all pets receive their core vaccines prior to boarding.
- Ask about add-on services, such as grooming or wellness exams, that can be combined with boarding.
- Whenever possible, choose a boarding facility that is connected to or located within a veterinary hospital. Having trained veterinary staff on hand can be invaluable in the event your pet experiences an illness, injury, or has some other need for professional veterinary care.
- Pack some comforts of home for your pet! A favorite blanket, pillow, or toy can go a long way toward making a pet feel more comfortable while away from you. Including daily treats for your pet is another way to provide enjoyment and reduce stress.
- Make sure to provide the facility with any medications or supplements your pet is taking, along with instructions for administration.
- Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian prior to your pet’s boarding stay to make sure he or she is up-to-date on all vaccines and parasite preventatives.
- If possible, exercise your pet before dropping him or her off at the facility. Burning excess energy will help your pet stay relaxed and calm.
- Pets can sense our emotions. Stay calm and confident during drop off, and don’t linger too long. A long, drawn-out goodbye process can be confusing and upsetting to pets.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your partners in pet care at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns you may have regarding pet boarding. We also encourage you to make an appointment to visit our luxury Pet Hotel, offering safe and comfortable boarding services for both dogs and cats.