Are you planning an upcoming trip and can’t bring your favorite furry family members along? If so, you might be looking into boarding your dog or cat. Cat and dog boarding are both safe and convenient options for pet owners who need a place for their pets to stay a while, but it’s important to learn everything you can about how to prepare before the boarding date arrives.
In the article below, you’ll find information on some of the best ways to prep for your pet boarding experience so you and your pet can both relax and feel at ease. If you have any questions, call Arbor Pet Hospital in Wilton Manors at (954) 565-1896.
Find a good, reputable boarding facility.
The first and most important step of this process is to find a high-quality boarding facility with a great reputation. There are sadly many unpleasant boarding facilities out there, and you don’t want to risk your pet ending up in a dirty or dangerous location while you’re out of town.
To find a good facility, ask around for word-of-mouth recommendations and read online reviews. Call the facility with as many questions as you like; if they are reputable, they will be happy to answer them. Ask if you can schedule an in-person tour or a virtual tour if the facility is following strict COVID protocols.
Ask about socialization and interaction.
Check in with the boarding facility to see how they socialize pets during a stay. For dogs, find out if they allow the dogs to interact at all with each other and ask how long their walks are. Determine whether or not they offer one-on-one playtime as well.
For cats, find out if the cats interact with each other at all, and if so, how much supervision they receive while interacting. Ask for more information about the main cat play area to be sure it is in a safe, secure environment that will not allow cats to escape.
Get vaccinations and other required procedures up to date.
Any reputable boarding facility will not let you board your dog or cat unless they are up to date on their shots. This means you will need to check in with your veterinarian and have your pet’s vaccinations updated as necessary before your trip. You will also need to get a copy of your pet’s vaccination history for the boarding facility before you can book a stay.
Call the boarding facility well ahead of time so you can find out which vaccinations they require. If they tell you they don’t require anything—or even if they only require rabies—it’s a good idea to look elsewhere.
Make sure to have enough medications and food on hand for your pet.
If your pet takes medications, you’ll want to check in with the vet well in advance of your boarding date so you can ensure they have enough of their medicine available while you’re out of town. Bring the medication in its original bottle along with its dosage instructions when you arrive at the facility.
Bring more than enough food and treats from home for your pet during their stay, too. Don’t forget to write clear, concise notes about how much food they should receive and when they should be fed.
Get your pet used to being left alone.
It’s never easy for your pet when you leave them alone, but it’s important to get them used to the idea before you need to use a boarding facility. Practice leaving your pet at home alone for several hours to see how they behave.
This can also give you a chance to check in on your pet in terms of separation anxiety. You’ll be able to tell whether or not your pet may need to be on anxiety medication when they are left alone.
Bring some toys or blankets from home.
When boarding a dog or cat from home, it’s a good idea to bring items that smell like home. This way, your pet will be reminded of their family and household while they are not in their usual, comfortable environment.
Check with the boarding facility ahead of time to ensure you are allowed to bring these kinds of items. Don’t bring items that should not be left with your pet while they are unsupervised.
As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re going to be boarding your pets, but it’s not too complicated once you get started. By following the guidelines listed above, you should be well on your way to choosing the perfect boarding facility and helping your pet have a great stay while you’re out of town.
Remember, too, that if your pet is not a good candidate for boarding, you can always look for pet sitting services instead. These services will come to your home and take care of your pet while you’re away if need be. If you have any questions, call Arbor Pet Hospital at (954) 565-1896.