Boarding Your Pet
BEFORE YOU DROP YOUR PET OFF TO THE KENNEL
A puppy or kitten's first boarding experience can either cause a great deal of stress and fear, or it can be a confidence building experience. Take some extra steps when looking for a suitable place to board your pet, checking them out as carefully as you would a daycare for your son or daughter. One of the things that you will want to be sure of is that the place you are leaving your pet requires proper immunizations. Dogs should have current vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, and Bordatella. All cats should have a current Rabies and Distemper vaccinations, and I strongly suggest that they be immunized against Feline Leukemia (which is highly contagious). The place you're checking out should be extremely clean and should not smell like animals are there. Talk to the people who will be caring for your pet and also try to observe what kind of interaction they have with pets. Animals know if the person handling them are real animal lovers or people who just want a paycheck. Check out the place your pet will be actually sleeping. If you have a dog, inspect the area where they will walk him; if you're leaving a cat, check out the area the cat will play. If you have an elderly pet you may take some added steps as elderly pets pay a tremendous price when subjected to stress. Stiff joints and visual/hearing limitations need patience and understanding during boarding. Be sure to ask what extra efforts they make toward their elderly visitors if this is an issue for your pet. These tips are useful when looking for dog day care or long term overnight care for your pet.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING WITH YOU
It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian for a printout of your pet's vaccination record - take this proof of immunization with you when you check your pet in. You should also leave information on how to get a hold of your vet. Bring in an itinerary of where you could be reached with phone numbers or a friend's phone number to act in your behalf. A familiar stuffed animal, a big chew bone, or something to play with can make all the difference. A blanket with your familiar smell will be appreciated. An extra blanket will be appreciated by your pet in case the temperature is colder then what they are use to. Write your name and your pet's name on anything you leave and hope to take home with you. If you have older collars or leashes use them instead of a good one as they often get misplaced. Bring some of your pet's favorite treats; send a little extra so that they can give these liberally.
Questions to Ask a Pet boarding Kennel:
- What services are included in the fee?
- Does the pet boarding kennel provide additional services that require cost extra money? For example Making an appointment for a bath early on the day of your return is often a useful service.
- Will your pet be kept in a cage or a run?
- Will your pet receive daily exercise? How much, what kind, and for how long?
- Can the pet boarding kennel provide references by satisfied customers that you can check?
- How much time will the kennel staff spend with your pet each day?
- Does the kennel staff fully understand your pet’s dietary and medical needs?
- How would the pet boarding kennel handle a medical emergency?
Relax and enjoy your trip: Remember that you are leaving your pet in the hands of capable professionals. Pets in a good kennel receive lots of attention, and normally have a good visit.
After Boarding: Bringing Your Pet Home From the Kennel:
1. Arrange to pick up your pet during the kennel's normal business hours.
2. Ask about your pet's stay at the kennel: Did your pet adapt well to the environment, caretakers and food? Was their anything unusual in your pets behavior during the stay? This information will be entered on the kennel's records, to assist kennel personnel in caring for your pet during the next stay, and will help you in the future, if you ever use a different kennel.
3. Contact your kennel operator if you have any questions about your pet's behavior after returning home: Sometimes pet owners become concerned about behavior of their pet when they return home. Many dogs will sleep a lot for the first few days back home. This is usually a result of being in a calmer environment, after the the excitement of the kennel. If you observe anything that is out of the ordinary, contact your boarding kennel operator to discuss your observations.