Pet Boarding Basics

Taking your pet with you isn’t always an option when you travel, and you may consider boarding your four-legged friend. Our Animal Hospital of Parkland team knows how stressful leaving your pet behind can be, and we offer advice to help you prepare your pet for their boarding experience.

Find the right boarding facility for your pet

Research numerous boarding facilities to find one that fits your needs. Tips to help you find the best facility for you and your pet include:

  • Reaching out to other pet owners — Ask your friends and family members who own pets if they recommend a particular boarding facility. You also can ask for recommendations on social media.
  • Checking with your veterinarian — Our team is happy to offer advice about reputable boarding facilities in our area.
  • Looking for accredited facilities — Choose a boarding facility that is accredited by a reputable organization, such as the Pet Care Services Association, so you can ensure it meets appropriate pet care standards and ethics.
  • Reading the reviews — Read reviews posted by previous clients to determine if the facility is rated well.

Visit the pet boarding facility

Once you find a boarding facility you like, visit the establishment to ensure it is satisfactory. Considerations include:

  • General appearance — The facility should look and smell neat and clean.
  • Security — Fences, gates, and cages should be sturdy and well-maintained to prevent escapes. 
  • Safety — Places where pets are housed and exercised should be free of sharp edges and small objects that they can swallow. In addition, firefighting equipment should be easily accessible.
  • Sanitation — The employees should have a strict schedule to clean and disinfect the facility.
  • Supervision — Pets should be checked frequently by a trained individual who knows how to detect illness and distress.
  • Health care — All pets should have access to clean, fresh water, and the facility should have a set protocol to handle a sick or injured pet.
  • Comfort — Housing units should be maintained at a comfortable temperature, be well-ventilated, and have bedding so pets can rest well. 
  • Exercise needs — Exercise areas for dogs should provide shelter from wind, rain, and direct sunlight, and be large enough that they can run. Cat enclosures should be large enough to permit stretching and allow them to move around easily.

Take your pet to the veterinarian

You want to ensure your pet has a clean bill of health and is up to date on their vaccinations before boarding them. Considerations include:

  • Wellness check — To help prevent a veterinary emergency during your pet’s stay, schedule a wellness check so our team can ensure your pet doesn’t have any underlying health issues.
  • Vaccinations — Reputable boarding facilities require up-to-date vaccinations, including:
    • Dogs — Vaccination requirements include rabies, distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, Bordetella, and canine influenza virus.
    • Cats — Vaccination requirements include rabies, panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline leukemia. Some facilities also may require a negative feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) test.
  • Parasite control — Your pet should be parasite-free, including fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites, and they should be on a comprehensive parasite preventive. 

Consider a trial run for your pet

If your pet has never spent time away from home, you may consider a trial run to help them adjust to their new home away from home. An overnight stay allows them to meet the boarding facility staff, investigate the new environment, and feel more at ease when left for a longer period of time.

Alert the boarding facility staff to your pet’s special needs

If your pet has special needs, let the boarding facility staff know to ensure they are able to accommodate these requirements. Considerations include:

  • Medical conditions — If your pet has a medical condition, ensure the staff can administer any medicine or treatments necessary and determine if your pet’s condition worsens.
  • Separation anxiety — If your pet has separation anxiety, ensure the staff is able to provide extra attention and won’t leave your pet alone for extended periods.
  • Escape artist — If your pet is adept at escaping enclosed areas, ensure the staff is aware so they can take the necessary precautions.

Pack for your pet

Ensure your pet has the resources they need while at the boarding facility. Items to pack include:

  • Food — Bringing your pet’s food ensures their diet isn’t changed suddenly, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Provide detailed instructions about how much food to give your pet at each meal. If possible, separate their meal portions into small plastic bags to make feeding easier.
  • Identification — Ensure your pet wears a collar and legible identification tags that have your current contact information.
  • Medication — If your pet needs medication, provide enough for their stay at the boarding facility, and ensure the staff knows such details as the correct dosage, how to administer the medication, and how often to administer it.
  • Toys — Pack your pet’s favorite toy, and include a few extra to help keep them occupied while you are away.
  • Your scent — Include an item, such as recently worn clothing, that has your scent to help comfort your pet during their stay.

This advice should help your pet have a positive boarding experience. Contact our Animal Hospital of Parkland team to schedule a wellness examination if you are planning on boarding your pet soon.

By |2024-02-14T23:50:26+00:00July 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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