Healthy Tips for Pet Boarding
No dog or cat lover can enjoy a vacation unless the family pet is safe and happy at the kennel. Here's how to pick a good one.
Finding safe vacation care for your dog can be nerve-racking. But these tricks make saying good-bye a little easier:
Book A Room
To find a reputable kennel, read online reviews and ask friends or a vet for recommendations. But before you settle on one, check it out in person. Make sure cages and dog runs are clean, dry, well lit, and secure. Move on if you observe dark, damp basements; a lack of supervision; or the odor of wet dog or feces, suggesting the dogs aren't walked enough. (They need three or four five- to ten-minute walks a day.) The facility should require proof of vaccination and that all dogs and cats be on flea and tick preventives or check to see if they are free of them. Finally, iron out an emergency plan: Leave your contact information and instructions for what to do if you can't be reached.
Ease Separation Anxiety
Some dogs get anxious at the first sign you’re going away. To make leaving home stress-free, avoid a chaotic departure. If preparing for a trip is stressful for your dog, consider bringing your dog to the kennel before you start to pack – even before the suitcases come out. The less stress your dog feels before leaving home, the better he/she will feel and the faster they adjust. You know your dog best, so consider this when booking.
We know departing from your dog can be hard, but for his/her sake, avoid an emotional goodbye. Your emotions may make your dog anxious. So just hand the technician the leash with a smile and a happy word to your dog. Your dog will be fine. You will be too. Bring your dog's food, medication and some toys to make him feel at home. After you kiss him good-bye, ease your own separation anxiety by calling to check in.
Lots of people feel guilty when they leave their dog at a kennel. If this is you, take our word for it, your dog doesn’t feel nearly as bad being left as you do about leaving. Honest! Not that your dog won’t miss being with you – but if he has boarded before, he knows you’ll be back. (If he/she hasn’t boarded before, consider boarding your dog overnight to start your dog off right with a positive boarding experience.) Your dog won’t feel abandoned, promise!