Traveling over the holidays? Now is the best time to prepare your pet for their stay away from home.
1. Puppies or kittens should be left with a trusted family member or pet sitter. The very young are more susceptible to infectious diseases that may be encountered in a boarding facility. We don’t recommend boarding animals less than six months unless there are special circumstances.
2. Ideally, pets should be current on all vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to their stay. We recommend dogs be vaccinated against Distemper, Parvo, Rabies, Bordetella (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza. Cats should be vaccinated against Rabies & FVRCP. For the health of all boarding animals and kennel staff, animals should also be on heartworm, intestinal worm and flea & tick protection. Request a copy of your pet’s vaccination records from your veterinarian. Many boarding kennels will want a copy to ensure the safety of all animals.
3. Changing a pet’s diet can often cause gastrointestinal upset. When packing for their stay, include an ample amount of their regular food. Most boarding facilities will allow you to take your pet’s regular diet to be fed during their stay.
4. Let’s face it, staying away from home can cause anxiety. Plan to take a little bit of home to the kennel. A favorite blanket or toy can make your pet’s stay more comfortable. You can also help minimize your pet’s anxiety by staying calm yourself when taking them to board. Some animals that have stress & anxiety issues may benefit from supplements or medications that are prescribed specifically to help relieve these symptoms. We would be glad to discuss the best options for your pet’s needs.
5. If your pet is on a daily prescription medicine, be sure to pack plenty of medication for their entire stay. Also, provide the kennel with a copy of specific instructions regarding the medication dosing.
Hopefully, these tips can make boarding easier and less stressful for you and your pets so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.
Dr. Steve Hampton