With the holidays fast approaching many pet owners are planning on sending their precious pets to the boarding kennels while they are away on holidays, however it’s not just as simple as shipping them off the day you leave. Following are some tips from Dr. Eloise Bright from Love That Pet on how to prepare your pet for their mini break and essential things you need to think of for their health before placing them in kennel care.
Book early and think outside the square
Certain periods will book out incredibly early for peak seasons, like Christmas for instance! If you haven’t already found somewhere, contact your local boarding kennels or your vet for advice on places that may have vacancies. House sitters and pet sitters are another good option, and often cats are much happier left at home with a daily visit from a friend or family member. Many vet nurses offer pet sitting and house minding if you get completely stuck.
Your pet will need to be up to date with vaccinations and a health check from your vet, particularly for pets over 7 years of age this is always recommended. If your pet is overdue with vaccinations, you will need to vaccinate at least 2 weeks prior to the boarding period. For pets that require any long-term medication or those with particular health concerns, make sure you have everything written down and plenty of medications to last the stay. A summary from your vet on what the condition is and what to look for should your pet’s disease become unstable will help staff who may not have any medical knowledge. If your pet has a complicated medical history, consider making arrangements for your vet to send full medical records to a vet close to the kennel, just in case something arises while you are away.
Beds, blankets, toys and brushes
If the kennel will allow you to bring a bed, crate, blanket or towel that smells of home, it can provide some comfort for our smell-sensitive pets. Research shows that for many pets, human contact while in a kennel situation is more important than play-mates, so if you can pay a little extra for staff to provide daily brushing and grooming for your pet (assuming that is enjoyable to your furry companion!) this can provide some extra comfort.
While boarding kennels will provide their own food, a sudden diet change can often result in a stomach upset and diarrhoea. Providing your normal food (including clear directions and a measuring cup clearly indicating how much should be fed) will make it less likely your pet will suffer from diarrhoea during their stay, and also on their return home.
If you have a worrier at home, consider seeking some advice from your vet on medication or training options that might help them feel happier while you are away. There are many excellent and safe medications and tools you can use to relieve anxiety, but you will need a bit of time to prepare, particularly as many medications take up to 6 weeks to work. Also consider an Adaptil collar for dogs or provide some Feliway spray to be sprayed on a bed or towel daily during your cat’s stay to reduce stress and anxiety.
We hope the holiday period is an enjoyable one for you and for your furry family members. For many pets, boarding is great fun and you need not worry about them if you have prepared them properly for their stay.