Taking your dog to a pet boarding facility is a great way to make sure he or she is in good hands while you are away. Here are four tips that can help you prepare for boarding your dog.
Make Sure Vaccines and Flea Treatments are Current
Pet boarding services have strict requirements for every dog that they keep. It is a good idea to schedule a flea treatment within a week or two of the date that you will be dropping your dog off, even if your dog doesn't appear to have a flea problem. This will assure the boarding facility that your dog will not spread fleas to other pets that they are boarding.
Boarding facilities also will not accept any dogs that aren't up to date on their vaccinations. Even if the boarding facility you have chosen is extremely clean, there is always a risk of communicable disease when your dog is socializing with other dogs. Keeping your dog's vaccinations current will protect both your dog and the other dogs in the facility.
Ask the Staff the Right Questions
Preparing your dog is not the only factor in boarding preparation; you also need to be sure that the boarding facility's staff is knowledgeable and prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances. One of the first things you should ask is what the facility does in the case of a medical emergency with one of the pets. The best facilities will have a veterinarian on call at all times, and some staff technicians may also be veterinary technicians.
You should also ask questions that are specific to your pet's needs. If your dog has a sensitive digestive system, you should ask if they will be able to provide him with his usual diet. You should also inform the staff about any regular medications that your dog needs and make sure they will be able to provide them on schedule. You should also ask how large the dogs' play area is and how many hours per day the dogs are allowed out of their kennels, especially if you have a particularly active breed.
Make an Early Visit to the Boarding Facility
It will be much less stressful for your dog if he is already somewhat familiar with the boarding facility before you leave him there for an extended period. Taking your dog to the facility before you go on your trip is an excellent way to acclimate him to the new environment. Once the staff has made sure that they can accept your dog, he will have a chance to become familiar with the handlers at the facility as well as a kennel much like the one he will be staying in.
Taking your dog for a visit to the boarding facility will also give you a chance to see first-hand how he interacts with other dogs that are staying there. If it is within your budget, you may even want to allow your dog to stay overnight after the staff has answered questions and you have watched your dog's interactions. This will make it more likely that your dog will not become aggressive or extremely stressed while you are away.
Keep Emotions in Check When Dropping Your Dog Off
When the day finally comes to drop your dog off at the boarding facility, it is easy for pet owners to become emotional. It can help keep your dog's stress level low if you keep your emotions in check while you drop him off. Your dog will notice if you seem sad or especially affectionate before you leave, and this may make him even more anxious about your departure.
Keep these tips in mind when you are considering pet boarding so you can be sure that both you and your pet are ready for your time away from each other.