Having an older pet with diabetes is nerve-racking. There is so much that needs to be done to maintain your pet's health, including checking his/her blood sugar a couple of times a day, and feeding him/her regular meals to maintain blood sugar levels. What if you want to go on vacation? What if work wants you to travel halfway around the world for business?
In most instances, you could not take your diabetic pet with you. You may also be too worried about leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member because of the seriousness of your pet's illness. Boarding your pet almost seems like a non-option, but how can you be sure that your pet will be safe and healthy? Here are some solutions that work, and they will help relieve your guilt or anxiety about leaving your pet behind for a few days.
Board Your Pet with Your Vet
If your veterinarian boards pets, ask if your pet can stay with your vet. This is one good option for making sure your pet has excellent around-the-clock care for his/her diabetes. Your vet and/or the vet techs in the clinic assume responsibility for your pet's blood sugar checks and proper feeding schedule. If something were to go wrong with your pet's blood sugar, then he/she would be in the ideal location for emergency medical care. If your vet does not board, you can ask if he/she would do "house calls" at a boarding facility.
Veterinary "House Calls"
If your vet does not board pets, ask your vet if he/she does "house calls" at any local pet day care and boarding centers. Some vets will provide medical services to their feline and canine patients when the patients are at certain boarding and pet day care centers. If you have a vet who performs this type of service, then you can board your pet at one of the pet day care centers that your vet frequents. This removes the responsibility of checking blood sugars, maintaining exact feeding schedules, and administering insulin from the day care staff and places it on your vet's shoulders instead.
Boarding Services at Animal Shelters
In some cities and states, you may board your dog or cat at the local animal shelter. As long as the shelters are not overflowing to max capacity, they offer a little extra space on a first-come, first served basis. Given a month's advance notice, you may be able to secure the care and boarding for your pet at an animal shelter. Just make sure the shelter has everything they need to know on paper about your pet's diabetic condition, medications, and what needs to be done in an emergency.
Additionally, make sure you only sign the paperwork for boarding and not for surrender. You do not want to come home from your trip and find that your dog or cat has been adopted out to another family by accident! While in the care of the animal shelter, other veterinarians may examine or treat your pet, so sign the healthcare forms granting permission to the shelter to conduct such exams as needed.
Varying Fees and Distances
Ideally, you would prefer to take your animal with you. Because you cannot, you have to make a choice as to where your diabetic pet will stay. There are varying fees based upon the above locations, as well as access to adequate veterinary care. You will have to make your choice and secure it at least two weeks prior to boarding a plane. This gives your pet the very best possible choice in care.