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How to prepare for holiday pet boarding


The holiday season is a time when many family and friends come together. If you’ll be going home for the holidays, that trip may or may not include the family pet.

For people with a pet at home, it might not always be possible to bring the pet along during holiday excursions. Therefore, arrangements must be made for the animal while you will be away. From pet sitters to boarding facilities, pet parents must decide where to turn.

When preparing a pet for boarding, there are some suggested tips for making the process go smoothly. The process begins even before you’re bringing your pet to the boarder.

Finding a boarder

Most animals are like extended members of the family. Therefore, pet parents want to find a facility that will take good care of the animal and ensure its comfort and safety. Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best ways to get a feel for a particular boarder.

When visiting facilities, look for certain things, including cleanliness, the number of employees available, the appearance of the animals, the areas where the pets are allowed to go and things of this nature.

Ask certain questions, including how pets are housed and exercised. Find out if you are allowed to bring in food for the pet and his or her own treats to minimize stomach discomfort. Investigate how a health issue is handled, including whether your veterinarian will be called or if the facility has a relationship with another vet.

Steer clear of facilities that do not offer satisfactory answers to all of your questions or seem opposed to your ideas and concerns.

Preparing the pet

Many boarding facilities require that pets be vaccinated prior to their stays. The boarder may have specific immunizations that are required. Be sure to update vaccinations a month prior to boarding the animal. Sometimes the vaccination can produce minor symptoms of the actual illness, which the boarder may mistake as a sick dog.

Get a vet check-up just to ensure your pet’s health, especially if the animal is old and has chronic conditions. At this point, double-check medications and get extra supplies for the boarder.

Bathe the pet and keep up with flea/tick prevention so the animal will be protected when in close proximity to other animals.

Checking in

Bring your pet to the boarder early and pack along some of the animal’s comfort toys or belongings, including a piece of clothing that has your scent. Clearly mark bags of food and any items you bring so they will be identified for your dog or cat.

Leave contact information with the boarder and review the information on how long the stay will be. Inquire as to what times are best to phone in and check up on the pet. Some high-tech boarding facilities may have cameras in the building that you can access via the Internet to see the goings-on while away.

Leaving the pet may pluck at your heartstrings, so it’s best not to linger, otherwise you could add to your anxiety and also the dog or cat’s level of nervousness. If you do your homework researching facilities, chances are you have found a boarder that will provide adequate care for your pet and you’ll return to find a pet who is healthy and happy to see you.

— MNS

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Tags: Featured Story, Pets

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