Unfortunately, pets can’t always come with you on vacation, and sometimes keeping them at home with a pet sitter isn’t an option. Your best bet is to take them to a kennel or boarding facility and minimize the worry that comes with leaving them behind. The benefit of kenneling your cat or dog is that they’re taken care of and usually get plenty of social interaction while staying at the facility. You get to enjoy your vacation and pick up your pet when you return home to resume life as usual. The following is information you’ll need when deciding to kennel your pet.
What Kind of Boarding Facility Suits Your Pet?
Modern kennels focus on the well-being of the animals in their charge. They’re more than the kennel-and-cage variety of years past. It is important to look for a kennel that can meet your pet’s needs while you’re away. Some dogs love the chance for social interaction with others, while some may not do well in social situations and prefer to stay in their space instead of playing with others. Alternatively, your cat would likely prefer high places for sleeping and may or may not want lots of stimulation. If you want to check in on your pet while you’re away, look for a kennel that offers webcam access.
Visit the Kennel Before You Commit
Visit the kennel as soon as you know the details of your vacation. Give yourself plenty of time to tour the facility and look for signs of happy animals and cleanliness. Watch how staff interact with the animals. You should look for reasonable handling of the animals, visibly clean surfaces and minimal odor, and animals that respond well to the staff. It’s not easy to keep an animal facility white-glove clean, and there’s always an individual animal that doesn’t want to play well with others. Keep that in mind when looking around to help you judge the quality of the operation.
What Kind of Health Paperwork and Vaccinations are Needed?
Your pet needs protection from bacteria and viruses that easily spread in a communal setting. Ask the kennel what vaccinations they require, then ask your vet for additional protections to give your pet full-spectrum protection from unwanted health issues. Vaccinations will help decrease the likelihood of your pet bringing an infectious illness into the kennel and decrease the chances of contracting an illness during their stay.
Bring Your Pet’s Comforts and Food
If allowed by the boarding facility, make sure to bring your pet’s favorite blankets, toys, and items that comfort them. These things smell like home, have familiarity, and offer a feeling of security for your pet. If you’re concerned about the items getting lost at the facility, get secondary versions of them, and use them for a few days before vacation so they can absorb familiar scents.
Bring your pet’s regular food and treats even if the kennel provides food as a part of the service. It is recommended that your pet not have a sudden change in diet as this can cause gastrointestinal issues. You should leave instructions on how much and how often to feed your pet, along with treat protocols.
Kenneling your pet when you go on vacation keeps them safe and secure. Make sure the facility is a good fit for you and your pet before making a reservation for your four-legged family member.
Please call South Bay Veterinary Hospital at 360-456-7387 in Olympia, WA if you have any questions!