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Tips For Boarding Your Pet 

April 1, 2024

Do you have any upcoming vacation plans? If so, you may be taking your furry companion to a pet hotel soon. Finding a great spot to take your pet is critical. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. A local Sandstone, MN veterinarian goes over a few general faux paws, and offers some helpful tips in this article.

Do: Check The Boarding Kennel Out Thoroughly

Finding a good kennel can not only help make sure your pet is safe, comfy, and well-cared for, it can also prevent a lot of errors and confusion. Do your due diligence on this. Read reviews and ask for referrals from friends, family, and your Sandstone, MN veterinarian. 

Ask the kennel to show you the boarding space where your pet will be residing. The spaces should be clean. comfortable, climate-controlled, and well-ventilated.

Make A Packing List

You’ll want to know what is and isn’t allowed, as certain areas may have different rules and restrictions for things like bedding and toys. We always recommend packing an additional few days’ worth of food, supplements, and medicine in case you are delayed.

Do Provide Key Information

You may be required to supply specific details about your pet. You don’t necessarily need to tell them about the time your dog adopted a squirrel, or that he is obsessed with your fuzzy bear slippers. However, you should let the kennel know about anything key pertaining to your pet’s health or behavior. For example, if Fido is allergic to chicken or afraid of other dogs, you’ll want to let them know. Provide key info both verbally and in writing.

Do Not Adjust Your Pet’s Diet Just Before Boarding

Boarding ensures that your furry friend will be safe, secure, and well-cared for while you are away. For pets, though, it could be a little overwhelming. No matter how great the kennel is, it’s probably safe to say that your pet would rather be at home. Any large changes, such as moving to a new setting, can be extremely stressful for our animal companions. As with people, pets sometimes get upset stomachs from stress. To avoid digestive problems, food changes should always be done gradually. A diet change and a kennel stay could be a double whammy, especially for a pet with a sensitive stomach. Do not make any changes to your pet’s diet right before you board them, unless of course your vet recommends it.

Do Pack Some Comfort Toys

Our four-legged friends can get incredibly attached to their people. After all, Fido’s world revolves around you! If you can, bring a comfort object, such as a favorite toy or a t-shirt with your smell. This will help soothe and relax your pet while you are away.

Modify Your Pet’s Schedule In Advance

Pets are very much creatures of habit. It’s always better to make adjustments gradually. Try to figure out what your furry friend’s daily routine will be at the kennel. If it will be considerably different from what they are used to, make the necessary adjustments ahead of time.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute To Reserve Your Pet’s Spot

Kennels can get pretty busy, especially during busy travel periods, such as holidays and summer vacations. While you might be able to book a slot on short notice, it is not guaranteed. Book your pet’s boarding space as early as possible! This goes double if you are planning to travel during a busy holiday time.

Read The Paperwork Carefully

Every kennel functions differently. This influences many different aspects of pet boarding and care. What to carry, how often your pet will be walked or played with, emergency protocols, needs, and perks: all of these things differ from place to place. For example, several kennels provide extra walks or playtime as an upsell. Make sure you understand exactly what is and is not included.

Ask all The Questions

Kennels all work differently. You definitely do not want to expect that your new kennel will operate in the same manner as the last one. Drop-off and pick-up timings and processes, add-ons, business hours, and even what you should and shouldn’t pack can differ drastically between locations. Ask all of your questions!

Do Not Forget To Provide The Necessary Paperwork

Any decent kennel will ask for specific paperwork, such as vaccination evidence. Check that you have submitted all of the essential materials. Do this as far in advance as possible.

This is one benefit to boarding with your vet. Your Sandstone, MN animal clinic would already have that information on file.

Verify Your Contact Information

Kennels usually confirm information, but it is always a good idea to double-check what they have on file. This is particularly important if you have moved, changed to a different veterinarian, or gotten a new phone number. You should also make sure your backup contacts are up to date. 

Don’t Prolong Your Goodbyes

Leaving your beloved furry companion behind can be difficult, especially when they give you that sad, accusing look. However, protracted, drawn-out goodbyes will simply make things more difficult for both of you. Your best bet? Take the rip-the-Band Aid-Off-Quick way and keep goodbyes short and simple. There will be plenty of time for cuddling later, when you fetch your four-legged buddy from his pet hotel. 

Do: Find An Excellent Kennel And Stick To It

Your pet’s kennel should feel like their second home. The more frequently they visit the same location, the easier it will be for them. There is a lot to be said for familiarity! 

That also applies to you. Once you’re familiar with a specific kennel and how it operates, planning your pet’s overnight stay should be relatively easy and straightforward.

 Do: Try A Short Stay As A Trial Run

Before you leave your furry friend at the hotel for a week or more, take them for a short journey, such as an overnight stay. This will give you and your animal companion a sense of what to expect. It will also be easier on your furry bestie, because they will already be comfortable with their temporary home.

Do Choose a Great Backup Contact

Typically, kennels request backup contact information. This makes sense: most people only board their pets when they leave town. It is not uncommon for people to be inaccessible while traveling. This could be because their cell phone is out of range, or simply because they are in a different time zone. If something happens while you’re gone, the kennel has to make sure that they can contact someone.

Your backup contact should be someone you completely trust to make decisions regarding your pet’s care. In an emergency, that may even entail authorizing veterinary care, up to and including surgical treatments! Ideally, this should be someone who lives close and is acquainted with your furry friend.

Have a talk with your backup to ensure that your wishes are clear. It may be best to put what you can in writing. 

Book Boarding Or Appointments At Your Sandstone, MN Pet Clinic

Do you wish to set up boarding for your dog or cat? Please contact us, your local Sandstone, MN veterinary clinic, at any time.