If you are reading this now, you have probably already received the hard news, that you have to book early if you plan on boarding your pet during the holidays. Many animal hospitals and pet boarding kennels will place you on a waiting list if they get a last minute cancellation so all hope may not be entirely lost, but for now you have learned our number one tip for holiday pet boarding.
More Holiday Pet Boarding Tips
- Book Early – This is not just around the Christmas holidays. Other major holidays and summer months get booked well in advance too. You have enough to do to get ready for a trip, looking for a last minute place to board your pet is not what you want to do.
- Check Out the Facility – Visit potential pet boarding facilities in person. One great advantage of boarding with a animal hospital is that you know veterinary care is readily available should a need arise. If you are looking at a boarding kennel, find out if a veterinarian is on call 24/7. The facility should have a professional, friendly and knowledgeable staff. You also want to check for check for overall cleanliness of the property, the size of the enclosures, and if the animals (mostly dogs) have protected access to the outdoors.
- Have Your Pet’s Health Record Available – A lot of excellent boarding facilities will insist that your family pet be up-to-date on its shots. Bring a copy of your pet’s health record with you as you visit the boarding facilities. That way, if you find a kennel you like, you can register your animal immediately. Also, most boarding facilities will ask that your dog be immunized for kennel cough (bordetella) before being dropped off. Kennel cough is an extremely contagious upper-respiratory infection that spreads quickly in the close quarters of a boarding center. Contact your veterinarian about the vaccination and do it at least a week before it’s time to board your dog.
- Bring Special Foods or Medications – Make sure the facility can handle any special dietary or health needs and can administer them as needed. You may also want to bring food from home that your pets are used to. Your pet will be under enough stress without to change diets while at the pet boarding facility.
- Know When You Can Pick Up Your Pet – Be sure you are clear on what the operating hours are and when you can make arrangements to pick up your pet. Let the boarding facility have plenty of advance notice so that they can bathe and dry your pet before pickup. Dogs, in particular, will smell a lot better if they get a bath before you pick them up.