One of the hardest parts of being a dog owner is making arrangements for the care of your dog while you’re out of town. As much as you love your pet, it’s just not always feasible to travel with your dog. This is especially true when you’re visiting someone else’s home. Since pets need not only food and time outdoors but also play and affection, one of the best options is boarding your dog. Whether you board your dog at a vet’s office or a pet hotel, you can generally expect some of the following:
First of all, you’ll need to make a reservation as far in advance as possible. Just like human hotels, dog hotels can get booked, especially around the holidays and other special occasions. Be prepared to be flexible or try different places until you find one that can accommodate your schedule.
Next, make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. Most dog kennels will not accept any animal that has not had the required immunizations, and some may also require additional ones, like bordatella or flu. You’ll need to provide proof, so bring documentation from your dog’s veterinarian. In addition, make sure that your dog is flea-free. Most kennels will require a flea bath or other treatment at your expense if your dog shows signs of any parasites.
Bring whatever you want your dog to have and label it clearly. For example, most kennels provide food, but it may not be the food your dog is used to. If you want to make sure your pet is kept on his regular diet, just bring in the food and label it with your pet’s name and instructions. You may also want to bring bedding and favorite toys to help your dog feel more comfortable.
While all kennels provide exercise for dogs, they don’t guarantee that dogs will be allowed to interact socially. Some kennels may want to observe your dog’s behavior before making a judgment about his ability to socialize, while other kennels avoid potential problems by keeping dogs separate.
When a parent leaves a small child at daycare for the first time, he or she needs to say a quick good-bye and leave in order to minimize the child’s distress. It works the same way with dogs. Your dog will accept the new surroundings more quickly if you don’t draw out the goodbye.