6 Tips to Prepare Your Pet for Summertime Boarding

Summer vacations, whether you visit an exciting new location or an old family favorite, are the highlights of the season. While leaving your four-legged family member behind while you jet off on an adventure can cause stress and anxiety, you can relax, knowing your pet is in good hands, by implementing the following pet boarding tips.

1: Evaluate pet boarding options

When selecting a pet boarding facility or pet sitter, you should first carefully consider several factors. First, ask trusted sources such as friends and family, or check online reviews for recommendations. A facility or individual with a stellar reputation can offer peace of mind while you’re away.

Next, assess the environment provided for your pet. If you’re choosing a boarding facility, visit in person to ensure it’s clean, secure, and equipped with amenities your pet needs, such as a spacious enclosure for your dog or a cozy nook for your cat. Similarly, when choosing a pet sitter, discuss your pet’s routine and ensure the sitter can accommodate your pet’s feeding schedule, exercise requirements, and special needs.

2: Schedule your pet’s care in advance

The summer season is a popular time for travel, as children don’t have to miss school days and families can enjoy time together. While holiday weekends are the busiest travel times, family adventures can mean crowded pet boarding facilities and pet sitters who are booked all summer.

To ensure your pet is cared for while you’re away, schedule caretaking services as soon as you have made your vacation plans. Canceling a reservation and potentially losing a deposit is much better than scrambling at the last minute to find someone to care for your pet.

3: Pack your pet’s necessities

When preparing for your pet’s boarding stay, pack the essentials that will ensure their comfort while you’re away. Start with their usual food and treats, providing enough for the duration of their stay, plus a little extra in case of unforeseen circumstances. Pack their favorite toys or blankets to provide a sense of familiarity and comfort in the new environment and to help ease any anxiety about being away from home.

Additionally, include your pet’s medication, clearly labeled with dosage instructions and administration times. Inform the boarding facility staff or pet sitter about your pet’s medical conditions or special needs, ensuring they can provide appropriate care and attention. Don’t forget to pack grooming supplies, such as brushes, ear cleaner, and shampoo, if necessary.

Lastly, provide detailed instructions outlining your pet’s daily routine, including feeding times, exercise preferences, and any behavioral quirks or preferences. Include your contact information and emergency contact details to ensure you can be reached in case of any concerns or emergencies.

4: Update your pet’s identification

Ensure your pet has current collar identification tags and microchip registration information with at least two working phone numbers. If your pet escapes from a caretaker or a boarding facility, multiple identification forms—including a permanent microchip—can help ensure a happy reunion.

5: Visit your veterinarian

Before entrusting your pet to a boarding facility or pet sitter, schedule a veterinary visit. Your veterinarian will ensure your pet is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations before their stay. Many boarding facilities require proof of vaccinations to prevent contagious diseases spreading among pets, so up-to-date vaccinations help avoid complications or delays when your pet checks in.

Your veterinarian can also recommend a combination parasite prevention product that protects your pet from fleas, intestinal worms, and other parasites commonly transmitted among pets.

A pre-boarding veterinary visit also allows you to discuss any specific concerns or instructions, such as dietary restrictions, medication administration, or behavioral issues. Your veterinarian will know how best to address these concerns and may offer recommendations that will help minimize your pet’s stress and ensure a positive boarding experience.

6: Keep your goodbye brief

While you may want to leave your pet with an exuberant goodbye, leave calmly and quietly. High-pitched voices and excessive patting and hugging will alert your pet to something unusual, and heighten their anxiety and stress. Instead, show your pet how much you love them with an extra-long cuddle session on the couch the night before you leave, or offer a special treat as you walk out the door. Keep your farewell short and sweet.

Before your summer vacation, ensure your four-legged friend is in good health and prepared for a new caretaker. Schedule an appointment with your AAHA-accredited veterinarian to update necessary vaccinations, refill important prescriptions, and discuss anxiety-alleviating tactics to help your pet adapt to their home away from home.



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