December is Holiday Boarding Season
Cat and dog boarding season actually starts at the end of November with Thanksgiving…road trips and flights to spend the long weekend with family. Then comes Christmas, winter break, and those much-anticipated winter vacation trips. You’re going to have great time…but what about your dog or cat?
Some families leave their pets home and ask a reliable family member or hired pet sitter to come in once or twice a day to walk the dog, play with the cat, feed them and empty the litter box. Those pets are alone for much of that time, but generally, if the pet is accustomed to the family being gone for work or school, it should be okay during the day. However, if your pet is accustomed to sleeping with you, or coming in to wake you in the morning, there may be some stress when you are gone overnight.
Some dogs and cats manage this just fine, but anxious pets can become very distressed.
But whether you have an anxious pet, or just feel that constant care and companionship is preferable, boarding can be the best way to go. You can choose to leave your dog or cat at a “pet hotel” that specializes in boarding pets, or you can board your pet at your veterinarian’s kennel. Which one would be better?
As with most things, the answer is, “it depends.” Your pet's personality and temperament can influence your decision, of course. But when looking at boarding options, consider these questions to help you make a choice.
What to Look For In A Boarding Facility
Are the indoor kennels clean, odor-free and ventilated? Are they a comfortable temperature?
Are the outdoor runs clean and safe, made of concrete or gravel, adequately fenced and secured to keep even the most skilled escape artists safe? If there are no individual outdoor runs, will the dog be exercised every day?
How often are kennels and runs cleaned?
Are the boarded animals required to have vaccinations and does the kennel require proof of these? (If not, don’t even consider the place. Close quarters in a boarding kennel can expose your pet to many communicable diseases.) Do they check for ticks or fleas as the pets are checked in?
Is the staff skilled in recognizing illness or distress in boarded dogs and cats, and are they capable of providing the proper care in your absence? And if your pet needs daily medication, is there someone on staff who will reliably medicate the pet?
Can you bring your own pet food, bed and toys? If not, what does the kennel supply?
Does the facility willingly provide references from others who have boarded pets there?
Choose carefully, and you’ll find that your furry friend has been in good hands while you were gone. You’ll be happily reunited, and your pet will be willing to be boarded again in the future.
Need cat or dog boarding in Springfield, MO? Hometown Veterinary Hospital has modern, clean facilities. See our boarding information here. Or contact us with questions.