Vacations and Your Pet, part 1 of 3

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As warmer weather looms, we start to think about summer vacation and cottaging.  What do we do with our pets?  Do they go with us?  Do they need to stay at home?
In this three part series, we will talk about things to look for and what to do in both situations when we take our pets with us, and when we leave them behind.
Questions to ask yourself should include: does my pet easily adapt to new situations, or do they have behavior problems?  How are they with new people?
So you’ve decided that wherever it is that you are going, its probably best to not take your four legged family member along.  After carefully considering all the options and your pet’s personality a boarding facility is what seems to work best.  But what are the standards that you expect? Here are some things to look for, and what you should do to prepare.
When trying to find a place to board your pet, the first step should be to ask friends, family and your veterinarian if they can recommend a place where they, themselves, have kept a pet.
Once you have chosen a facility you should go for a visit, look and ask about the following things:

  • Where will your pet be sleeping, eating and spending the majority of their time?  Does the facility look and smell clean?  Do the pets that are there have comfortable bedding?
  • Do they get time out of the kennel to exercise?  Are they indoors or outdoors?  How often and for how long each day?  Do they interact with other pets?
  • Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring?
  • If you’re boarding a cat, do they have adequate space between the food bowls and the litter box?  Do they have room to move around and stretch out?  Are they kept in a different area from dogs?
  • Is your pet going to require additional vaccines?   Most boarding kennels require that your dog be vaccinated with a Bordetella vaccine, which is very important in preventing the spread of kennel cough.
  • How often are pets fed?
  • What if your pet requires medication, will they be able to give it?
  • What does the facility do if a pet becomes ill?
  • How are rates calculated?

Once your questions have been answered, and you feel satisfied with the reply make sure to book your pet’s spot, as space can often fill up quickly.  And finally, make sure to tell your veterinary clinic what dates you will be away, and where your pet will be.

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The Veterinary ConsultationVacations and Your Pet, part 2 of 3