Tips for Boarding Your Pet This Holiday Season


Do you have travel plans this holiday season? If you’re taking a long road trip or jetting off to another part of the country, you might not be able to bring your furry friend with you. Boarding your pet while you’re away will give you peace of mind during your holiday travels and your pet might even enjoy it too. Ensure that your pet’s stay is comfortable and stress-free with these helpful tips.

Research the Boarding Facilities in Your Area

Before you decide which boarding facility to entrust with your pet, do your research. Look at all the options in your area and ask other pet owners if they have any recommendations. Not all boarding facilities are the same – some provide lots of space, activities, and attention for pets, while others keep pets confined in small cages by themselves. If you can, visit a few facilities in person to see what kind of conditions your pet will be kept in.

Ask Questions

If you have questions about a boarding facility’s policies, ask. After all, your pet’s well-being could be at stake. One of the hallmarks of a good boarding facility is that they’ll be happy to give you all the information you need. If a facility seems secretive or unwilling to answer questions, it’s best to steer clear of them.

Book Your Pet’s Stay in Advance

Boarding facilities tend to fill up around the holidays and if you try to book your pet’s stay at the last minute, you might have trouble finding a place with room for them. Make reservations in advance.

Know When You Can Pick Up Your Pet

Some boarding facilities aren’t open at night or on Sundays. Make sure to find facility hours or you may get stuck paying for an extra night.

Make Sure Your Pet’s Vaccinations are Up to Date

For safety reasons, your pet will need to be vaccinated before they can stay at a boarding facility. If your pet hasn’t had the required shots, make an appointment with the vet to have them done as soon as possible.

Collect Your Pet’s Health Records Ahead of Time

The boarding facility you choose will need to see a record of your pet’s immunization record before they let you book a stay. Find these records ahead of time, so you don’t have to go searching for them the last minute. If you don’t know where your pet’s health records are, you can contact your pet’s veterinary clinic for a copy.

Consider a Trial Run

Staying in an unfamiliar environment can be stressful for pets. One way to make the experience a little easier is to have your pet stay at the boarding facility ahead of time. Book a single night for your pet a couple of weeks before you’re scheduled to leave. You’ll be able to see how your pet reacts to being boarded; your pet may feel less anxious the next time you drop them off.

Bring Your Pet’s Regular Food

Your pet may get stressed out or even refuse to eat when staying in a strange place. Keep things as normal as possible, bring your pet’s food from at home. If your pet needs a certain amount of food or is used to eating at a specific time of day, leave feeding instructions for the staff at the boarding facility.

Bring Reminders of Home for Your Pet

Help your pet feel less homesick by bringing along some familiar items from home. Some ideas include your pet’s favorite toys, bed and some clothing that smells like you.

Bring Any Medicine Your Pet Needs & Instructions for Administering It

If your pet takes medicine, bring enough of it to last until you return and make sure the staff members at the boarding facility understand how to give it to your pet. You may want to leave written instructions.

Make Sure Your Pet has ID Tags

The chances of your pet escaping from the boarding facility are very slim, but it’s always important to be prepared for the worst. Make sure your pet has up-to-date identification tags. If possible, get your pet microchipped before boarding since identification tags can get lost, but a microchip can’t.

Keep Goodbyes Quick and Simple

If you get upset when you drop your pet off at the boarding facility, your pet will probably get upset too. Keep your goodbyes short and sweet and act as cheerful as you can (if only for your pet’s sake.) There’s no need to be sad – your pet will receive good care over the holidays and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip.

Boarding a pet is a simple process, but it’s important to do your research and plan ahead. Make arrangements early, bring everything your pet needs and you can rest assured that your pet will enjoy the holiday season just as much as you do.

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