Our pets are members of the family. Leaving them behind when we travel can be nerve wracking. As a pet owner, pet sitter, and former veterinary assistant in a boarding facility, I have some advice for finding a safe place for your pets while you travel.
- Ask friends and families for references. People are usually willing to share positive and negative experiences.
- Can you tour the facility? If the staff denies a tour, find another one. That’s shady.
- Are vaccines required? There are an assortment of diseases that are easily spread by animals, even if they are not in direct contact with one another. Canine distemper, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis, are just a few examples. These diseases have the potential to be deadly so this is an important question to ask.
- What should you bring along? Food, bowls, beds. Having familiar items with your scent can help calm your pets nerves. Keep in mind that it may take some time for your pet to familiarize herself with a new environment, and she could destroy her favorite bed in that “familiarizing” process.
- Is there a veterinarian on staff or nearby? Find out emergency protocols.
- Medications. If your pet requires medication, ask how familiar the staff is at administering medications and if there are any additional fees.
Laws, in regards to pet boarding, vary by state. Do some research before leaving your companion with a stranger.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed veterinarian and do not claim to be an expert in the area of dog boarding. The advice given is my opinion and based on my experiences.