Boarding Your Pet for the First Time? A Quick Guide to Making this a Smooth Process - The Trupanion Blog
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Boarding Your Pet for the First Time? A Quick Guide to Making this a Smooth Process

Boarding Your Pet for the First Time - A Quick Guide to Making this a Smooth Process
Photo via Flickr user Penny Miller

Boarding your furry family member for the first time may mean the first time both of you are apart from each other. It might just be your pet’s first time away from home. Unless your pet is extremely well-adjusted, this can be a tough process for both pet and owner, and doesn’t always go as planned. However, with a little forethought, you can plan for a smooth transition, and put aside your worries about boarding your pet. Keep reading for a few helpful tips to make this a seamless process and to ensure boarding success in the future.

Get to Know Your Kennel of Choice
A best practice before leaving your pet at any facility is to make an appointment to take a tour. Some facilities have regularly scheduled hours for visiting. Put yourself at ease by seeing how well a place is run, by getting all your questions answered, and by seeing they are inspected and certified as required by law. By talking with the professionals who will be looking after your pet, you can discuss any concerns you have with them, and prepare your furry friend for a pleasant stay.

Take Time to Get the Details
Once you’ve taken a look around the facility, and heard what the employees have to say, you’ll need to dig deeper and get some details. Find out if the facility accepts all ages and sizes. Some places may restrict puppies under six months old. It could be a good time to get the paperwork out of the way and to learn what type of collar and leash to provide, whether or not they allow you to provide food and snacks, and if they allow personal toys for your fur baby. Not all kennels are created equal, so you might find deal-breakers along the way.

Check-in with Your Pet’s Check-ups
If you are taking your dog to be boarded, know that all dogs entering the kennel environment must be up to date with their vaccinations. It is a mutual prevention method to ensure your baby does not return home with “kennel cough.” Further, if your pet has any allergies or is on a medicinal regimen, these are important issues to allow time for kennel staff to be prepared. It is also important to ensure your pet is free of fleas and on a proper course of oral or topical flea treatment for everyone’s protection. It is the same if your pet is on a special diet. Provide the kennel staff with your pet’s pre-bagged and identified meals, and consider writing out any special instructions for feeding or medications.

Make the Kennel Visit as Routine as Daily Life
It is helpful for family members to avoid making the trip to the kennel seem like the final farewell. It is as tough for the human family members to be parted from their furry friends as it is for them to have to leave the home. However, when it is treated as a normal activity, there is no sense of anxiety likely to occur if there is no drama exhibited. Plus, if you’ve already taken your furry friend to visit the kennel before the actual drop off, they won’t feel anxious since the environment will be somewhat familiar.

When you do your homework and prepare for boarding your pet, you can rest easy knowing that they are well-cared for. Carefully look over the facility’s terms and conditions, and be sure to prepare an “emergency contact” who can come pick up the animal if things don’t work out. If you are headed off for a long vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your pet is comfortable, happy, well-fed, and well-cared for. By procuring the perfect place beforehand, you can enjoy your trip while your pet enjoys a little adventure of their own.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for women’s interests, and the home niches. She lives in Arizona with her husband, three beautiful daughters, and a spunky Jack Russell Terrier who makes life interesting! Dixie got advice for this article from Toronto veterinarians at the Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic.

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