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Things to Do Before Boarding Your Pet for the First Time

After working at a dog-boarding facility for five years, I have learned several tips regarding what pet owners should do before dropping off their pets. These tips can help you feel secure in leaving your pet and help your pet become accustomed to being away from home.

Get your Pet’s the Necessary Vaccinations

Kennels require your pets to be up-to-date on certain vaccinations before they stay at the kennel. Make sure your pet is current on all of the vaccinations required by the facility. Some kennels often require verification from the veterinarian and it is best to have a copy with you when you arrive at the kennel. I have seen several clients have to change their plans to get a dog quickly vaccinated or get the documentation proving they are vaccinated.

Call Ahead and Ask Questions

When you call and make reservations (which should be done far in advance because some facilities get booked up, especially around the holidays) have a list of questions to ask them. Have questions prepared about any extra services the kennel provides such as walks, baths, etc. Some facilities can give medications from vitamins and insulin shots and it is best to notify them in advance so they can be prepared. Some kennels may also require you to bring your own food, while others provide food.

Try a Trial Session

Most pets do fine with boarding. However, a lot of owners find it comforting to know their pet does well being boarded before they travel. If you are going to leave your pet for several days or are going to be far away it is best to try dropping your pet off at the facility for an overnight stay. Your pet will not only be assured that you will be come back, but you will also feel better about leaving your pet.

Establish Emergency Contacts

Many kennels require you to provide emergency contact numbers when you board your pet. Before you bring your pet to the facility make sure you have a number prepared to give them, such as a cell phone number. It is also a good idea to have a friend or family member that lives nearby to be able to be a emergency contact if you are far away.

Pack a Few Non-Valuables

If the kennel allows you to bring some of your pet’s belongings, make sure none of them are valuable or important. Many pet owners have brought an expensive toy or their grandmother’s quilt to accompany their pet. It is a good idea to bring something that smells like your house, but the item should not be valuable, such as an old t-shirt or towel. Additionally, one or two toys are fine. Many pets do not play with the toys anyway because they are in a new place. Also know that the belongings may not make it home. Sometimes toys and blankets get lost or destroyed so make sure it is not something important.

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