How to Prepare Your Pet for Pet Boarding

Sometimes circumstances mean we have to take a break from being at home and caring for our pets. Whether it’s a business trip, vacation, or something else that means we can’t be at home, leaving our pets can be an anxious time for owner and animal alike. Thankfully, there are a few things caring owners can do to help prepare their pets for boarding and for the changes they might experience when away from their owners.

Get Your Pet a Health Check at the Vets

A veterinary check-up is essential before you can send your pet to a boarding facility since any reputable boarding center will expect certain health standards to be met. This will include an up-to-date vaccination status for the benefit of other pets as well as the humans that work there. As a responsible and caring owner, it’s also reassuring to know that our animals are in the best possible health before we send them away, as this can alleviate any worries we have about being apart from them. If your pet is overdue for any vaccines, your vet will be able to do this at the same time your pet has its check-up.

Locate a Boarding Facility with a Great Reputation

Our animals are very precious to us, and it goes without saying that we want them to have the best care possible. It’s only natural that we want to know that they are going to be well cared for by experienced professionals who will keep them safe and happy. Before booking a boarding facility, take the time to do some research and ask friends and family for recommendations or for warning of any facilities that they would avoid (and why!). Once you’ve shortlisted a few, contact them and ask to visit and view the facilities so that you can get a feel for them and meet the team who would be looking after your pet, before you commit to making a booking. Our team at Rocky Ridge Animal Clinic and Pet Hotel is always happy to offer tours of our boarding facilities ahead of booking.

Know What Your Pet is Going to Eat in Advance

Wondering what and how often their pet will eat is one of the biggest concerns of owners who are separated from their animals. Wherever possible, it’s best to keep your pet on their usual diet and schedule of meals. This helps to maintain a feeling of familiarity and can avoid the upset stomach that often occurs when animals switch to a new brand of food. If your chosen boarding facility doesn’t offer your preferred choice of food, ask if you can bring your pet’s meals in from home. You may be able to bring in their food and water dishes from home too.

See if You Can Take Your Pet for a Visit

Many boarding facilities such as our own will allow you to take your pet along for a visit before you commit to making a booking. This may just be for an hour, or some facilities may give you the option to book them in for a half or full-day stay. Doing this will help them to get familiar with the sights, smells, and sounds of the facility before their stay.

Pack with Care

It’s not just your own suitcase that you need to pack when you are separated from your pet. As well as any food that you may be providing, there will be a few other important things that your pet needs. Firstly, don’t forget to pack any medication that they are taking – at least enough for the duration of their stay, plus a few extra days in case there is an issue. You’ll need to include the box and the instructions for taking them too. Depending on the boarding facility you choose, you may be allowed to pack certain items from home to make your pet more comfortable, such as a favorite toy or a blanket. Something that looks and smells like home can be a great aid in helping them settle into the boarding facility.

A Prompt Drop-Off

Leaving a pet at a boarding facility, even if just for a night or two, is never easy. One thing that can lessen the stress is to make as little fuss as possible when you drop them off. Pets can read our behavior and feelings very well, so any signs of stress or anxiety from us as we drop them off can have an effect on them and make them feel that way too. Make the drop-off short, without too much attention and fuss. Remember, you can always check in with the boarding center to see how well your pet has settled in later that day. If possible, it is a good idea to drop your pet off in the morning, this gives them more time to settle and adjust to their new environment before the first night away from home.

If you would like to learn more about preparing your pet for boarding, or to book pet boarding with us, please call Rocky Ridge Animal Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama at 205.267.1300 today.