Things you should do before boarding your dog: Here is a checklist of 10 important steps to consider before boarding your dog. Consideration of each of these items will help you and your dog to have a good boarding experience
1. Interview - Interview the kennel on the phone
2. Look for Recommendations - Talk to a few kennels before you decide where to take your pet. Also, ask your friends or neighbors where they have boarded their pet and what their experiences have been
3. Determine Kennel Requirements - Does your pet need any special vaccines for this kennel?
4. Check out Kennel Staff - Find out about the consistency with the staff – is it the same person seeing your dog everyday or someone new?
5. What is the Dog’s Schedule? - How often do they go out? Where are they walked? For how long? Is that enough to make your pet happy? Will you dog interact with other dogs? Is that what you want?
6. Feeding Instructions - Consider taking your dogs own food and request that they kennel only feed his food.
7. Contact Information - Ensure that the kennel has your numbers where you can be reached in the case of an emergency. Include your cell phone and any emergency contacts. Plan for the unexpected.
8. Emergency Instructions - Just in case of an emergency, leave instructions on how to proceed.
9. Medical History - Obtain a copy of your pets pertinent medical record from your vet and give a copy to the kennel.
10. Leave Special Instructions - Make sure you clearly indicate any special instructions. For example, if you pet requires medications, ensure the name of the medication, dose (both in mg and number of pills, and frequency are clearly indicated.
Getting a pet sitter for your dog: A good professional pet sitter is a true find. Instead of relying on a friend to feed your dog, walk him and spend an hour or so playing with him, you can relax while you’re away, knowing that your dog is in capable hands. A knowledgeable sitter should be able to spot medical problems and handle emergencies - and make your absence less stressful all around. “The pet gets to stay in his own environment,” says Lori Jenssen, president of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), which lists more than 1,200 members. “He gets to stay in his own house, his own bed. And he gets fed with his own food. And when you get home, your pet is there to greet you.” In fact, she says, some animals get spoiled when their owners are away. “We spend a half hour, but that half hour is 100 percent with the pet. So, when you get home, they’re going to expect the same from you.
Traveling with your dog: Your veterinarian can help you decide whether to take your pet with you or put him in a kennel or can recommend a place for him to stay if you decide to leave him behind. You might even consider a pet sitter.
· A few weeks before you plan to leave, stop by and check out the space. Make sure it is clean and inquire about temperature control, ventilation and light. Take a look at the playroom and see if the animals have enough room to exercise.
· Once you’ve chosen a kennel, make reservations early and confirm them. Many kennels suggest that you leave a piece of your clothing so your pet has something familiar and comforting. When you drop off your pet, don’t stage an emotional “farewell.” Pets are sensitive to your emotions and this may create anxiety. Be sure to leave your veterinarian’s number and a number where you can be reached in case of emergency.