Unfortunately, pets can't always come with you on vacation, and sometimes keeping them at home with a pet sitter isn't an option. Your best bet is to take them to a kennel or boarding facility and minimize the worry that comes with leaving them behind. The benefit of kenneling your cat or dog is that they’re taken care of and usually get plenty of social interaction while they're a guest at the facility. You get to enjoy your vacation and pick up your pet when you return home to resume life as usual. Following is information you'll need when deciding to kennel your pet.
What Kind of Boarding Facility Suits Your Pet?
Modern kennels focus on the well-being of the animals in their charge. They're more than the kennel-and-cage variety of years past. But your dog may not do well in social situations and prefer to stay in their crate instead of playing with others. Alternatively, your cat needs high places for sleeping and lots of stimulation. Look for a kennel that can meet the needs of your pet while you're away. If you want to check in on your pet while you're away, look for a kennel that offers webcam access.
Visit the Kennel Before You Commit
Visit the kennel as soon as you know the details of your vacation. Give yourself plenty of time to take a tour of the facility and look for signs of happy animals and cleanliness and watch how staff interact with the animals. You're looking for reasonable handling of the animals, visibly clean surfaces and minimal odor, and animals that respond well to the staff. It's not easy to keep an animal facility white-glove clean and there's always an individual animal that doesn't want to play well with others. Keep that in mind when looking around to help you judge the quality of the operation.
What Kind of Health Paperwork and Vaccinations are Needed?
Your pet needs protection from bacteria and viruses that are easily spread in a communal setting. Ask the kennel what kind of vaccinations they require, then ask your vet for additional protections in order to give your pet full-spectrum protection from an unwanted health issue. At the very least, your pet is less likely to carry a disease into the kennel and won't contract an illness during their stay.
Bring Your Pet's Comforts and Food
Make sure to bring your pets favorite blankets, toys and items that comfort them. It'll smell like home, have familiarity and offer a feeling of security for your pet. If you're concerned about the items getting lost at the facility, get secondary versions of the items and use them for a few days prior to vacation so they can absorb familiar scents.
Bring along your pet's regular foodstuffs even if the kennel provides food as a part of the service. Your pet may not adapt to the food that's being fed or decides to stop eating because it's upset at not being home. You can leave instructions to feed what you brought or leave it for use as a backup in case your pet decides they don't like the kennel food.
Kenneling your pet when you go on vacation keeps them safe and secure. Make sure that the facility is a good fit for you and your pet before committing to a reservation for your four-legged family member.