Nov 16, 2010 11:51 AM by Monica Gouty, Dr. Anya Winslow
If you're traveling during the holidays without your pets, you need to make arrangements now to ensure they have a place to stay. We're talking to experts about pet boarding, and what you need to know before you go.
Research, come prepared, and travel with ease knowing your pet is in good hands...
Tip #1: Book your pet's reservation now, at a minimum two weeks in advance, for the Christmas/New Year's holiday.
Tip #2: Make sure your pet's immunization record is up to date. Know that your pet will most likely be turned away if he or she does not have a current bordetella vaccine (known as the "kennel cough" or "canine cough"). The bordetella vaccine takes about a week to take effect; therefore, it is best to get this vaccine several weeks before boarding your animal.
Tip #3: Do your homework. Visit the facility that you think you will use to board your pet. Tour the space, talk with the front of the house, the caregivers, and anyone else on the staff.
If you think your pet my have separation anxiety, bring to the kennel a T-shirt that you have worn, without washing, so the caregivers can place in your pet's pen. It will remind him or her of you, ease their angst, and it will reassure them that you will be coming back to bring them home.
If you have an older pet or if your pet is on any kind of medication or special diet, make sure the facility is able to handle their situation.
Sunrise and Woodmen Kennels owner Doug Johnson also recommends giving your animal a booster shot for the bordetella vaccine every six months if your pet is in and out of kennels. This will help ensure your animal does not get sick, as well as knowing it will not infect other animals, too.
Johnson stressed how important it is for owners to, "Go and inspect the kennels," before boarding your pet at a facility. He also cautioned people who know their animal does not do well in a boarding facility to, "Have a home sitting business go ahead and come in and take care of the pet," he adds, "The last think you want is to put the dog in a situation where they're going to get stressed...it causes complications to not only the dog, but also to the business owners or caregivers."
Bottom line - plan now and make your pet's reservation for the Christmas and New Year's holiday.