Pet Boarding Reminders For Holiday Travel

6 Helpful Tips for Travelers New to Boarding a Pet

Depending on how you spend your holidays it may mean staying at home or traveling to visit family. Sometimes it’s better to save your pet the hassle of being in the car or on a plane for long periods of time, and while some of us have the option of keeping our pets with a friend or family member, others must choose a boarding facility to keep their pet happy and safe while away. We’ve got six tips and reminders for making your holiday pet boarding experience as seamless as possible.

  • Start the planning process at least 30 days in advance to ensure your pet has a spot reserved for the dates you need. If you can, start booking right away.
  • Get your vaccines up-to-date in advance. Some facilities may require vaccination records 10 days before your pet even enters the facility.
  • Take a tour of the facility you wish to have your pet stay in. Some may even require you to visit so they can evaluate your pet’s behavior.
  • Prepare a list of contact information including, your veterinary hospital, information on where you will be while on your trip, and a local emergency contact in case you cannot be reached. Your emergency contact will have a different role depending on the facility you end up choosing, which may include authorization to visit your pet, pick up your pet or make medical decisions for your pet.
  • Get your pet on flea and tick control, and keep them on it all year long. Anytime your pet is exposed to other pets it’s a smart idea to have them on flea protection. You don’t want your pet going into the boarding facility without fleas and bringing them home with fleas. If you are away when your pet is due for their next dose of protection be sure to provide it to the facility and they will keep your pet on schedule.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the boarding facilities’ requirements, rules and regulations so you don’t run into any issues the day you go to drop off your pet. Here are some examples of pet requirements you may run into:
    1. Pet must be a certain minimum age (i.e. some facilities don’t want dogs under 8 months)
    2. Pet must be potty trained
    3. Pet must be spayed/neutered
    4. Pet must have up-to-date registration through the county
    5. Must have proper identification tags
    6. Pet must be non-aggressive with both pets and people
    7. Pet must be non-food or toy protective
    8. Pet must be socialized with other pets and people
    9. Pet cannot have harmed another pet previously
    10. Breed requirements – many facilities have specific breeds they will not allow
    11. Pet must be in good health and has not had any contagious illnesses in the last 30 days
    12. Written proof of up-to-date vaccinations, including:
        o Rabies
      1. o Canine Distemper
      1. o Hepatitis
      1. o Leptospirosis
      1. o Parainfluenza
      1. o Parvovirus
      1. o Bordetella
      1. o Canine influenza
      1. o Feline distemper
      1. o Fecal test

When in doubt, set up a phone call or in-person meeting with the boarding facility of your choosing to ensure you have an understanding of what your pet’s day will look like, tell them about any specific needs your pet has, and leave with a good understanding of what you need to do before you leave for your trip. Happy traveling!