Millions of Americans are expected to travel for the holidays this year, but only a fraction of them will be taking along the family pets.
If Buddy and Fluffy are spending all or a portion of the holidays at a pet hotel or resort, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure a successful boarding experience. Best Friends Pet Resorts offer the following advice for preparing for the family pet for holiday boarding.
Book early. Quality boarding centers book up quickly for the busy holiday period, so don’t wait to book your pet’s stay. Most of the 39 Best Friends pet resorts already have waiting lists for Thanksgiving week and that reservations for the Christmas-New Year period are running well ahead of last year.
Check his shots. A top-quality boarding facility will require that your pet’s inoculations be up-to-date. (If they don’t, your pet may be exposed to some unpleasant infections.) If your pet needs his vaccinations updated, plan on taking him to the veterinarian one to two weeks in advance of your departure date.
Pack his bags. Purchase and pack a supply of your pet’s medications and special food or treats, if any, ahead of time. You may also want to pack a familiar toy for your pet’s stay, but don’t bring his favorite in case of possible loss.
Prepare emergency info. Bring your veterinarian’s phone number and contact information for you at your holiday destination. It’s also important to provide a local contact — someone who will serve as your "backup" in an emergency if you can’t be reached.
Finding a Quality Boarding CenterIf you don’t already use a pet hotel or resort, be sure to do your homework before you make a reservation. The best boarding facilities provide a structured routine, round-the-clock monitoring of eating, play and elimination behaviors, and frequent contact with caring, warm humans.
Best Friends Pet Resorts pet care experts offers the following guidance in evaluating and choosing the best accommodations for your family pets:
- Always visit the kennel you are considering during normal business hours. Ask for a tour. You should not need an appointment to do this.
- Use your senses to evaluate the facility. Are the quarters large enough for your pet to move about? How does the staff interact with their pet guests?
- Ask questions. Is there exercise or play time available? Will they feed special diets and give medication if required? Is there 24-hour on-call veterinarian care?
- Don’t forget to ask for references. A good kennel will readily provide names and phone numbers of satisfied customers.
The ultimate test of a quality kennel is a happy pet. If your dog pulls at his lead to get to the kennel on the second visit, then you know you’ve got the right place.