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Please ensure that your pet is either in a travel crate or on a leash before bringing them to their appointment.

Where to Leave a Dog While on Vacation?

Planning a vacation can be exciting, but for pet owners, it also brings the challenge of finding a safe and comfortable place for their furry friends. Ensuring your dog is well taken care of while you’re away is crucial for your peace of mind. Here are some options for where to board your pet, including helpful tips and considerations for each.

How To Choose a Dog Boarding Facility

While not the same as being home, boarding facilities are meant to be the next best thing for your beloved dog. All boarding options should provide a safe place to stay while you're away, but other features offered can range quite a bit. 

To be sure you are choosing the right place for your dog's needs and personality, be sure to visit a few places in your area before booking so you know that your dog will be well cared for.

Dog Boarding Facility Features & Services

Frequently, the price of a facility can give you an indication of the types of features and services it offers. Extravagant, spa-like places with pampering services will be more expensive than a standard facility with spacious crates and fenced-in dog runs.

Some facilities also allow dogs to spend individual time with a staff member for outdoor play, walks, or swimming.

Standard Services in Dog Boarding Facilities

Regardless of any additional features a boarding facility may offer, you can expect the following as standard care:

  • Spacious kennel to sleep in
  • Time outside of the kennel to stretch and move
  • Meals 
  • Time for play or walks during the day
  • Bathroom breaks

Benefits of Dog Boarding

Some facilities can also provide veterinary care and administer medications your dog may need. This can be especially helpful for older dogs or those that require medical attention.

Other benefits include knowing that your dog will have a daily routine with food and exercise scheduled for the same time each day. Dogs also have the opportunity to socialize with others, both dogs and humans.

What to Look for in a Dog Boarding Facility

Aside from price and features, there are other things you may want to consider when deciding on the best place to care for your dog until your return.

Boarding Preferences For Dog's

It is important to remember your dog and its needs when evaluating boarding options. A dog that doesn't tend to do well with other dogs or is aggressive may be better suited to a kennel, whereas a very social dog may be happier in an arrangement with more interaction between dogs and people.

Pairing at the Dog Boarding Facility

Some pet boarding facilities may group dogs based on size, age, or other considerations. It's essential to inquire about their criteria for grouping so you understand the potential companions for your dog. Discuss your dog's personality with the staff so they can make the best pairing decisions. Additionally, ask how any conflicts between dogs are handled and request to see any isolation areas where dogs may be placed in case of a disagreement.

Meals at the Boarding Facility

Some boarding options may offer meals as part of your dog's stay; if this is the case, ask what types of food they provide to ensure they are nutritious. You may need to request that they spoon-feed your dog's food if it is fussy. Your dog must have access to clean, fresh water during its stay, so be sure to ask about this as well.

Supervision at the Dog Boarding Facility

Ask about the hours of supervision and who will be responsible for caring for your dog. Dogs can become very anxious when their owners leave, especially if they are in a new environment. Ensuring there is caring, qualified staff dedicated to helping your dog stay calm and comfortable will make your dog's stay more enjoyable. Some boarding facilities also have veterinarians available. If your dog needs daily medication or has any health conditions, this might be a good option for you.

Vaccinations Required for Dog Boarding Facilities

Please inquire about the required vaccinations for your dog. It's essential to ensure your dog has the necessary vaccinations to stay and gauge its safety. Being in a boarding facility or kennel with multiple other animals can increase your dog's susceptibility to infections and illnesses. Knowing that your dog is up-to-date on its vaccinations—and that all other pets are, too—can alleviate some of your concerns.

In most cases, dogs should be vaccinated for Rabies, Parvovirus, Distemper, and Kennel Cough (Bacteria Bordetella/Canine Parainfluenza Virus).

Keeping in Touch With Your Dog While on Vacation

Even if the boarding facility has met all the requirements for a safe, comfortable stay, you should check in on your dog occasionally. Some facilities have 24/7 live camera feeds that allow you to glimpse your dog anytime. Others may arrange for video calls or regular text messages to update you on how your dog is doing. Regardless of the method, it would be best if you always were permitted to inquire about your dog. Leave contact information with the boarding staff, as that would be important during an emergency.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition or boarding needs.

Are you planning a trip and want to ensure your pet is cared for while you are gone? Contact our Jackson vets today to discuss boarding options and recommendations for your pet.

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