Millions of pet lovers are faced with the task of finding reliable holiday care for their pet when a trip they are taking is not appropriate for their pet to tag along on. It is important to start looking well in advance of your trip to ensure it is a positive kennel experience for you and your pet.
For your own peace of mind and your pet’s health and welfare, it is important to take the time to find the right boarding service for your pet’s needs.
- The veterinarians in Markham recommend that where possible, contact a few different kennels and ask questions about the services they offer. Asking your veterinarian for a recommendation or friends and family is a great place to start. Once you have narrowed down your choice, visit the best candidate(s) to see the boarding facilities in person. You do not want to turn up the day before you are due to leave, to find the facilities are not what you were expecting and have no where to board your pet while you are away. If your pet has never boarded before it may be a good idea to do a short trial boarding visit for a night or two to ease them into the experience.
- Some boarding kennels welcome visits without a prior appointment but it is safer to ask when is the best time to visit to ensure the staff have plenty of time to answer all of your questions. When you visit, have a good look around and see what the sleeping quarters are like, and ask who provides the bedding. What’s their veterinary care? Some facilities have a range of kennel sizes, so check which your pet would stay in. Also ask if any additional services are provided such as treats, extra walks, bathing etc.
- Kennels should provide your pet with a sleeping area and usable outside space for dogs to be exercised and walked safely outside. The veterinarians in Markham recommend you check with the kennel the frequency and duration of the walks provided. A dog that does not get enough exercise will become more stressed in the kennel environment.
- To minimize the danger of spreading infections, the boarding facilities should be designed so that dogs from different households cannot come into contact with each other. Ask about their cleaning practices. How often are food dishes washed, blankets/bedding laundered?
- When you book, the boarding facility should keep a written record of your contact details, your regular vets contact details (if you aren’t boarding with your veterinarian), someone to contact in an emergency if you are unreachable and your dog’s needs including any special feeding or exercise requirements and medical conditions.
- The boarding kennel should insist that all pets vaccines are up to date and they are parasite free before being boarded. You will need a certificate from your vet showing your dogs vaccinations are up to date. Do not forget to take it with you! If you do not show your certificate, your pet will not be allowed to stay.
- Check with the boarding staff what other items you will need to provide. These may include your pets favourite toys, treats, bedding and a collar/lead. Familiar toys and bedding may help your pet feel more at home. If your pet requires a special diet or has any medical conditions the veterinarians in Markham suggest you discuss this with the boarding staff before booking to ensure your pets needs can be accommodated.
- Ensure you have extra food or medication for your pet’s stay should your trip be prolonged. Be very clear with medication your pet may be taking as far as the reason for needing it, dosage amounts and timing. Keeping to the same routine as you do at home will help keep your pet more comfortable according to the veterinarians in Markham.
- Ask the boarding kennel staff what their protocol is in case of an emergency. Ensure they have alternate contact numbers in case they are unable to reach you should they need to.
- If your pet has any health issues/concerns it is important to ask your veterinarian if it is suitable for your pet to board, whether for their own welfare or that of the other pets that may be put at risk.
Carefully planning will ensure that your dog can enjoy a pleasant holiday too.
If you found this blog informative, please share it with your friends on Facebook.
Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham
Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.
Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.).
Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.