5 Ways to Prepare Your Dog or Cat for Boarding

Summer is a time for family vacations and beach trips. But often, these fun adventures mean your pet is left behind at home.

Finding quality care for your dog or cat while you’re away can be a challenge, but you’ve done your research and think you’ve found the perfect place to board your pet.

Boarding can be stressful on even the most calm, go-with-the-flow pets, and you need to take some steps to make sure your animal is ready for the change.

Here are 5 ways to prepare your dog or cat for boarding:

Consider a Trial Run

If your pet has never been boarded before, or you’re planning on boarding them at a new facility, you may want to set up a trial run a few weeks before you plan to leave.

Make an overnight boarding appointment for your pet and plan to leave them there for at least 24 hours to help get them acclimated to the new surroundings and routines. This also gives the boarding staff a chance to get to know your animal a bit before you go, making them better prepared for any of your pet’s quirks.

This short trial run may make it easier for you to drop off you dog or cat when it’s time for your trip, leading to less stress for you, your pet, and the boarding staff.

Adjust Sleep Habits

If your dog or cat is used to sleeping on your bed all night, they may be in for an adjustment period when you go to board them. 

Try closing your bedroom door or, if necessary, putting your animal in a crate at night, to help them get used to sleeping alone or sleeping in a kennel. If your animal cries or makes too much of a fuss for you to be able to sleep, consider moving the crate into your bedroom but don’t let your pet sleep on your bed.

Maintain Comfort

While many pet boarding facilities are full of creature comforts, there’s nothing like the familiar smells and feels of items from home.

Most boarding facilities allow small items from home to help keep your pet more comfortable, such as a blanket, rug, or a soft toy. 

These items will help your pet feel more safe and secure in the new environment, creating a better overall boarding experience.

Morning Drop-off

If your schedule allows for it, plan to drop your pet off at the boarding facility earlier in the morning.

This gives them the entire day to adjust to the new environment with more people around to help if they get stressed before it’s time to bed down for the night.

The extra time also allows you to call and check on your pet that first day so you can feel a little more comfortable overnight.

See the Vet

A recent vet visit and being up-to-date on all vaccinations is fairly standard for all boarding facilities, both for the safety of your pet but also for the safety of other pets being boarded.

A week or so before your planned trip, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that your furry friend is in good enough health to weather the potential stress of boarding, as well as to make sure they’re caught up on all their shots.

You may even be able to get some pointers from your vet for helping your pet make the transition to boarding a little easier.

Dog & Cat Boarding in Frederick, MD

At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we believe your pets deserve the best possible care, even when you’re away. We offer highly skilled, compassionate pet boarding in our state-of-the-art facility, giving your pet a sense of familiarity and comfort not available at a separate boarding facility. But don’t delay – Our boarding availability fills up quickly! Make your reservations today!