Many dog owners feel terrible about putting their dogs into pet boarding while they vacation. If this is how you think, you probably worry about how homesick your pet will be and how much he will miss you, but you can take steps to reduce anxiety – both for you and your furry kids.
You should not worry about pet boarding as dogs get something they never do at home, an opportunity to socialize with other animals just like them. They play more, get lots of attention, a cozy little den to sleep in, and come back home as one happy and tired dog!
Tip 1. Ensure your dogs are safe from tick
Ticks may be visibly present on the animal’s skin, especially as they grow. Ticks have a hard-backed shield and can be felt as small bumps during palpation (touch examination) of the skin or regular petting. If you’ve been out for a walk, it’s generally a good idea to scrutinize your pet once home for any ticks that might have attached on the way.
Look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs (in the "armpits"), and deep in the fur around the neck. Bathing your dog before pet boarding with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients will generally kill ticks on contact. You will need to repeat the process every two weeks, as the effective ingredients won’t last as long as a spot-on or oral medication.
Tip 2. Food
Most pet owners stick with 1 to 2 different types of food that they know their dog enjoys. If you have ever tried to introduce another food brand to your dog, you know this can cause an adverse change in appetite and even an upset stomach.
Ask the pet sitter what type of food your pet will be given during his stay. If your pet has food allergies or is on a special diet, you may want to make arrangements to have your pet given his regular food or even possibly bring his bowl from home for him to eat out of.
Tip 3. Bring along your pet's familiar toy.
While many pet sitters’ houses are full of creature comforts, there is nothing like the familiar smells and feels of items from home.
You may bring over their small things from the 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.
Tip 4. Prepare medication for your pets.
Does your pet take medication? If so, ask if the pet sitter provides your pet’s specific medicine or whether you should bring your supply. Many pets must take certain drugs and supplements daily.
Remember to include the appropriate number of doses that your pet will need to take in your absence and written instructions with details such as dosage amount and schedule. Sometimes being in an unfamiliar environment and being around other pets can trigger an existing ailment in your pet. In addition to any regular medications, include emergency medications that you think may be necessary just in case.
Tip 5. Dropping off your pets earlier.
If your schedule permits, drop your pet off at the pet sitter’s house early in the morning.
This gives them the entire day to adjust to their surroundings 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 to feel more comfortable overnight.
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