Tips For Boarding Your Pet

By Dr. Meegan Weiler, Veterinarian

Before you read any further I would advise you to reserve that spot at the pet resort that you’ve been meaning to call. Seriously. Resorts fill up very quickly this time of year, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold.

Now onto the topic at hand. None of us like leaving our furry friends behind during holiday travels, but sometimes it’s the safest alternative. Thinking about your dog in a very dark, very cold belly of an airplane stuck at the gate for hours is never a comforting thought. Nor does it add fun to your vacation to try to find what very unlikely spot in the hotel room the cat has chosen to hide.

Okay, hopefully you’ve secured your reservation at a pet resort, you’ve toured the boarding facility (highly recommended) and you’ve inquired if the resort has had any contagious disease outbreaks in the past 2 months. Well done! Now let’s discuss how to help make this a successful, less stressful experience for your cat or dog.

If this is the first time your pet has ever been to sleep away camp or it is a facility they have not been to, a “trial run” can be helpful. Reserve one night well before your trip so you and the staff can assess how they will do before you’re far, far away.

The next step is to consider what they may need during their stay. For some pets a consistent diet prevents gastrointestinal upset so it’s helpful to provide the food they normally eat to be fed during their stay. If you already know your slightly sensitive stomached companion has a tendency to develop diarrhea during a stay, talk to your veterinarian about starting a probiotic prior to boarding. 

It’s also helpful to discuss with the resort staff how your dog/cat behaves during their stay. Does Max hide behind his litter box hissing at everyone who opens his door? Does Wooley pant excessively, bark all night long and destroy the kennel walls? Or do they seem happy and relaxed, eating well and interacting with their caretakers? If yours fall into the Max or Wooley category speak to your veterinarian about possible anti-anxiety medication that may make their stay less stressful.

I know that leaving pets behind is stressful for the people as well. I can’t prescribe anti anxiety medications for humans (sorry!), but I hope these tips help you know set your pet up for success during their stay and you can hopefully relax knowing they are in a safe and comfortable environment.

Here at Rocky Gorge Resort & Spa, we’re no ordinary boarding kennel. We have many areas that make our facility a second home for your pet and, with 24/7 emergency care, you can rest easy knowing your furry friend is in good hands.

Safe travels and have a wonderful holiday season!

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