The holiday season is upon us, and for many pet owners, this means making travel plans to visit friends or family. While some lucky pets get to accompany their humans on short trips, not all furry friends can tag along. This is where pet boarding comes into play. Here are some valuable tips, shared by a local Fayetteville, NC veterinary professional, to make the holiday boarding experience as smooth and stress-free as possible for your beloved pets. 

Strategic Planning for Your Pet’s Festive Stay

As December becomes the peak travel period, securing your pet’s boarding reservation well in advance is crucial. The demand for kennels is high, emphasizing the need for proactive booking to avoid the last-minute rush—many establishments are already fully booked for the season. Should you need to board for future holidays, however, the same recommendations apply.

A Dash of Home in Your Pet’s Getaway

Beloved pets form profound emotional bonds with their human companions, considering us the focal point of their existence. The absence of their cherished humans can provoke significant distress in Fido and Fluffy, who lack comprehension of the circumstances or the anticipated return time. This anxiety is particularly pronounced in shelter-adopted animals, many of whom have experienced prior separation or abandonment by their former owners. 

Alleviating their distress is crucial, and one effective method involves bringing a familiar item from home. Whether a cherished toy, a small blanket, or a piece of clothing imbued with your scent, these familiar objects provide a comforting sense of continuity, easing the separation anxiety experienced by our devoted animal friends.

Gradual Adjustment with a One-Day Introductory Stay

Before embarking on an extended trip, consider arranging a brief one-day stay at the kennel. This gradual introduction helps your pet acclimate to the new environment, minimizing stress during more extended stays. It also allows you to familiarize yourself with the drop-off and pickup procedures.

Meticulously Selecting the Perfect Kennel Fit

The majority of kennels operate with a professional commitment, prioritizing the well-being, comfort, and safety of their furry charges. Regrettably, a few establishments prioritize profits over the welfare of the animals. Selecting a trustworthy facility becomes paramount when entrusting the care of your cherished pet to others, as their lives are essentially placed in someone else’s hands.

Conducting thorough research is essential. Seek recommendations from friends, family, and coworkers, and consult your vet for their suggestions. Additionally, perusing reviews can provide valuable insights into a kennel’s reputation. This due diligence is particularly crucial this year due to the emergence of a new canine respiratory illness. While there’s no cause for panic, it underscores the importance of informed decision-making. For more details, consult your Fayetteville, NC vet, who can offer valuable information regarding the current situation.

Opting for Vet-Provided Boarding Excellence

Consider boarding your pet with your Fayetteville, NC veterinarian for added peace of mind, especially if your pet has specific medical needs. Having your pet’s doctor nearby adds an extra layer of assurance, providing a comprehensive solution for your pet’s overall well-being.

Transparent Communication of Pet Preferences

Each furry companion is distinctive, with unique quirks, preferences, phobias, and care requirements. When communicating details about your pet, maintain clarity and conciseness. While you need not delve into sentimental tales, such as Fluffy’s kittenhood rescue or Fido’s mud puddle escapade on your new rug, essential information like chicken allergies, thunderstorm fears, or reactivity to other dogs is crucial for the kennel. Ensure you convey information verbally and in written form, opting for a printout or email if your handwriting poses readability challenges. This dual approach ensures comprehensive understanding and appropriate care for your beloved pet during their stay.

Exploring Kennel Perks and Luxuries

Kennels often offer additional services such as daycare, training, or extra walks. Inquire about available perks and consider treating your pet to some extra pampering during their stay for a refreshed and revitalized return.

Providing Trustworthy Emergency Contacts

Confirm your contact details with the kennel and provide a backup contact, especially during the holidays. Choose someone local and reliable who can step in if needed. If you have multiple destinations, share your itinerary and additional contacts.

Grasping Kennel Protocols

Familiarize yourself with the kennel’s procedures, emergency protocols, and policies. Communicate your preferences regarding emergency care and ensure you understand the drop-off and pickup process. This way, should anything unexpected occur, the staff understands exactly what you wish to have done.

Thoughtful Packing for Your Pet’s Enjoyment

Kennels differ significantly in their policies regarding items brought for pets. Some establishments insist on using their own supplies, ensuring thorough cleaning and disinfection between uses. Alternatively, certain kennels permit owners to bring personal items for their furry companions. It’s crucial to clarify the allowed items and restrictions. When packing essentials like food, treats, or medication, consider bringing a few extra days’ worth in case of unexpected delays, such as a holiday blizzard affecting your return flight. This precaution ensures your four-legged friend will be well provided for, offering peace of mind during unforeseen circumstances.

Effortless Dropoff and Pickup Logistics

It’s crucial to clarify the kennel’s business hours for drop-offs and pickups. Although someone may be present over the weekend, the front desk might be closed, so ensure you’re not caught off guard. Avoid the inconvenience of realizing at the last minute that you can’t drop off or retrieve your pet when heading to or from the airport. Regarding drop-offs, minimize goodbyes to alleviate stress for your pet. Extended farewells can distress Fido, making the separation more challenging for both of you. Opt for brief and sweet goodbyes, knowing there will be ample time for affectionate reunions later on.

Have a Safe and Relaxing Holiday!

Holiday pet boarding is a practical and safe option for pet owners traveling during the winter holidays. By following these tips, you can ensure a positive experience for both you and your furry companion. Remember, a well-planned stay at a reputable boarding facility allows you to enjoy your trip with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in capable hands. Happy holidays from the team at Academy Pet Hospital in Fayetteville, NC! If you need boarding or grooming services, don’t hesitate to contact us.