Taking Care of Spot While You’re Away

Not all vacation spots are pet friendly. Unfortunately, family vacation time often causes a dilemma for pet owners who are left scrambling to find a safe, loving environment for their pet while they travel. While planning your vacation itinerary, take time to plan Spot’s itinerary, too. A little planning on your part will ease the anxiety about leaving your pet behind, and will lead to a more pleasant vacationing experience. Depending on the facility you choose, Spot may be having a vacation of his own while you’re away.

Many people associate pet boarding facilities with caged kennels, or with small concrete runs covered with chain link. However, today’s pet owners now have more luxurious options to choose from. Pet Care Resorts are often equipped with “Pet Villas” which are theme decorated, climate controlled rooms with elevated toddler beds for sleeping and lounging, televisions broadcasting dog-related programming, and private exercise runs. During their stay at a Pet Resort, pets often enjoy pet spa treatments including a full body massage and foot massage, full grooming, outside walks through the neighborhood, or one-on-one play time. Many Pet Resorts are even equipped with web cams, allowing owners with Internet access to log on and check on their pets while they’re away.

If a Pet Resort isn’t convenient or budget friendly, there are many other great options available for caring for your pet while you’re away. Here are some important questions for you to consider while selecting your pet care facility:

What vaccinations or health screenings are required?

Most boarding facilities require that dogs are flea-free and have DHPP, Rabies, and Bortadella vaccinations, and that cats have FVRCP and Rabies vaccinations, and are flea free. Choosing a facility with stringent health policies will ensure that your pet is returned to you healthy, and alleviates concerns about bringing fleas into your home.

What will my pet eat during their stay?

Pet Resorts provide high quality pet foods for pets under their care. However, most facilities welcome pet owners to bring their own food, and will follow the pet owner’s feeding recommendations.

Can I bring my pet’s bed to your facility for their stay?

Having a favorite bed or blanket for your pet to sleep on may be a real comfort for your pet. Most boarding facilities will not object to you bringing an item from home providing the item is machine washable.

Where will my pet be taken if veterinary attention is required?

Most boarding facilities have a relationship with a local veterinarian. Some facilities will also take your pet to your veterinarian, if you prefer. It’s a good idea to discuss emergency veterinarian care with the boarding facility prior to your departure.

Will you administer medication?

If you pet is on medication, please make certain that the facility is able to administer medication to your pet. Check to make sure that your pet’s prescription is filled, and that you have clear dosing instructions.

Do pets have to be screened prior to their stay?

Many facilities require that pets undergo an aggression evaluation prior to their stay. It’s important to select a facility with an aggression screening in place so that your pet will have a safe, hassle free environment.

Recommendations from family and friends, your local pet shop, or your veterinarian can help narrow your search for a quality pet boarding facility. Visiting local facilities can also help with your decision.

Careful planning for your pet’s care is certain to lead to a more restful and fun vacationing experience. Coming home from a vacation is difficult, but knowing that your happy, healthy pet will be waiting for you when you return will certainly ease the blow. Have a great vacation!

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