Booking your pet into a place like a cat boarding location can be a painful, stressful process for all parties involved. In an ideal world, you'd probably take your pet with you everywhere you go, but unfortunately sometimes this simply isn't feasible.
Whilst the thought of leaving your animal behind for a week or two may be difficult to stomach, the whole process of checking in your precious pet to a boarding facility may be daunting enough in itself. There's a lot to keep in mind during this difficult period, and listed below are a few tips and tricks to help make everything involved in the pet boarding process just a little easier.
Use What You Know About Your Pet
It's important to use all the information you have about your pet's tendencies and behavioural traits when it comes to selecting a boarding facility. Different boarding locations have different methods of animal care, and some may implement social activity between animals for mental stimulation. Keep in mind what your pet is like in social situations. If they feel threatened around other animals, it might be better to place them in a facility that prioritises reasonable isolation from others. If your pet is more gregarious, putting them in a facility without social interaction could cause them severe stress. Use your knowledge of your pet to help you select the right boarding location for them.
Test the Water
Being placed in a new, unfamiliar environment can be a significantly unsettling experience for some animals, and even if you believe that your pet is the most confident in the world, it is worth testing the water with pet boarding first. You can do this by booking your pet into a facility for a day or two and seeing how they react. Bring them to the boarding school when you check it out yourself, and closely monitor their reaction whilst you're there. It shouldn't take long to deduce whether your pet will be happy in the boarding school or not.
If your animal is unable to adjust to their new boarding environment over the course of a short stay, it might be worth considering checking them in elsewhere, or leaving them with a relative/friend when you go away for a longer period of time.
Get and Give the Important Information
Whatever happens, do not be afraid to ask questions at boarding facilities. You are leaving your pet in the care of somebody that you do not know, and it is completely reasonable and fair to want to know about the ins and outs of the facility.
At the same time, do not be afraid to tell the staff at the boarding facilities absolutely everything about your pet. The more information they have about your animal; the more chance they have of providing the best possible care for them, and will be able to provide you yourself with important information about how to get this particular pet ready and prepped for a long stay away from home.
Have Supplies at the Ready
Like humans, many animals enjoy routine, and also objects that provide them with a sense of comfort by reminding them of home. You can help ease your animal into their new boarding facility environment by taking along their favourite toy, snacks that they love, and any other objects that they are ordinarily fascinated by. A change in diet can be one of the most difficult things for an animal to adapt to when they move into a boarding facility, and whilst their favourite toy can distract them for a good amount of time, occasionally indulgence in their preferred snacks can really make a world of difference.
Health & Vaccinations
Check, check and double check that your animal's vaccinations and health are up to scratch before you go to book them into a boarding facility. Most animal care centres will require a clean bill of health for you to book your pet into the boarding school, as this helps prevent the spread of infection and disease among other animals. Whilst some boarding schools offer vaccinations or can point you in the direction of places that do, it's best to take your pet to your local vet and get the necessary shots and medicines in a comfortable, familiar environment that both you and your pet know well. Be sure to pack the necessary medication for their stay too, keeping in mind the length of time they'll be spending away from home, and type of illnesses they tend to be more susceptible to.