When it comes to the holiday season, everyone wants to have a great time, including your dog. Should this be the year you find yourself traveling for the holidays and must use a dog boarding facility in the San Francisco or Daly City area, following is a checklist to guarantee your dog has as good a time as you do during this time of separation.
Check with your family and friends for a referral – “word of mouth” is the number one referral source when it comes to boarding a dog. At NorCal Vets, we are appreciative of this, in fact, it is the number one way we receive new clients.
Allow time to find the right fit – like humans, dogs have their own comfort zone. Your dog is more likely to have a stress-free time if his or her needs are met. Visit several places to see which one works best. Make sure the boarding facility is clean, provides enough space for your animal, what activities are included and what, if any, treats are provided. Also, make sure your dog can enjoy his or her personal items during the stay. This can greatly reduce stress. And, how does the facility handle dog emergencies? At NorCal Vet, we are fortunate to be a one-stop delight, servicing San Francisco and Daly City, for every one of these vital needs.
Book your dog’s stay early – boarding facilities can fill up fast. If your preferred facility is booked, ask if there is a waiting list.
Know what the requirements are – many boarding places require vaccinations, including Bordetella (a bacterial infection that is highly contagious) and rabies. Make sure all vaccinations are current at least one week to 10 days before your dog is boarded. Sometimes, dogs can acquire a canine cough or bordetella following a vaccination. A facility cannot tell the difference between a real illness and a shot’s side effects. Some boarding places require a fecal report to show worms are not present.
Visit your veterinarian – have your dog receive a full checkup and make sure he or she is up to date on all vaccinations. Get a copy of your dog’s vaccination record to give to the boarding facility. Many places require a flea treatment. Be prepared with a complete flea prevention program.
Include all medications and special diet foods – make sure medications are provided in their original packaging, or prepare a list of what medications are administered, amounts to be given and how often, in the event something unexpected happens and your dog needs medical attention. Include extra medications, in the unfortunate event that your return becomes delayed.
Have all emergency contact names and numbers available – this includes your information, as well as information regarding a local contact.
Assemble a care package for your dog – include his or her favorites toys, blankets, or anything that includes your scent. Make sure you are prepared to lose any items you include. While boarding places try their hardest to retain all belongings, an upset or overly active dog can destroy just about anything. Accidents that require machine washings can also happen, making it difficult to keep track of personal items.
Include your dog’s regular food supply and treats – dogs do better when they receive their typical diet. Clearly mark food with proper identification.
Inform the boarding facility about any of your dog’s special needs – allergies? separation anxiety? aggression? depression? Make sure the facility can address these needs.
Plan a test run – have your dog stay for a half or full day to help your dog adjust and see how he or she handles the stay, and how well the facility responds.
Proper identification – make sure your dog is properly identified at all times.
Dogs do not like change. By following these steps, your furry loved one will enjoy the holidays as much as you and will be appreciative of the care and concern you showed for his or her well-being.
The more the boarding place knows your dog, the better the stay will be. We love our dog family and always look forward to each dog’s stay and have all the information needed to make sure the stay is the best one possible.