Facts to Consider
Boarding is a shared responsibility. As a responsible pet owner there are a few things you must attend to before bringing Rover in to board. Make certain all immunizations are current, including the Bordetella vaccination. Your pet should be free of internal and external parasites and should not have been exposed to any contagious diseases. We suggest you do not feed Rover for at least four hours prior to boarding to minimize the possibility of stomach upset.
Using a boarding facility is the best alternative for most dogs, but separation from master and/or being in a new environment can produce stress in your dog. Stress can result in lowered resistance and sometimes temporary changes in behavior. Be sure to inform us of any special idiosyncrasies or medical problems Rover may have, such as a history of epilepsy, fear of thunder, etc., that may aid us in keeping Rover healthy and happy. Dogs should be prepared psychologically for boarding. It’s best, of course to begin with a pup as soon as their vaccination program is complete. Puppies usually learn very quickly to enjoy boarding. Doggie Daycare or a Meet and Greet service are both great ways to introduce Rover to the boarding experience.
All of the preparation by the pet owner merely points out that he should recognize that successful boarding depends not only upon the boarding facility staff, but also upon how well the owner prepares his dog for the experience.
We do require Rover to have up to date vaccinations and we ask you be upfront with us about any past or present issues they may have. The more we know about your dog’s history the better we will be able to take care of all their needs. When planning for any trip we recommend that your dog has their Bordetella vaccination within at least six months of boarding. You may consult with your veterinarian about vaccinations required and you can also have your veterinarian to fax vaccination records for your convenience.
Stress is a Factor
You should understand the possible effects of stress on a dog. You should be aware that some dogs carry viruses in their system for months and begin to show symptoms only after being subjected to a stress situation. In other words, they can catch a disease from themselves such as tracheobronchitis (Bordetella) or intestinal problems.
Sometimes temporary behavior changes can occur and surprise us as a result of unfamiliar surroundings. Dear sweet Rover tears up the bed he has slept on for years or Killer that rowdy scoundrel of the neighborhood turns into a little lamb. Eating habits change under stress and a dog assimilates his food differently. Some will eat like canaries at home and like vultures at a boarding facility. Some may put on a few pounds, but others may lose weight though eating well or by not eating enough. For example Boxers are prone to weight loss even with a healthy appetite. Boarding can be very exciting and some dogs lose weight simply by running it off. These dogs often go home exhausted, but happy and sleep a lot the first couple of days at home which also helps you recover from your trip.
Now that Rover is Home Again
When Rover is picked up he will be very excited to see you. Dogs do not have a sense of time so he would be just as happy to see you if you left him for five minutes or five days. Do not feed him (though he will act hungry once he gets back to familiar turf) for at least three hours, and then be very careful not to overfeed him. Also, excitement will cause Rover to be very thirsty. We recommend giving a few ice cubes to tide him over until feeding time. Again, in his excited state, excessive food and water consumption can create problems. Every dog reacts differently to a boarding experience and arriving home from one, so all we can do is recommend scenarios that may help. If you ever have any concerns after picking up your Baby from your boarding facility, never hesitate to call and ask questions.
Remember, we are doing this because we love animals. And, we want everyone to have a pleasant boarding experience, so we will work together for your dog.