If you’re traveling for the holidays, there’s a good chance that “boarding your pet” is on the long to-do list you’re working your way through. And if you’re feeling stressed about it, chances are your pet is, too. But boarding doesn’t have to be stressful! With just a little forethought, you can board your pets and be confident that they’ll enjoy the holidays just as much as you do. Just follow these steps to help your whole family have a happy holiday.
First, check out the facility before you board. If you can, ask your veterinarian what boarding facility they recommend – but whether you’re going with that recommendation or another place, it’s a good idea to get a look at the kennels and catteries beforehand. In fact, if you can, do a one-night trial run just to see how your pet is feeling the next day.
While you’re there, ask about optional services available for your pet. This may mean more walks for your dog, more playtime for your cats, group play, or even the ability to monitor your pet’s activity while you’re away. More to do means more fun, and that means less stress for you and for them.
And if your pets get homesick, be sure to pack small comforts from home. These can be as simple as favorite toys, treats, or blankets. Having something that feels and smells like home will help them relax until it’s time for you to come pick them up.
Speaking of comforts from home, it can be helpful to pack their usual food. Boarding places will offer their own food, but if you want to give your pets some continuity (and avoid any gastrointestinal distress), bring the food they’re used to with specific instructions for the staff on how to feed them.
Finally, make sure their medications are in order. That means making sure all prescriptions are filled and you have enough to last the duration of the stay (and a few days after). It can also mean helping your pets thrive during the holidays with a behavioral supplement like Zylkene®. Zylkene® can help your cat or dog handle new situations and new people on an even keel – without altering their behavior or making them drowsy.
And if you do try out new medications or supplements like Zylkene®, consult with your veterinarian prior to (and after, if needed) boarding. That will give you time to adjust dosage so you and your pet get the results you need.
With these tips, we hope that you and your pets won’t just survive the holiday seaon, but thrive in it. We wish you AND your pets a Happy Holidays!