• Second Opinion Magazine

Things to Ask When Boarding Your Pet

By Stavroula McCormick, Owner of Ruff Life Pet Hotel



You have booked your flight, hotel, and vacation rental car—but what about your furry family members? Someone will have to look after them while you are relaxing in the sun. Fido and Kitty are very important members of your family, and you don’t want just anyone watching them. Deciding WHO should care for them can be a challenge.

There are several questions to consider when choosing caregivers for your fur babies while you are away:

1. How old is your pet? Several boarding facilities will not take puppies if they are not spayed or neutered.

2. What vaccinations does your pet have? Many places do recommend and even require rabies, distemper, and bordetella to be up-to-date in order to stay. Though it may be a pain to have to have them all current, it is a GOOD THING. This is for your pet’s safety! The last thing you would want is to come home from vacation to a sick pet.

3. Do they need medications daily?

4. Do they have special dietary needs that require refrigeration?

5. Do they require frequent potty breaks throughout the day due to age—either very young or in the “golden years” of life?

6. Does your pet like other pets? Many facilities mix the pets for socialization throughout the day. Is your Fido one that does not like other dogs and will try to start a fight? Or is your Kitty one that is anxious and scared of other cats?


7. Does your pet like to cuddle or would he rather play fetch?

8. Does your pet need special items from home? Slow feeder, a favorite toy, or a blanket that smells like home?

Once you have thought about the needs of your fur baby, check out the options that you have in your area. Make sure that the facility has everything your pet needs to have a comfortable, and fun, vacation while you are away. Just like children, pets can get stressed and have anxiety when they are not with their family, so choosing the best fit for them is important.

Make sure to ask lots of questions when talking to boarding facilities—be Fido’s voice. Have them explain what a day in the life of a pet would be like. Even stop in for a tour, unannounced. If they will not let you take a tour, chances are they are not the right fit for your pet or you.


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