Boarding Your Dog Over the Holidays

Will you be heading out of town over the holidays? Boarding can sometimes be easier on your dog rather than bringing him along (especially if you’ll be flying and he’s too large to travel in the cabin with you.)

Today we’ve got some tips on selecting a boarding facility from veterinarian Dr. Donna Spector with VCA Animal Hospitals:

  • Ideally the boarding facility has an excellent relationship with a veterinarian or veterinary clinic to assure your pet will be well cared for in the event of an emergency. Include a copy of your pet’s medical history and a signed medical consent form with emergency contact information.
  • Make sure the facility maintains proper climate control (temperature and humidity) to insure your pet is comfortable both day and night. This is particularly important for small and exotic pets.
  • Ask about the cleaning protocols. It is imperative that facilities are sterilized between boarders and a rigorous daily cleaning schedule is followed to prevent spread of infectious diseases. Viruses like canine influenza (dog flu) can live in boarding kennels for 2 days and even on hands and clothes for 24 hours!
  • Make sure the boarding facility requires that participating pets are free from contagious disease and are current on heartworm preventative and fully vaccinated. Required core vaccinations for dogs include rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and canine adenovirus-2. Bordatella and the new canine influenza (dog flu) vaccination may also be recommended for the safest boarding experience. Required core vaccinations for cats include rabies, panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.
  • It is recommended that you take your pet’s food and any special bedding or toys to make their boarding experience as stress-free as possible.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.