Animal Medical Care Boarding Your Pet

Placing your pet into another person's care for any amount of time can be a very big decision and weigh heavily on how well you enjoy your time away from your loved one. Thus, it is imperative that you trust your Boarding facility and the objective of this article is to facilitate becoming comfortable with your chosen facility.

First and foremost it is important to visit the facilities prior to dropping off your pet. A lot of places can use great photography and descriptive words to make a dungeon look like a palace so make sure to put your eyeballs on the real thing. This also gives you the opportunity to meet and greet the staff and get a feel for how they might treat your loved one once nobody is watching.

As a preliminary screening, it is wise to verify that all animals housed at the facility are required to have all vaccinations up to date with paperwork. If that is not required, your pet could be exposed to infectious agents that could cause serious illness after being exposed. It is recommended that you make sure that proof / paperwork is required of vaccinations prior to animals being housed. Animal Medical Care is always happy to provide that info for your pet if the patient has been vaccinated at our clinic.

On your visit or if necessary over the phone it would be important to make sure the facility provides appropriate ventilation for the kennels and play areas and that regular and efficient cleaning occurs. On inspection the kennels should be clean, tidy, no excrement visible, light and temperature regulated. Also, on inspection the duration of dogs barking should be less then a couple minutes and it should not hurt your ears in the kennels as our pets are more sensitive to sound then we are.

Another observation to be made is whether or not there is adequate room for your pet to exercise. Also, although it is fun to play with other pets while visiting, not all pets play nice and can also transfer diseases. Thus, one should make sure that if you are requesting that your animal doesn't have contact with others that they still have adequate play and exercise time.

Further questions to ask prior to boarding are:
  • Is a veterinarian on call 24/7?
  • Can they provide all special care that your pet needs
    • medications
    • physical therapy
    • special food prep
  • Is there a large exercise area?
  • Is there a constant supply of private fresh water?
  • Is there appropriate security to hold in your pet and keep out intruders?
  • Are the animals monitored 24 hours per day?

Ultimately you cannot ask too many questions and realistically the facility should answer everything you ask if they have nothing to hide.

Halloween Treats

As most of us know, chocolate in certain doses is toxic to our pets and thus the common rule is NO CHOCOLATE. But even some of the best pet owners have pets that can be naughty and will indulge in chocolate. If your pet does indulge in chocolate, it would be important to define what type of chocolate and the quantity prior to calling your veterinarian. This would allow for us to make clinical judgment as to whether or not to induce emesis, give activated charcoal to absorb the toxin or hospitalize.

Other human treats that are around the house during Halloween that are not chocolate based can also cause just as much trouble for your pets health as does chocolate. In particular, excessive candy can cause a significant gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. Both of these can be serious and pancreatitis can be fatal if not appropriately treated with IV fluids, antibiotics and pain medication.

Thus, the take home point is to be aware of the Halloween treat not becoming cat or dog treats as they can cause a myriad of issues. Another resource besides your veterinarian is Poison Control (800) 222 1222.

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