Boarding your pet can feel similar to sending your child to sleepaway camp. They meet new friends, explore a new environment, and of course, miss their parents from time to time. If you’re feeling anxious or guilty about boarding your pet, our MountainView Veterinary Hospital team is here to ease your mind. This letter is from one of our favorite patients who reassures their owners they are enjoying their boarding stay because “mom and dad” prepared their furry pal for a safe and fun experience. 

Dear Mom and Dad,

I know you are feeling a little nervous about my first boarding experience, and you wish you could take me with you on the family vacation. Of course, we will miss each other while we are apart, but the thought of flying in that noisy plane and dodging hordes of strange people in unfamiliar places isn’t exactly my idea of a fun vacation. Rest assured you made the right choice to let me stay in one place, surrounded by people I trust and meeting new pet friends. So, don’t feel bad about leaving me behind—we are both going to have fun on our vacations. Because you helped me prepare for my first time at a boarding facility, I am enjoying my stay! To help ensure all my pet friends are ready for their stay, we should share these awesome MountainView Veterinary Hospital tips with their owners.


Your Loving Furry Pal 

Choose a trustworthy boarding facility for your pet

Always research and choose a reliable and trustworthy boarding facility. Ensure that the staff is experienced and will provide your pet with the care and attention they need. You can check reviews online, ask friends and family for recommendations, or consult with your veterinarian.

Take your pet to visit the boarding facility before their stay to acquaint your furry pal with the environment and the people who will be caring for them. By doing so, you can help your pet feel more comfortable during their stay. While visiting the facility with your furry pal, ask questions, see where your pet will be spending most of their time, and ensure you and your four-legged friend feel comfortable with the accommodations and the caregivers. 

Ensure your pet is healthy

Once you have chosen a boarding facility that meets your pet’s needs, you should schedule a visit with your MountainView Veterinary Hospital friends for a wellness examination to ensure your furry pal is as healthy as possible before their stay. Most boarding facilities will only welcome pets who receive veterinary-approved parasite control products and whose vaccinations are current:

  • Dogs — To ensure all pets in their care remain healthy, a reputable boarding facility will require that dogs be vaccinated for certain highly contagious diseases. Dogs should be current on:
    • Distemper, adenovirus type 2, parvo, and parainfluenza (DA2PP) 
    • Rabies 
    • Bordetella 
    • Leptospirosis
  • Cats — To ensure all pets in their care remain healthy, a reputable boarding facility will require that cats be vaccinated for certain highly contagious diseases. Cats should be current on:
    • Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia (FVRCP)
    • Rabies 
    • Feline leukemia virus (FELV) 

Prepare your pet’s essentials

After your veterinarian gives your pet the all clear, the fun begins! Time to pack your pet’s bags. Rather than rushing to pack the night before you drop off your pet at the boarding facility, the earlier you start making a list of your pet’s needs, the more prepared you will be before the big day. Include the following necessities for your pet’s stay:

  • Food —Pack plenty of your pet’s food, because a sudden switch in diets can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset and a serious case of stress diarrhea. 
  • Treats — Include a few of your pet’s favorite treats. When the staff gives your furry pal these as they become acquainted, trust is established quickly. 
  • Favorite toy — Having their favorite toy with them helps your pet feel more comfortable while you are apart. 
  • A shirt or blanket with your scent — A small blanket or shirt with a familiar scent will provide your pet with the comfort of home and help them settle in during their stay. 
  • Collar and leash — Ensure your pet has current ID tags attached to their collar, and leash your furry pal when you bring them into the facility to keep them safe in the parking lot. 
  • Vaccination records — Ask your veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s vaccination records to give to the the boarding facility staff. 
  • Prescription medications — Send along your pet’s daily medications and supplements in clearly labeled bottles, including an ample supply and clear dosing instructions. 
  • Parasite prevention — If your pet’s parasite prevention should be administered during their stay, include the preventives with your pet’s essentials, and leave instructions regarding the date their caregivers should administer the medications.

On the big day, you may feel sad when saying goodbye to your furry pal, but stay brave for your pet’s sake. Avoid making a big fuss, because when you feel anxious, your pet does too. Plus, you don’t want to embarrass your four-legged friend in front of their new friends!  So, keep your exit upbeat, brief, and drama-free. Your time apart will fly by, and you can enjoy your vacation knowing that your pet is going to have a great experience.  

We hope these tips relieve some concerns about boarding your pet and help ensure you are both prepared for your time apart. If you have additional questions about boarding your pet or need to schedule their wellness exam and vaccinations, contact our MountainView Veterinary Hospital team well in advance of your furry pal’s boarding stay.