Suburban Animal Hospital Pet Boarding Guidelines
Quarters should provide solid dividers between your pet and the other boarders, both for reasons of safety and so that your pet will be able to relax and sleep without feeling challenged by his or her neighbors. Exercise areas should include barriers between runs high enough to prevent male dogs from urinating into adjacent runs. Surfaces should offer good traction even when wet. Firefighting equipment should be readily available.
Proper supervision is the key to good boarding. Pets should be checked frequently during the day by someone who is trained to recognize the signs of illness and distress. Experience and practical knowledge are required to detect or interpret such symptoms as lethargy, severe intestinal disorders (friends or acquaintances rarely check the backyard for a bloody stool), urinary problems (it is almost impossible to detect blood in urine when pets urinate on grass), loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. Yet, all of these signs can be significant. Competent kennel personnel are trained to recognize and evaluate such signs and to seek veterinary assistance when needed.
The kennel should be free of dirt, fecal accumulation, odors and parasite infestation (flies, fleas, ticks). There should be a strict schedule of disinfecting with effective chemicalsí IE, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds ( pet certified).
Before boarding your dog, you shoud inquire about the following:
- Water: Individual containers filled with clean drinking water should be available to each animal.
- Food: Feeding procedures vary from kennel to kennel. Some kennels supply preferred brands of feed, which they serve to all boarders. However, they usually allow you to bring your pet's favorite food, if you wish. Other kennels maintain a stock of the most popular brands, and feed whatever you request. Still others require that you bring your pet's food when you check in. Determine the kennel's policy, and if there are any additional charges for special feeding arrangements. (We feed the Science diet appropriate for your petís age, species, physical condition. We also carry the specialized Iams, Waltham, Innovative Veterinary Diet, and Purina CNM.)
- Veterinary services: Ask about the procedure for obtaining veterinary service, if required. Some kennels retain a veterinarian on the premises. Others prefer to use your pet's veterinarian so that there will be a continuity of care. Remember that it is customary (and responsible) for you to be financially responsible for any veterinary care required for your pet while it is being boarded.
- Immunization requirements: Dogs should be immunized against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, , parainfluenza, parvovirus (DHPP), and bordetella. Cats should be vaccinated against rabies, panleukopenia or distemper, feline rhinotracheitis, and calici virus, (FVRCP).
- Medication policies and procedures: If your pet is taking medication, advise the kennel operator of the nature of the problem and the type and frequency of medication. Remember, it is essential that heartworm preventative medication be continued during boarding, if your dog is presently taking such medication. Inquire whether the kennel provides such medication, or if you should bring a supply. There is an additional charge for medication.
- Parasite control: If you live in an area in which fleas and /or ticks are a problem, your kennel should utilize procedures for controlling these parasites (pre-entry examinations for boarders, sprays, dips, etc.).