Here is another guest post from Dr. Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, of VCA Animal Hospitals. Visit http://www.VCAhospitals.com to find more information or to locate the nearest VCA Animal Hospital.
Dr. Donna Spector of VCA Animal Hospitals, offers the following tips for boarding or traveling with a pet to limit the stress for four-legged family members
Traveling can take a toll on your pet and many times it is best they stay behind. Start by contacting your VCA veterinarian—many VCA hospitals offer pet boarding and doggy day care facilities. The following tips can help you choose the best facility for your pet:
• Prepared for Emergencies – Ask about the boarding facilities 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.
• Controlled Climate – 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.
• Clean Room – 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!
• Healthy Roommates – 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.
• Comfort – 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.
If your pet is going along this holiday season, the following tips can make travel as stress-free as possible:
• If you will be staying in someone’s home, make sure your pet is invited. Don’t start the holiday off by surprising your host with an unwanted pet.
• If you are flying, call the airline and reserve a space for your pet. There is a fee and there are a limited number of pets on each flight. Depending on your pet’s size, they may be unable to fly in the cabin and this will require further information from the airline. Your veterinarian can also give you information about an airline that caters to pets only.
• If you are hoping to include your dog in the holiday festivities make sure to inquire about local leash and dog laws. Can your dog be on the beach? In the woods? On or off leash?
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