If your pet has special needs, is chronically ill or requires other special care, you may need to utilize a medical boarding facility. Most vet clinics provide medical boarding, though the cost is often two or three times more expensive than typical boarding or kenneling.
Medical boarding is typically required for:
- pets who need IV fluids on a daily basis;
- pets who use a wheelchair;
- pets who require hand-feeding;
- chronically-ill pets;
- a pet who is sick with a contagious illness;
- dogs with extreme separation anxiety (these pets may need to be medicated during their stay); and
- pets who are aggressive with strangers, especially pets who exhibit fear aggression.
Medical boarding, though expensive, is a good option for pets who are medically fragile and it can provide peace of mind for the owner. Medical boarding is often recommended if a pet owner needs to travel and their animal was recently sick or the pet is still in the process of recovering from an illness, operation or similar.
Most medical boarding facilities are veterinary clinics, though some high-end catteries and kennels do offer specialty boarding services. It’s important to ask whether the facility is staffed around the clock. Medically fragile pets and disabled animals may require 24-hour care and/or monitoring. For instance, a dog with paralysis may not make it through the night without having a bathroom accident and since the animal cannot walk, she’ll be forced to sit in her own urine or feces. Therefore, 24-7 staffing is a necessity for many special needs animals. This is an important consideration when selecting a medical boarding facility.
In addition, pet owners should ask about the facility’s medical care policy. The pet owner will be asked to sign a form that authorizes the staff to administer certain medications, to perform certain procedures and so forth. It’s important that you provide consent for any and all procedures that may be required for your pet, particularly if you’re out of contact during your travels (e.g., your cell phone probably won’t work on a cruise ship and you won’t be easy to contact when you’re outside your room.) Some facilities will also allow you to appoint a family member or friend as an authorized decision-maker in the event that an emergency arises.
For more pet care tips, visit the PetLvr archives.
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