As the owner/operator of Pet’s Companion Inn for almost 35 years I’ve learned a few things about helping your pet have the best stay possible. Mostly this will be aimed at our canine guests, but many things will help with cats as well.
- Make reservations early
- Keep vaccine records current and on hand
- Consider your pet’s feeling about seeing luggage
- Know directions to the kennel
- Board new pets early so it becomes a fun and normal activity for them
1. A great rule of thumb is the make your pet’s reservation at the same time you’re completing your own plans. That way it’s done, and there’s no frantic, last minute “oh my goodness, I forgot to call the kennel”. If you prefer your dog to have a Studio, the earlier you call, the better your chances are of not being disappointed. Our Studios book quickly.
2. Keep your pet’s vaccine record current. Be certain that your reservation includes these current records. That way you’re assured of a quick and easy registration, and the beginning of your vacation won’t be ruined by having to chase down records, especially on Saturdays when most Veterinary Hospitals in our area are closed.
3. How does your pet feel about suitcases? Some dogs/cats could care less. Pet owners often tell us about their dog getting frantic when he sees the suitcases come out. If that’s the case with your pet, consider starting your pet’s vacation a day earlier. That way you can avoid his/her anxiety. He will settle in much more quickly from a calm state rather than a nervous one.
4. Is it your first time leaving your pet? Does the thought of leaving Fido make you anxious? Here’s a tip we’ve found to be very useful. Come for a tour ahead of time. Visit with our staff and tour the facility. Bring Fido too if you’d like. Here’s our thought on this. You’re already nervous about leaving your pet. Add to that the frustration of trying to find a new place, sometimes in an area in which your are not familiar. Unfamiliar territory or getting lost just adds to your stress. Your pet will pick up on your feelings. He has no clue what has you so anxious, but being attuned to your feelings he will become anxious as well. Get that first visit out of the way. Know our location. Put on your happy face. Your pet will pick up on that as well. Things will go much better for both of you. Even if you can’t make it for a tour, do a drive by. At least you will know where we are.
5. Do you have a young dog or cat, under two years of age, that has never been boarded? Make it happen. Take the opportunity to go away overnight and allow your pet to do the same. Making a stay at Pet’s Companion Inn a normal and fun thing to do will make your life and your pet’s life much easier. Even bringing your dog for daycare will be a huge advantage for you both when that first “overnight camp” experience comes up. A dog that beats you to our front door will show you that he’s excited about coming and will ease that nagging guilt about “leaving” him.
OK, you’ve both survived your time away from each other. You’ve checked your dog out and you head out the door. Your dog stops and takes what you’re sure it the world’s longest pee. Yes, I promise, he peed while he was kenneled. We monitor that very closely. Here’s what happens…you dog is excited to see you…some owners actually go overboard with their excitement and get their dog over excited. Excitement elevates blood pressure which in turn makes your dog need to relieve himself. There’s also a good chance that we woke him up when we brought him up to be discharged. Here are some after stay tips.
- Welcome your pet back in a normal, quiet way
- Examine your pet to feel confident he’s in great condition
- Have water available immediately at home
- Ask if he’s been fed on discharge day
- Don’t give unusual treats at home
1. A normal level of excitement is expected, but don’t go crazy. You’ve got plenty of time to reconnect with your pet.
2. It’s always a good idea to examine your pet before leaving the office. While we encourage phone calls for any and all questions, it’s difficult to provide much useful information a week later. While even minor injuries are rare, dogs that get excited and jump on the chain link fencing, or grab it with their mouth can sometimes get scrapes on their feet or lips. We try to make pet owners aware of any scratches, hot spots, etc.that arise during a stay. We appreciate it if the owner points out anything that we missed or forgot to mention.
3. The drive home will be exciting, and maybe hot, even in air conditioning, so he’ll be panting. Once at home offer water immediately, but please don’t allow your dog to drink excessive amounts all at once. Allow him to drink a little bit, then wait a few minutes before allowing him to drink more. If you pet likes ice cubes give him some to eat or play with. That will cool him down and refresh him. Too much water too fast can cause stomach upset and vomiting.
4. Ask if he’s had his main meal of the day. If he has DO NOT FEED HIM AGAIN! It is more safe to miss a meal than to eat two meals. If he hasn’t yet been fed, be certain that he is completely relaxed and calm before feeding. This should avoid stomach upset at the least, and gastric torsion at the worse.
5. Do not fall into the guilt trap of giving your dog part of your dinner, especially those wonderful drippings from the pork roast you just cooked, or part of your steak, or even the french fries from that stop at the fast food spot on the way home. It doesn’t happen often but once in awhile we’ll get a call from a pet owner whose dog has thrown up the evening after he’s picked up, or the next day. Sometimes there’s diarrhea as well. Usually a little conversation with the owner reveals some combination of what I’ve discussed in 3, 4, and 5. Remember, while he’s been visiting with us he’s been away from those “special treats” he loves at home.
We here at Pet’s Companion Inn hope that these suggestions will be a guide for you and your pet to have the perfect vacation stay.