How to Prepare Your Pet For Holiday Boarding

December 7, 2015 - 3 min read

Although your pet is one of the family, sometimes they can’t come on holiday with you. To ensure your dog or cat has just as good a time as you, read our checklist for how to prepare your pet for holiday boarding. They’ll love you for it.

As you would assist your child with starting school, helping to prepare your pet for holiday boarding will mean they can adjust to the changes easily. Make sure you add these tips to your holiday preparation checklist!

Book A Trip To The Vet

Dog Vet
At least 2 weeks prior to your dog or cat being placed in their pet hotel, book in a visit to the vet. Some boarding kennels or catteries will have special conditions that have to be met prior to your drop-off date, so ensure you check what’s needed.
This is a list of things to ensure are up to date:

  • Vaccinations & boosters.
  • Flea & tick protection.
  • Worming

If your pet is on medication, provide enough to the pet carer to cover the time you are away, plus a few days extra just in case. It’s also important to supply the kennel or cattery with a current script in case of any mishaps.

Food & Comfort

Dog and Cat
Cat and dog’s stomachs can be very sensitive to sudden food changes. Prior to dropping your pet off to their holiday accommodation, ensure you provide the carer with enough of your cat or dog’s preferred food and treats for the time you’re away. This is only required if your pet has a sensitive stomach or the pet hotel uses a brand different to the one your cat or dog is used to.
It’s also a good idea to pack a few of their favourite toys and a blanket with your scent on it so they can find some comfort in your absence.
Write down a list of anything your pet is allergic or sensitive to and what to do should your pet have a reaction. It is also a good idea to let them know of any tricks to help calm your pet down if they become anxious. Be sure to supply your vet’s number and where they can reach you in case of an emergency.

Questions To Ask Before Booking

Dog and Cat Playing
Before booking your beloved pet into holiday boarding, ensure you ask these important questions to evaluate if they’re a good fit for your pet:

  • Are there any special requirements that need to be handled prior to drop-off?
  • Can I bring my own cat or dog food/treats to be supplied to my pet?
  • How often and how long are exercise/play times?
  • Is there mixed play time (with other pets)?
  • How do you handle health issues/emergencies?
  • What extras can be added to the boarding agreement?

How To Prepare Your Pet

Cat Cage
It can be a big shock for your pet to go from being cuddled at home to being cared for by a stranger. Performing these steps leading up to their excursion can help them adjust to the change:

  • Place your pet in their travel cage for short periods of time. Ignore them if they start to bark, meow or scratch and reward good behaviour with a treat.
  • If your pet has never been in the car, take them for small trips in their carry cage.
  • Check with the boarding kennel or cattery if you can bring your dog or cat in prior to their visit so they can meet the carers and have a sniff around.

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