You know that a successful holiday trip requires planning, such as booking your hotel room and flight, well in advance. Whether you will take a trip across the country or a holiday vacation overseas, ensure you also plan ahead for your pet’s vacation. To make holiday boarding reservations and preparations a cinch, follow these seven steps that will help guarantee stress-free boarding for your furry pal.

#1: Schedule your pet’s holiday boarding in advance

The holidays are busy times, and at Stack Veterinary Hospital, we often fill up quickly around major holidays or events. To ensure there’s “room at the inn” for your pet, call us well in advance, and reserve your furry pal’s spot. If your departure or return date changes, let us know as soon as possible, so we can adjust your reservation. Last-minute changes may not be feasible if our boarding facility is fully booked. 

#2: Ensure your pet is current on required vaccinations

Whether you book a stay with our pet care team, or at a different facility, certain vaccinations are required for your pet’s stay. Here at Onondaga Hill Pet Boarding, we require a negative fecal test for cats and dogs six months prior to their boarding stay, along with a current rabies vaccination. Dogs also must be current on their kennel cough (i.e., bordetella), distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza vaccinations, while cats must be current on their feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia vaccinations. Vaccinations must be boostered no later than two weeks prior to your pet’s stay, to ensure a proper immune response.

#3: Ask about calming supplements if needed

Many pets feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar setting, especially those with separation or generalized anxiety. Our Stack Veterinary Hospital pet care team strives to provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for your furry pal with calming music, pheromone therapy, enrichment toys, and fear-free handling methods, but some pets need extra calming support. For these pets, we may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or supplements, and may also suggest a prescription gastrointestinal diet to promote a healthy digestive tract, and ward off potential stress-related diarrhea.  

#4: Verify the hours of availability

Like most businesses, we reduce our holiday hours, so call ahead to check our pick-up and drop-off times. Although we may not be open for client communication, and admitting or releasing pets, our dedicated team will care for your cherished pets year-round. 

#5: Pack your pet’s necessities

When your pet spends a holiday weekend with our team, you do not need to pack much, as we supply all the essentials. However, many pets feel more comfortable at their home away from home with familiar items, so you may want to include your furry pal’s favorite toys and treats, as well as their specific diet. While we can feed your pet one of the diets we carry, abrupt diet changes can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Additionally, if your pet is on a specific diet for a health condition, such as a hypoallergenic or joint diet, we recommend bringing their food to ensure they receive their prescription diet. Also, don’t forget their medications. Send an entire bottle with clearly labeled instructions, to ensure your furry pal does not run out. 

#6: Have a back-up plan

When you drop off your four-legged friend, ensure we have multiple contact methods to reach you in case of emergency. If your pet falls ill, our entire veterinary team will care for your furry pal, so rest assured your best friend is in excellent hands. However, if you plan on traveling with limited communication, we ask that you leave contact information for a friend or family member who is authorized to make medical decisions for your pet if we cannot reach you.

Although it’s hard to believe, the holidays are fast approaching, and travel plans and reservations will need to be made soon. If you are planning holiday travel, and your furry friend needs a place to stay, contact us, to secure your pet’s suite in our boarding facility.