Boarding

Preparation

At Seaforth Vets we board cats so we know a thing or two about what we like to see in preparation for boarding

When I first sat down to write about this subject I thought it would not involve a lot, but I was wrong. There is quite a lot to consider if you really want to the best for your pet

Inspect the premises

This is out number one bit of advice. There is nothing worse than turning up to a boarding facility for the first time only to be disappointed in your choice. Don’t put your pet or yourself in this situation. If you do you’ll have no time to find another facility and you will just worry about it for the rest of your holiday

A good boarding facility will allow you to inspect their premises at any time of the day. There should be nothing to hide

Book well in advance

I cannot stress this too much. There is a great demand for boarding pets at Easter, Christmas and during school holidays. For these busy periods I recommend at least booking 2 months in advance. Places disappear very quickly. Once a facility is full it is full, and odds on so are the rest

Ensure your pet is vaccinated

All boarding facilities will require an up to date vaccination certificate for your pet. Vaccination not only protects your pet but all other resident animals. At any boarding facility population density is much higher than your pet experiences at home. Disease can spread much easier and faster

At Seaforth Vets we can bring your cats vaccination up to date on admission but for other facilities it is sensible to have this done in advance as they may not have immediate access to a veterinarian

If boarding premises says they do not require mandatory vaccination I would avoid boarding my pet there

Some facilities for dogs require an intranasal vaccine for kennel cough (KC) (even when you dog is already fully vaccinated by injection). This can catch you out, so make sure in advance it is not required. My personal opinion is that the injectable KC vaccine is just as effective as the intranasal, and indeed easier to administer so you can be sure they have been correctly administered. Dogs do not like intranasal vaccines and most struggle leaving you wondering how effective it is

Worming

I think it is a good idea to ensure you worm your pet both before and after returning from boarding. You do not want to take any infestation into the premises, neither do you want to bring anything out

Flea control

Same principle. This need not be expensive. Apply your usual Top Spot before boarding and give your pet an inexpensive capstar tablet before arriving home. At Seaforth vets we capstar all animals as they arrive. It is a very safe and effective medicine

Diet

If your pet requires a special diet, such as a reducing diet or a renal diet, ensure you supply this. There is no guarantee (and it is most unlikely) that the facility will cater for niche diets. Being a veterinary facility we have access to all special diets

Medicines

If your pet is elderly and needs medicines, be sure to take them along to the facility. Verbally spell out their importance and ensure they know the dose and frequency of dosing. Get them to repeat this back to you so you know they have taken it on board. This is another advantage of leaving you cat at Seaforth Vets! All boarding cats are inspected daily, food intake monitored and medications definitively given

Some facilities will charge for these extra duties, be aware of this in advance. At Seaforth Vets this service is offered at no additional charge

If you have a diabetic pet requiring daily insulin injections I would recommend you only ever board them at a veterinary clinic. There is no room for a slap dash approach and complications can be fatal. At a veterinary surgery veterinary knowledge and expertise is immediately on hand

Contact details + emergency contact

Be sure to take along your holiday details to the facility. If you are not contactable on your holiday be sure to supply the details of a person who can act as your proxy in case of emergency. It is a big ask so be clear to spell out to them what you will and will not allow them to decide upon

Veterinary details

Ensure you have given the facility the details of your pets veterinary surgeon. Should your animal be come ill while boarding it is important that any attending vet can contact the animal’s personal vet to obtain a complete history and case advice