Pet parents often have to go places where their beloved pets can't safely go, so cats and dogs may need to be boarded. Here, our Sacramento vets discuss medical boarding, how it's different from other options, and when it's considered a good choice for your animal.
What Are the Options for Pet Care?
Are you going away for a prolonged period of time and aren't able to take your pet with you? If so, you have three standard categories of pet care to choose from: sitting, pet boarding and medical pet boarding.
A pet sitter is similar to a babysitter for humans. This may be a professional that you hire, or a friend or family member. The levels of service various pet sitters offer vary. A sitter's primary role is to check in on your pet periodically and dispense food, take them for bathroom breaks, and provide social playtime.
Pet boarding is a service where you take your pets to be looked after. You may be more familiar with another name for pet boarding — a kennel. The level of service available at kennels has increased significantly in recent years. While some places are bare bones and care for a pet's essential needs, others are more similar to going to a summer camp with a range of activities to keep them occupied. Still others are more like spas, where pets are pampered to their heart's content. Since service can vary, we recommend checking out any facility you're considering to make sure it's where you'd like to leave your pet.
Medical Pet Boarding
Medical pet boarding is like normal pet boarding, but with an added perk. This type of boarding comes with the supervision of a vet and their staff.
When Does My Pet Need Medical Boarding?
The three types of pets that are highly recommended for medical pet boarding are pets with pre-existing conditions, extremely young pets, and senior pets.
Medical boarding is for pets that may need extra care or have existing medical conditions. A pet sitter or normal boarding facility may not be trained in the proper way to administer medications, especially if it involves needles. This is a major advantage of medical boarding; the staff is trained professionals that can understand your pet's medical history and give medication and adjust doses if there are issues. They also know what symptoms to watch for based on your pet's medical condition/history.
Requirements for Medical Pet Boarding
Most regular pet boarding requires that the pet being boarded is vaccinated with a list of required vaccines. They will also state whether or not you are allowed to bring toys, bedding, or food for your pet. With most medical boarding the rule still holds for the vaccination requirement but double-check with them to see what their policy for vaccination is for pets being medically boarded.
While locations may allow toys and bedding from home for pets under normal boarding circumstances they may or may not allow it for the pet that is being medically boarded, for the reason of keeping the environment hygienic. Double-check the specifics of the policies on medical boarding at your chosen boarding facility.
You will be expected to bring any medication your pets in currently prescribed. It is often recommended that you bring your pet's own food, especially if it is a prescribed diet by your vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.