Leaving your pet behind can be hard, especially when they need to be boarded while you take vacation. Whether you operate a boarding facility, or you only provide veterinary services, your clients are going to rely on your advice and care to help their pets with these stays. These tips will help make kennel and cat condo stays easier for pets and their owners.
What Clients Should Look For When Choosing a Boarding Facility
While certifications from organizations like the International Boarding and Pet Services Association are a good sign, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for finding good boarding. Here’s what your clients should look into when choosing a boarding facility:
- Cats need separate “cat condos” to prevent them from fighting with each other.
- Pets need some form of interaction through the day to keep from being bored. Cat facilities need places for cats to climb and jump. Dogs need playtime, preferably with similar-sized breeds.
- Climate control needs to match the animal’s needs. Shorthair breeds need more heat in the winter, and longhair breeds need air conditioning in the summer.
- Most facilities leave dogs and cats alone overnight. This can be a problem for animals with health problems who need frequent observation.
What Does a Pet Need from Your Practice to Be Boarded?
Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date. Facilities usually require vaccinations to be administered at least two days in advance, but two weeks or more is better. These are the most common required vaccinations:
- Bordatella (kennel cough)
- FVRCP vaccine for cats
- Kennel influenza for dogs
While it may not be required, now is a good time to check up on flea and tick medication.
The kennel will also need contact information for your practice. Add a business card to the copy of the immunization record the client will bring with them to the kennel.
How Can Clients Prepare Their Pet?
It's a good idea to find a friend or family member who can step in and make decisions about the pet. This way, issues can be resolved quickly if the kennel isn't able to contact the client.
Often, the stress the owner feels can stress to the pet. The more normal the owner can make the experience, the easier it will be for everyone involved. It's common for worried pet parents to overfeed their dog or cat beforehand. This can lead to digestion problems. Once they bring their pet in for boarding, the owner needs to avoid long goodbyes. Their dog or cat can sense something is wrong, and will get stressed out. It's also helpful if the client plays with their pet before going to the kennel. A tired animal is less likely to act out.
If you have a pet hotel at your clinic, set up a meeting area away from the front desk. This keeps the owner from calling their dog or cat, and getting that animal excited. It also helps the animal and owner go their separate ways faster, so the pet doesn’t sense the owner’s anxiety.
For their pet’s comfort, the client should bring toys and a towel or other object that smells like the owner. This makes the facility feel more like home.
Clients should also ask about food. Pet hotels may offer common pet foods, but owners may need to provide food for animals with special diets.
Doggie Daycare: Making the Transition to a Temporary Home
Changes in routine have a bigger effect on an animal's stress level than almost anything else. This is especially true if your practice operates pet housing. An animal that hates vet visits isn't going to be happy about staying in your building. That’s why kennels are increasingly offering daycare services.
While the owner may be able to provide care for their pet throughout the day, using a daycare service lets the pet adjust to their temporary home. They get to meet the staff and get used to the environment, while returning home at the end of the day limits stress levels. It also gives the staff a chance to learn the animal's preferences, including how sociable they are. Ironing out the details now makes it easier for the pet to handle days in the care of the facility.
We Can Help You Connect with Clients and Patients
Positive Impressions LLC has everything your practice needs to build and maintain client relationships. Does your clinic offer pet boarding services? We have cage cards and labels for pets in your care, as well as veterinary sanitizers. Need to stay in contact? We offer custom printing for most of our products, including business cards, reminder cards, calendars and prescription labels. Want to learn more? Visit our website to see what we offer, or check out our Facebook page to see our latest specials.