#1 Ensure your dogs are safe from tick
Ticks may be visibly present on the skin of the animal, especially as they grow. Ticks have a hard-backed shield and can be felt as small bumps during palpation (touch examination) of the skin, or during regular petting. If you’ve been out for a walk, it’s generally a good idea to examine your pet carefully once home for any ticks that might have attached on the way. Look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs (in the “armpits”), and around the neck, deep in the fur. Bathing your dog before pet boarding with a shampoo that contains medicated ingredients will generally kill ticks on contact. You will need to repeat the process more often, about every two weeks, as the effective ingredients won’t last as long as a spot-on or oral medication.
Most pet owners stick with 1 to 2 different types of food that they know their dog enjoys. If you have ever tried to introduce a different type of brand or food to your dog, you know that this can cause a negative change in appetite and even upset stomach. Ask the pet sitter what type of food your pet will be given during his stay. If your pet has food allergies or is on a special diet, you may want to make arrangements to have your pet given his regular food, or even possibly bring his own bowl from home for him to eat out of.
#3 Bring along your pet’s familiar toy.
While many pet sitter’s houses are full of creature comforts, there is nothing like the familiar smells and feels of items from home. You may bring over their own small items from the home to help keep your pet more comfortable, such as a blanket, rug, or a soft toy. These items will help your pet feel more safe and secure in the new environment, creating a better overall boarding experience.
#4 Prepare medication for your pets.
Does your pet take medication? If so, ask if the pet sitter provides your pet’s specific medicine or whether you should bring your own supply. Many pets must take certain medications and/or supplements on a daily basis. Remember to include the appropriate number of doses that your pet will need to take in your absence, as well as written instructions with details such as dosage amount and schedule. Sometimes being in an unfamiliar environment and being around other pets can trigger an existing ailment in your pet. In addition to any regular medications, include emergency medications that you think may be necessary just in case.
#5 Dropping off your pets earlier.
If your schedule permits, drop your pet off at the pet sitter’s house early in the morning. This gives them the entire day to adjust to their surroundings before it’s time to bed down for the night. The extra time also allows you to call and check on your pet that first day so you can feel a little more comfortable overnight.
#6 Ensure your pet’s vaccination is up-to-date.
A recent vet visit and being up to date on all vaccinations is standard for all pet boarding, both for the safety of your pet but also for the safety of the pet sitter’s pets. A week or so before your planned a trip, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that your furry friend is in good enough health to weather the potential stress of boarding, as well as to make sure they’re caught up on all their shots.
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