Travel vs. Boarding: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Pet

Young dog  looking out the car windowThe end of summer often signals the last chance for the family vacation. It’s a popular time of year to get in one more trip to country, a new city, or other destination. But, for those with pets, the question of boarding versus bringing your pet along can be a challenging one.

Since there are advantages and drawbacks to both choices, let’s explore some of the considerations that will help you make the best decision for your pet.

Staycation for Pets: The Benefits of Boarding

For several pets, the choice to board entails more comfort, more fun, and more safety. Travel, especially air travel or long journeys by car, can be precarious for pets who are older, ill, or have anxiety or phobias around noise and new experiences. And, even for the healthiest of pets, travel can be exhausting and scary.

Thankfully, your veterinary team can help you determine what the best option is for your pet.

Gone are the days of bleak kennels without any real perks for pets. These days, boarding facilities are much more conscientious of making the stay enjoyable, keeping concerned pet parents in the loop, and providing comfortable accommodations, similar to home sweet home.

At Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic, we offer many advantages for pets seeking a staycation rather than a stressful journey. Some of the benefits of our boarding services include:

  • Supervision and oversight of your pet by a veterinarian and trained vet technicians
  • Complimentary bath for your well-groomed, pampered pet
  • Free wellness examination offered as an important component of boarding
  • Frequent opportunities for outdoor exercise and supervised playtime
  • Cozy beds and sleeping areas
  • Nutritious meal plan
  • And, of course, personal attention and tons of TLC by limiting the number of pet guests

Tips for Traveling Safely with Your Pet

For those whose pets are accompanying them while on vacation, it is important to keep their safety and wellbeing top-of-mind.

Here are some travel suggestions to encourage the best experience for fur friends.

  • Plan well in advance, making certain lodging and entertainment selections are welcoming to your pet
  • If you cannot take your pet to certain restaurants or venues, make sure you have a daycare or pet-sitting service you trust booked in advance (many hotels do not allow pets to be left alone in the room)
  • Pack your pet’s daily care needs, which will likely include his regular food, treats, bowls, a favorite toy, blanket or bedding, grooming supplies, waste bags, medications, leash and collar, ID tags, veterinary medical records, and a crate or carrier
  • Give yourself plenty of extra “potty break” time while traveling and ensure you carry fresh water and a non-breakable bowl to keep your pet hydrated

If your pet suffers from motion sickness or anxiety in the car, please speak with us about medications that can help. It’s also a great idea to have your pet assessed for any additional vaccinations or parasite preventives, considering your travel destination.

No matter what you choose, your pet family member will be better protected and will have a more enjoyable experience through attention to detail and careful planning.

We welcome your questions about your upcoming pet travel or boarding needs. Give us a call!

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posted in:  Pet Safety