This week my entire house was painted inside and I had to board Kirby and Benny for four days.
Because of the mess and dust and smell, both dogs had to be away from the house.
Especially for Kirby, familiarity is critical and he has so many challenges, newness is not his friend. All the furniture is in the center of the rooms and his beds are covered with plastic. Because of his failing eyesight, he would not be able to get around the house he is so used to.
And Benny would be miserable confined to his kennel while I was home and people were working all around him. He loves his kennel when I go away but would be so confused in there while all this action was going on! He would want to join in.
My dogs always stay with our vet at Town Center Animal Hospital and this way they are familiar and comfortable (they like the vet!) and I don’t worry if they should become ill.
I always recommend clients prepare for emergencies or even just for their vacations by establishing their boarding routines. It is so important to have solid boarding options before you need them.
I get many calls from clients and neighbors asking where they can board their dogs and they are leaving the next day!
Don’t wait to have back up plans. Emergencies happen. You can become ill or have to care for someone or travel and you want to know your animals are happy and safe when you leave them. If you have a friend or sitter who can watch them make sure you book as far in advance as possible The best pet sitters get reserved very early especially for holiday business.
And don’t depend on your friends’ always being available. They have lives and conflicts and emergencies too.
It is always a good idea to have professional boarding as a backup. And the way to make sure tour pets are comfortable there is to leave them overnight when you are in town. Just look at the expense as an investment for when you really need to leave them. This way your pet becomes familiar with the facility, staff, smells, new place to eat and eliminate and the kind of kennel they will be staying in.
I always suggest clients use kennels at home so their pets are happy when confined. Don’t wait until you have to board or like with Kirby, he had so many surgeries, he is on kennel rest a lot of the time. But he does not mind it. He loves his “room.”
I always provide my dog’s food as they are on special diets and written instructions as to feeding and medications. Even though they are at their vet this makes it so easy for them to properly care for my dogs.
My dogs do not share a kennel as Benny could try to play with Kirby or even lean on him when sleeping so they have their own kennels. They don’t share a kennel at home so why should they when away? But if your dogs do share, keep the routine when they are boarded.
I reserve extra walks and play time so I know their routine is kept as close as possible to when they are at home.
I know I do not need to call to check on them but it makes me feel better to ask “How are they doing?” and to hear “They are doing great!” Those calls are for me more than the dogs!
When I pick them up tomorrow morning I know they will be excited to see me. I will wait in the vet’s lobby for a while until they calm down. I always have the staff bring out one dog and then the other so they get some quiet time with me. Usually Benny comes out first because he is more excited to see me. But he has to calm down before I greet him and he has learned to do that in a split second. He looks at me with a quizzical look and then seems to say “Oh, you’re back!” Then sweet Kirby is carried out and he is just the perfect dog. He smells around and just melts in my arms.
I know what they missed the most these four days was working as Love Dogs!
So don’t wait – have plans for your pets so you can have the freedom to live your life and know they are happy and cared for.