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4 Tips to Help You, Your Clients, and Their Pets Have a Smooth Boarding Experience!

September 6, 2016

Dog in kennelWhen your clients travel away from home and are unable to take their pets with them, the care of their furry family members is often turned over to the boarding services of their veterinarian’s office. To ensure that the experience is satisfactory to both the client and the boarding facility, the following procedures should be followed.

Tip #1 - Provided Emergency Information
Having the following information on file can alleviate unnecessary panic in case of an emergency. Require that clients provide your facility with the following documentation:
  • Phone number where client can be reached.
  • Name and phone number of someone near the boarding facility who has the authorization to make health care decisions if the client is unable to be reached.
  • Name and phone number of outside veterinarians who have permission to provide information if there are questions that arise about the medical history and care of pet.
  • Completed emergency form that gives authorization and explains the procedures to follow if client is unable to be reached.

Tip #2 - Prior Check of Health Records
All animal health records should be checked to confirm that vaccinations are up-to-date. The typically recommended core and noncore vaccination requirements for boarding animals are as follows:

Dog’s Core:

  • Canine Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Rabies


  • Canine Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella

Cat’s Core:

  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus   
  • Rabies

Inform clients that their pet is not the only animal at increased risk for infection when boarded. Any other animals within the facility will also be at risk if health records are not up-to-date. Since vaccination immunity can take days to weeks to fully develop, to provide animals with their best chance for protection, vaccinations should be given two to four weeks before they enter the boarding facility.

Tip #3 - Help Ease the Stress
Leaving a pet at a boarding facility can be a very stressful event for both the client and pet, especially if this is the first boarding experience. Consider offering clients the following suggestions to help reduce any transition anxiety.
  • Arrive at the facility before the final closing minutes of the day in case there are questions.
  • Bring the pet’s own food, clearly marked with instructions for feeding amount.
  • Label any medications clearly and include instructions for the dosage.
  • Bring a blanket, towel, or shirt that reminds them of home.
  • Bring a favorite toy.

Tip #4 - Information To Take!
Offer clients a brochure that includes the following information:

  • Name, location, and phone number of facility
  • Facility pictures that show happy and relaxed animals
  • List of care options available
  • Picture of staff members that will care for the animals
  • Staffing hours of accessibility
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