Adding a pet to your growing family can be healthy for everyone involved. Providing care to a dog, cat, bunny, or another type of domesticated animal is a great life-lesson for children and has been proven to add years to the lives of seniors and others who live alone. Whatever your reason for adopting a pet, make sure that you consider all aspects of pet ownership before you bring one into your home. Adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment and should not be taken lightly. From providing vet care for cats and dogs to boarding your pet when you go on vacation, Westport pet owners have a lot of responsibilities that must be considered. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth is here to help, offering professional services for pets and their owners since 1975.
What You Need to Know
Just as you would likely do a lot of research on daycare centers and babysitters before leaving your child for an afternoon, do your due diligence when it comes to boarding your pet. Research the various boarding facilities and speak with your local veterinarian about recommendations before you select a service. Whether you are going away for the day, a weekend, or will be gone for more than a week, it pays to know as much as you can about who will be taking care of your pet and what you can expect to occur while you are gone. No one will ever love and tend to your pets the way that you do, but having the peace of mind that comes from reading customer reviews and making sure that the environment is a place where you feel comfortable leaving your pet is worth the extra effort.
Westport pet owners should ask a lot of questions about the facility and learn all they can about the itinerary that their pet will experience while under their care. Will your pup go outdoors to play or simply be walked a few times during the day? Will there be a staff member on-site at night or are the pets locked in and left alone? What about feeding schedules, toys and interactions, and possible extra care services for anxiety or providing required medication? Will grooming be included or any other services? If your pet requires anything special above and beyond basic walking, feeding, watering, and interaction, make sure to express it when you discuss the options for boarding your pet with this facility.
Required Vet Care for Cats and Dogs
Most boarding facilities will require that your pet be up-to-date on all vaccinations, including rabies. Dogs are required to have the DHPP vaccine, which represents Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, and Parainfluenza. They will also usually need to have a current Bordatella vaccine. When it comes to cats, the most common vaccinations include rabies, Leukemia, and the FVRCP vaccine, which includes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. However, certain facilities may have even more requirements, such as pets that are spayed or neutered, have proof of prevention treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworm, as well as other documentation. Make sure to ask about any requirements ahead of time so you can get the proof at your next visit to Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth.
Make sure to provide your own pet’s food to stay at the boarding facility. If possible, portion their food into plastic baggies, so the measurements are done accurately. If you use a fresh refrigerated food, make sure to provide enough for their stay. If you use a bagged dog food and offer any supplements, treats, or mix in wet food once a day, make sure that your directions are very clear. If you use a certain size scoop, bring that scoop with you as well to ensure that your pet is getting enough food while you are gone. Free-feeding might not be a possibility, depending on the facility, so make sure to pay attention to how much food your pet eats in the weeks prior to your trip.
Special Items to Bring
If possible, bring your pet’s favorite bed, toys, blanket, and any treats or chews that help them to calm down when they are distressed. This will help with any separation anxiety and ensure that your pet has a positive experience. If there is medication, supplements, or specialty food items that you want to be given to your pet, make sure to provide written directions on how these products are to be supplied. Think about your pet’s behaviors when you are away. If your pet is destructive, think twice about fluff-filled toys and bedding that might get destroyed when your pet becomes anxious. Chew toys that are rated for the breed that are safe to be used without supervision are a better choice.
Not sure about boarding your pet? Westport pet owners should contact their trusted animal hospital in Dartmouth to get referrals or find out about other options that include vet care for cats and dogs along with boarding services. This can be especially important for pet owners with senior or special needs pets. Give our team a call at 508-996-3731 and speak with one of our team members about your needs for veterinary care and services.