What to Know About Boarding Your Puppy
A puppy entering your life is cause for celebration! Whether expected (You picked him out at the shelter.) or unexpected (He followed you home!), having a little furry friend is a life-changing experience and requires some extra planning. What food does your puppy like? What vet will you take him to?
What happens when you go on vacation?
Boarding your dog is a great option when you’re planning a vacation, or when an emergency arises in your household. Puppies can be boarded too! But there are some things you should know first.
Can I Board My Puppy?
Yes, there’s nothing about puppies that means they can’t be boarded; unfortunately, some facilities prefer to board only adult dogs. This is because puppies require a specific amount of care, and not all boarders have the experience, space, or time for a young dog.
There are lots of facilities that do accept puppies, including Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital. They are likely to have boarding requirements, so brush up on those before bringing your puppy for a stay.
Most facilities require dogs to be at least 12 weeks old, or 4 months. You may also see 17 weeks as a requirement from some facilities.
Age requirements are primarily due to the vaccination schedule for young dogs. At 12 weeks, many pups receive their first adult shots and will receive another round at about 16 weeks.
Cinco Ranch Vet offers boarding for all dogs that are up-to-date on their vaccines.
While these requirements may put you in a bit of a pinch, it’s for the safety of your dog and other dogs with which he comes into contact. Because boarding facilities house many dogs in close quarters, illness can spread, especially if the pups play together. Younger dogs are also more prone to disease because of their age.
Call the boarding facility you have in mind to see if they allow puppy boarding. They may not state it on their website, so it’s best to double-check before scheduling!
Whether you’re boarding a puppy, an adult dog, or a cat, planning is important. Kennels and facilities can fill up quickly, especially during the holidays or summer months, so snagging a spot for your fur baby as early as possible is essential. This also gives you plenty of time to call other places if your first choice is full.
We understand at Cinco Ranch Vet—and many other facilities do too—that emergencies happen! If you must board your puppy, explain the situation to your veterinarian or the boarding facility. They may be able to make last-minute adjustments for you, but it’s not guaranteed.
If something happens on your trip—your flight is delayed or your car breaks down—and you won’t make it home at the scheduled time, call the facility to make them aware and ensure your pup can get the care he needs in the meantime.
You May Want to Wait on That Vacation
Boarding your young puppy can be a stressful experience, both for you and your pup. The sudden change of scenery and people can be a bit frightening. If you can push your vacation back just a bit, especially if your dog is less than 17 weeks old, it may be the best option for everyone. You and your pup will have more time to grow together, get to know each other, and do some helpful training.
Boarding a puppy also requires special attention from boarding staff. During a busy season, that attention may not be possible for your dog. If you’re unsure, ask the boarding facility about special accommodations they have available and how much attention each dog receives in general.
How to Find a Boarding Facility
There are certain things you should look for when it comes to finding puppy boarding. Here are a few questions to ask caretakers and things to keep in mind:
- Do you usually take care of puppies, or only adult dogs?
- Where will my puppy be kept? Do you have special facilities for puppy boarding?
- Do you walk the dogs? Outside? Do they have interaction with other dogs?
- What type of food do they get? How often? Can I bring my puppy’s food instead?
- Are there any beds or toys? Can I bring some from home?
- What happens if my puppy gets sick?
- Are there any specific requirements for my puppy to be boarded?
- How safe is the facility? Is it clean?
- Are your employees and caretakers certified?
- How do you avoid fleas?
- What documentation do you need from me?
These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask! The answers all depend on each specific boarding facility. Some will allow you to bring your own dog’s food and toys, while others request that you don’t. Toys and bedding, for example, can get torn or lost. If your dog follows a raw diet, the staff may not be equipped or have the time to allow for this.
You’ll also want to check out reviews and fees when it comes to your puppy’s boarding facility. Many places have this information on their websites, but others like you to call or e-mail to get more in-depth information. Taking a tour of a facility can also give you a great idea if it’s the right place for your pup!
Reducing Anxiety for You and Your Puppy
It can be stressful leaving your fur baby behind while you travel, especially a young dog. Puppies in particular can be prone to stress due to change, so it’s important to reduce the chances of anxiety. Asking the questions listed above to ensure your new boarding facility is equipped to handle your young pup is essential. If they’re not generally used to younger dogs, it could be more difficult for them and your dog to adapt.
Even asking questions may not entirely soothe your anxiety, especially if a worry pops into your mind as you drift off to sleep in your hotel room. Thankfully, many boarding facilities allow you to call and check on your puppy during office hours! Some even have webcam viewing, so you can see your puppy on your phone or computer whether it’s 9 PM or 2 AM. This is a perk you can take advantage of if you choose Luxury Boarding with us!
Options If Your Puppy Is Too Young
If your dog is under 17 weeks old, he may be too young for puppy boarding, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. If you purchased your dog through a breeder, the breeder might be open to watching your new dog for a short period of time. Family members, trusted neighbors, and reputable pet sitters can also be a great asset, especially for shorter trips. Just ensure you leave enough information about your puppy for him to be well cared for.
Board Your Puppy with Cinco Ranch Vet!
We offer boarding for all dogs and cats that are up-to-date on their vaccines. Our staff is trained according to American Animal Hospital Association standards. When they stay with us, puppies younger than nine months receive:
- 2 meals a day
- 3 walks a day
- A bath when they leave
Other package options include:
- Special toys
- Additional playtime
- A television
We also offer the opportunity to check on your pet anytime via webcam if you choose Luxury Boarding.
Need to board your pet for an upcoming vacation or a sudden emergency, give us a call! We provide a range of options when it comes to puppy boarding. Find more information here, or call us at 281-693-7387.
The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital
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