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Boarding A Senior Dog

November 1, 2023

Do you take your canine companion to a kennel when you go out of town? As much as Fido would love to, he just can’t go everywhere with you. A good doggy hotel is a pawesome choice for these occasions. You won’t have to let people into your home, nor will your pooch be left alone for long stretches of time. Of course, as your furry friend grows older, his care needs will change a bit. That will also in turn affect his boarding needs. A local Fort Myers, FL vet offers some advice on boarding an older pup in this article.

Bring Updated Information

Most people tend to find a kennel they like and stick with it. This makes sense. It’s also easier for Fido, as he’ll be accustomed to his home away from home. You most likely would have had to fill out some forms and provide some information on your furry friend upon his first visit. After that, you may have only needed to provide occasional updates, such as noting when your pup has gotten vaccine boosters. However, as your pet reaches his golden years, he may develop medical conditions the kennel doesn’t know of. Provide any new information clearly, both verbally and in writing. That includes things like dietary restrictions, medication schedules, and any exercise restrictions or requirements.

Be Clear On Emergency Protocols

The chances of Fido getting sick or injured will increase as he ages. Older dogs are more fragile, and are more inclined to things like slip-and-fall injuries and/or illnesses that come on suddenly. Give the kennel as much information as possible about how to reach you, including an itinerary, secondary numbers, and times when you’ll be unavailable, such as during that long flight to Italy. We also recommend providing backup contacts. These should be close friends or family: people you trust enough to authorize to make decisions for Fido in case you can’t be reached. Make sure you’re clear on what standard protocols are in case of an emergency. In some cases, you may be asked to decide what course of action is approved.

Board With Your Vet

Boarding with your vet is always a great option, but is particularly helpful with senior pets. They’ll already be familiar with Fido and any medical conditions he has. Even if you have a great kennel, it’s definitely worth considering.

Our Advice on Boarding A Senior Dog in 2024

Why is it important to update a boarding kennel about a senior dog’s changing health needs?

It’s crucial to update a boarding kennel about a senior dog’s changing health needs because older dogs may develop new medical conditions that require special care. Providing updated information ensures the kennel can meet the dog’s specific dietary restrictions, medication schedules, and exercise requirements. This helps maintain the dog’s well-being and minimizes the risk of any health complications during their stay. Clear communication about the dog’s health changes also enables the kennel staff to respond effectively in case of emergencies, ensuring the dog receives prompt and appropriate care.

How can you find a kennel that is experienced in caring for senior dogs?

To find a kennel experienced in caring for senior dogs, start by asking for recommendations from your veterinarian or other pet owners. Look for kennels that specifically advertise senior dog care services or have positive reviews from owners of older dogs. Visit potential kennels in person to assess their facilities and inquire about their experience with senior pets. Ask about their protocols for handling medical emergencies and if they have staff trained in administering medications or managing age-related conditions. Choosing a kennel with a track record of providing personalized care for senior dogs will ensure your pet receives the attention they need.

What special accommodations might your senior dog need at the kennel?

Senior dogs may require special accommodations at the kennel, such as softer bedding to cushion their joints, ramps or low entry points to access elevated surfaces, and frequent potty breaks to accommodate their aging bladders. Additionally, they may benefit from a quieter area away from younger, more energetic dogs to minimize stress. It’s crucial to communicate any specific needs or medical concerns, such as medication schedules or mobility limitations, to the kennel staff to ensure your senior dog receives appropriate care during their stay.

Should you bring your senior dog’s own food and medication to the kennel?

Yes, it’s advisable to bring your senior dog’s own food and medication to the kennel. Familiar food can help prevent gastrointestinal upset, while maintaining their medication routine ensures their health needs are met. Providing their own supplies also reduces the risk of allergic reactions or adverse effects from unfamiliar products. Be sure to communicate clear instructions to the kennel staff regarding feeding schedules, medication dosages, and any special dietary requirements your senior dog may have to ensure continuity of care during their stay.

Are there any signs you should look for when choosing a kennel?

When choosing a kennel, look for signs of cleanliness and organization. A well-maintained facility indicates proper hygiene standards, reducing the risk of disease transmission. Check if the kennel provides comfortable accommodations and ample space for exercise, ensuring your senior dog’s comfort and well-being during their stay. Additionally, observe how staff interact with the dogs and inquire about their experience in handling senior pets. A knowledgeable and compassionate staff can provide the necessary care and attention your senior dog deserves while you’re away.

Do you need to schedule boarding? Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL pet clinic, today. We are always happy to help!

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