New Jersey mini-map with Saint Francis Veterinary Center marker
392 Kings Highway
Woolwich Township
New Jersey 08085

856.467.0050 Main
856.467.8668 Veterinarians
856.832.3242 Administration
856.467.9549 Fax

Spotlight: Boarding your pet

Boarding your pet

boarding_your_dog-1Boarding your pet can make many owners nervous, because they worry whether their beloved friend will be in good care while they are away.  We recommend a few options:

  • Your pet stays at home and you arrange for a friend or relative to “dog sit” in your home while you are away.
  • You arrange for a friend or neighbor to care for your pet in their home. This works well when the dog knows the home and the people. However, there is always a risk that your pet may escape and get lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
  • You arrange for your pet to go to a boarding kennel. This is probably the safest option since well-designed kennels are safe and secure. Our own boarding service is supervised by a full medical staff 24 hours per day.

Will my pet be happy in a boarding kennel?

Many pets are very happy when they stay in kennels and even look forward to visiting. You should plan well in advance and make sure to visit the kennels beforehand to verify that the facility meets your expectations.  Some kennels will recommend a series of short boarding visits lasting a few hours to allow your dog to become accustomed to being away from you.

How will I know if my pet will relax in the kennel?

Despite the fears of owners, most pets settle into boarding life very quickly.

It is always worthwhile to board your pet for a short period such as a weekend or a few days to see how they do before leaving them for a prolonged time. One or two short stays at a kennel will help your pet adjust to being without you and get used to the boarding facility and staff.  When you pick up your pet, evaluate his or her general condition. This will give you an indication of the standard of care your pet received. Be sure to ask the kennel staff about your pet’s behavior and appetite. Many pets that are unaccustomed to boarding will have a decreased appetite or drink less water during their stay. This is normal but frequent, short visits will help reduce your pet’s anxieties.

How will I find suitable boarding kennels?

Most kennels advertise their services on the Internet and in local telephone directories. Recommendations from friends or neighbors, or from your veterinary clinic are often your best source of information.

How will I locate kennels in an area where I am visiting?

Follow the same procedure as above and also telephone local veterinary practices and enlist their help. Your veterinary clinic should be able to provide you with telephone numbers of local practices where you are visiting or moving.

Are there any requirements necessary before boarding my pet?

All pets that are boarded should be current on their vaccinations. Rabies, canine distemper and upper respiratory (“kennel cough”) vaccines are universally required. Most boarding kennels will require written proof of vaccination from a licensed veterinarian and all applicable pet licenses prior to boarding your pet.

You should fully discuss any special medical problems or dietary requirements with the kennel staff before boarding your pet at a kennel. Ensure that you leave written authorization for emergency veterinary care with the boarding kennel, along with the contact information for your veterinarian. Be sure to call and find out what is else might be required prior to your visit to prevent last minute delays.

Ernest Ward, DVM
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