An older dog may be a true and trusted companion, but they also are more likely to have health concerns that makes leaving them alone when you are on vacation more difficult. Fortunately, boarding (at an outlet such as Doggie Daycare & Motel) is an option that can work especially well for a dog that needs more supervision. The following tips can help you board successfully.
Tip #1: Get a check-up
Schedule a visit to the vet before you leave. This is especially important if your dog currently suffers from a known condition since medications may need to be adjusted. Your vet can perform a full survey of health and make any ongoing care recommendations. Make sure you tell the vet that you will be boarding your dog, too. They may have specific recommendations for the boarding facility, such as modified daily exercise needs.
Tip #2: Consider incontinence
An older dog's incontinence can sneak up on you at home if your dog has free access to a yard. Keep an eye on your pup for a week or two before your trip to see if they are making more trips outdoors or requesting more walks to relieve themselves. If they are, make sure you bring this up with the boarding staff. They may arrange for more walks or yard visits to accommodate the increased bathroom needs of your dog. They may also need to line the kennel with training pads to help control any accidents that do occur.
Tip #3: Ask for joint concessions
Many older dogs develop stiff joints or arthritis. Make sure your boarding facility is aware if your dog suffers from this so the facility can choose an easily accessible kennel for your pup. They may even have ramps that they can utilize if there are any steps in the facility. If the kennel walks dogs in a group, this also ensures they are aware of your dog's limitations so they can walk them on their own or with dogs of similar abilities.
Tip #4: Provide a written health plan
Take a few minutes to type a list of your dog's medications and dosages, along with any special issues or needs. This could include dietary restrictions or physical limitations. For example, if your dog has hearing loss, let then facility know so workers don't accidentally startle your dog. Make sure you have contact information for your vet and yourself, along with a local emergency contact number, just in case something does happen.