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Preparing Pets For Holiday Boarding


By Dr. Ian Kupkee

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic


As the holidays approach, many pet parents turn their attention to travel plans. While some

lucky pets are able to tag along, many others will find themselves at pet hotels and doggie

daycare centers. And like playdates intended for their human counterparts, fur kid sleepaway

camps can be ground zero for colds and coughs.

It’s important to note that even the most rigorously cleaned facilities cannot guarantee foolproof

protection against airborne pathogens. While most facilities require their charges to be

vaccinated against the more common upper respiratory ailments, not every virus comes with an

accompanying vaccine. By ensuring your pets are up to date on vaccines before a boarding

event, your vet can rule out the most likely culprits, such as Bordatella and Canine Influenza,

and more quickly diagnose what’s giving your pet the post-vacation sniffles. Additionally, pets

who routinely take preventatives against fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites are also less likely

to come home with the opportunistic “hitchhikers” that cause illness and discomfort.

Many pets find change stressful - and stress can manifest in the form of illness. Both traveling

and boarding can be upsetting for pets, so plan ahead and try to anticipate how your pet may

respond. If your pet experiences car sickness or separation anxiety, now is the time to ask your

veterinarian if a certain degree of “chemical courage” is appropriate. There are many safe and

effective options for pets who need help coping with the changes that accompany the holiday

season. A little forward planning can help make the season festive and fun for the four-legged

members of our families.


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