28 Jun How to Successfully Board Your Dog During Summer Vacation

We’re getting ready to prepare for summer vacation season here at Berry Insurance! Typically, our summer vacation planning usually includes worrying about the hotel and amenities, travel, activities for the kids, agendas, etc. But this year we have a new thing to worry about – Shredder! We’ve never had to worry about what to do with a pet while we’re away on vacation, but this year it’s at the top of our list!

We had absolutely no idea what goes into boarding your dog (or cat) while you go away on vacation, so asked for help from the experts! Patti Cotelle-Keniston is the General Manager at Red Dog Inn & Resort in Mansfield, MA and she gave us the inside scoop on how to successfully board your dog during summer vacation:

  1. Take a tour of the facility you are considering and be sure to ask lots of questions! You want to feel comfortable with the staff and the grounds, as much as you want your pup too! Be sure to find out how often they play outside/inside and where they sleep at night.
  2. Schedule a drop-in day for your dog. If you’re like us, you’ll likely be nervous about leaving your baby (ahem, dog) at a boarder, and your dog will pick up on this right away. Bring them by a few times for doggy daycare. They’ll get a chance to learn the ropes, and know that you’ll always be back to take them home. And you’ll get a chance to learn the drop-off/pick-up routine so you’ll be more comfortable for the day you head off on vacation.
  3. Get your packing done early! Ok, there really isn’t anything you need to pack per se, but there are some things you’ll need for your dog’s stay. While most boarders provide food, it’s always recommended that you supply your own. You want your dog to have as much consistency as possible, and you wouldn’t want to upset their digestive system in any way. And don’t forget to pack extra! Your dog will likely be getting a lot more exercise playing with his new friends, and will need those extra nutrients! You’ll also need to pack any prescribed medications, as well as anything over-the-counter, holistic, or anything else you give to your dog. If you aren’t sure how the boarder will handle it – ASK. You will also need proof from your vet that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, so be sure to request this from your vet early. (PS: you likely won’t need to bring any blankets, beds or toys, but be sure to check on these items with the boarder.)
  4. Make a personality profile for your pup. We know, it may seem silly, but giving your boarder as much information as possible about your dog is key to them having a happy stay! Things like personality traits or quirks, whether they have aversions to loud noises (like the garbage truck), if they are jumpers, if they are chewers, any bite history, etc. The more information you can provide, the better prepared the handlers will be for keeping your dog happy and safe!
  5. Have your emergency contacts lined up. You should be prepared to have at least 2 names of people that you are comfortable with authorizing care for your pet. If something happens, and you can’t be reached, this person should know how you would want treatment handled for your pet should they need it. (PS: If you have Massachusetts Pet Insurance, handling emergency care is a much easier conversation!)
  6. Be prepared for their homecoming. Your dog will likely be super excited to be back with his family, so his energy may be high! He also will likely be exhausted from all the running and playing and fun he had. You know how we always say we need a vacation from our vacation, to give us time to recuperate? Yup, same with dogs! Don’t be surprised if your pup seems to be sleepier than usual. He’ll get back to normal in a day or so after he’s rested up!

Heading away for summer vacation can be very exciting for everyone – and we want your dog to have just as much fun! Be sure to find a boarder that shows how much they care for your fur-baby, as much as you do! That way you, and your dog, can enjoy vacation stress-free! And before you head out, don’t forget to give us a call to review your Massachusetts homeowners insurance coverages and make sure your pet insurance is up to snuff!

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