As the owner of an elderly dog, you probably do all you can to avoid having to leave your pet's side. But sometimes, life brings other obligations, and you may need to leave your older dog at a boarding facility overnight. Here are some tips to make this as safe and relaxing an experience as possible for both you and your dog.
Choose a boarding facility with more small, isolated play areas and individual attention.
You probably don't want your elderly dog playing with too many others while they are at the boarding facility. A dog that's a bit too rough could overwhelm or injure them. Most pet boarding facilities will keep your dog separate from others if you request that they do so. However, you want to look for a boarding facility where your dog can be kept separate while still getting plenty of attention. A boarding place with several smaller outdoor play areas, larger indoor kennels, and staff that are willing to walk your dog alone is ideal.
Write down your dog's medication schedule in detail.
If your elderly dog is on various medications, you want to make sure the boarding facility gives them at the appropriate times. You're used to your dog's medication schedule, but it may be a little confusing to someone who is less familiar with it. So, write the schedule and instructions out on paper, including as much detail as possible — the dose, the timing of the dose, whether your dog needs to eat food with the pill, and so forth. Include your phone number on the instructions so that if any of the kennel staff are unsure of the instructions, they know exactly where to reach you.
Ask a friend to be your in-town contact.
Do you have a close friend or family member who your dog knows? Give the boarding facility their number to call in case of an emergency. This way, if they cannot get a hold of you, they can at least call your friend. Make sure this friend knows your wishes in terms of vet care so they can make medical decisions for your dog, if needed. You should also reach out to your vet and let them know this person is responsible for your dog's care while you're away.
Boarding an elderly dog can be a little anxiety-inducing at first, but if you choose a great boarding facility and follow the other tips above, you should be set.