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Things To Ask Your Maui, HI Kennel Before Boarding Your Pet

March 1, 2024

Are you leaving on a trip soon? If you’ve never boarded your pet before, you may be unfamiliar with some of the specifics and procedures involved. We constantly welcome queries from new clients. We understand how hard it can be to leave your cherished pet in someone else’s care! In this post from your Maui, HI veterinary hospital and kennel, we offer some questions you might want to ask.  

What Hours Are You Open For Drop-Off And Pickup?

Many people presume that someone will be present at the kennel during the weekend. However, just because staff is coming in to care for their pets does not mean the front desk is open. Many kennel offices are only open throughout regular business hours. You don’t want to realize at the last minute that you can’t drop Fido off on the way to the airport!

How Far In Advance Should I Book?

The answers to this one may differ, depending on the time of year. Kennels are busiest during popular travel times, which are usually the winter holidays and summer vacations. In some situations, you may be able to get your pet in quickly, but it’s best to find out beforehand.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

One piece of advice that applies universally when boarding pets? Avoid any kennel or facility that does not require confirmation of your pet’s current vaccinations. All kennels should require pets to be up to date on their core immunizations.

Dogs: the canine core vaccines include Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus, and Rabies

Cats: The Feline Core Vaccines include Feline panleukopenia, Feline herpesvirus, Feline Calicivirus in Rabies.

It’s worth noting that rabies is not considered core here in Hawaii, as the disease is not present on the island. However, it is often recommended, and may be required by your kennel. Ask your veterinarian for more information. 

Then there are non-core vaccinations. The most essential are the Bordetella, Parvo, and canine influenza vaccines, which prevent kennel cough and other dangerous infections. Bordetella and chlamydia may be among the non-core vaccines available for cats.

What Features Does Your Pet Resort Provide?

We’ve been friends with Fido and Fluffy for quite some time. According to research, mankind first domesticated dogs approximately 30,000 years ago, and cats about 12,000 years ago. We’ve gotten to know our canine and feline pals well over time, but we’re continually learning more about them. 

We’ve learned a lot recently about how important stimulation and playtime is to Fluffy and Fido.  Pets require enrichment to remain happy and healthy! Many kennels now provide options for their guests’ entertainment.  

How Often Will You Walk And Play With My Pet?

Kennels usually include a walk or two in their daily costs, unless Fido has his own separate run. However, this will vary from place to place.

Keep in mind that each pet has distinct needs. In general, dogs need to go outside at least three times every day, or every eight hours. However, this varies a bit. A puppy, for example, has to be walked every few hours. Young canines can often only retain it for roughly an hour each month of age. Seniors also sometimes require shorter but more frequent walks.

How Much Does Boarding Cost?

This is obviously a common question, and it is one of the first that many clients ask. Nonetheless, it’s absolutely worth mentioning on the list!

What Should I Bring When Boarding Pets?

Kennels all operate differently on this one. For example, some allow you to bring your pet’s bedding and toys, whilst others prefer to use their own. This is frequently done to ensure that everything has been adequately cleaned and disinfected, hence reducing the spread of things like fleas or viruses.

Where Is My Dog Walked?

Some kennels walk their canine companions on leashes, while others utilize runs or pens. Find out where they are taking Fido.

Can I Board A Kitten or Puppy?

This can be a tricky one. You should never leave very young dogs or cats alone for extended periods of time. However, many kennels do not accept puppies or kittens younger than 9 weeks. Your pet’s vaccination schedule may also be a factor. Certain immunizations require boosters, and pets are not entirely protected until they have completed the sequence. 

If your pet has not received all of its immunizations, the kennel might refuse to keep them. Alternatively, they may place them in quarantine. In any case, you should definitely check and find out before planning a trip.

Can I See The Facility?

To be clear: it is not necessary for you to investigate every nook and corner of the kennel. It is also reasonable to expect some regions to be off-limits except to staff. That being stated, you should be able see the area where pets are housed. In fact, if the kennel says no, that’s often a warning sign.

While looking around, there are various warning indicators to check for:

  • Dirty/small outdoor places without shelter
  • Dirty pets
  • Dirty kennels
  • No water
  • No climate control
  • Refusal of a request to visit premises (without a sufficient justification)

What Are Your Emergency Procedures?

This is also important, as kennels may have varied operational procedures. You may also need to make some decisions here. Read your paperwork carefully! 

For instance, the kennel may ask you to decide whether they are authorized to seek veterinary care, or if they should contact you first. There could also be some shades of grey here. If Fido breaks a toenail, the kennel may not deem it necessary to transport him to an emergency clinic. However, if something severe occurred, you could reasonably expect them to take him in.

You may also need to offer backup contacts, especially if you are heading somewhere where your cell phone will be out of range, such as if you’re going on a cruise. 

How Often Are The Kennels Cleaned?

Good kennels are meticulous about keeping their facilities clean. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of disease!

Are The Kennels Climate-Controlled?

One would assume that this is obvious, but it’s better to be certain. You don’t want your pet to be uncomfortable in the heat or cold while you’re away.

Other Possible Questions: 

These are the most important concerns, but there are many other things you may want to know about, such as how frequently the water is changed, what the food schedules are, and whether an emergency vet is on call. You may also want to know if the kennel is noisy or if there are any measures in place to reduce noise or distress. 

It’s worth noting that there are some distinct advantages to boarding with your vet. They’ll be familiar with your pet, and will know of any medical issues Fido or Fluffy has. 

Conclusion: When boarding your pet, it’s important to understand all of the variables that may change from kennel to kennel, and to know what the kennel will and won’t do.

Is your pet due for an exam? Would you like to schedule boarding? Please contact us, your local Maui, HI animal hospital, now! We are always happy to help! 

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