VCA Animal Hospitals

Boarding your canine while traveling

Published: Oct 09, 2012

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Many people like to take their canine companion with them on trips, but sometimes car or airplane travel with your dog can be too stressful for both pet and owner. If this is the case, you can consider boarding your dog with a trusted organization or friend, but before you do, you'll need to prepare to make sure he is safe while you're away.

Putting your dog in a kennel
Kennels are definitely an option for some canines, and you may even find that your dog looks forward to a visit to the dog boarding home. If it's your first time to a kennel, you may want to try a "practice run" with your pet over a weekend or a couple nights before you leave, to make sure both you and he are happy with the facility.

Leaving your dog with a friend
If your dog isn't fond of kennels, then you may want to find a trusted friend who has experience raising a pet who will be willing to care for your dog while you're away. It may be ideal if he or she is able to stay at your home with your pet, as this will be a familiar space, but if not, you'll need to take some steps to make sure your pet is happy and easily cared for while away. Be certain your caretaker has all of the contact information for local vet clinics in the case of an emergency, and have him or her spend plenty of quality time with your dog before you leave.

Before your trip
No matter if you choose a kennel or a friend's home, there are certain steps you must take to prepare your dog for time apart. Bring plenty of familiar items for your pet, as some canines are prone to separation anxiety in dogs. This can include some of your pet's favorite toys, or even an item of clothing that will remind him of your scent. Any pet medication necessary to treat your animal must also be brought along, and the caretaker or caretakers should be able to administer them properly. Also be certain that your canine has had all of his dog vaccinations, including the one that protects him from kennel cough.

If leaving him with a friend, make sure you pack more than enough food to last your pet until he's back at your home, and go over your feeding routine so that your pet's diet remains stable. If you have more than one type of leash or harness, bring them both to your friend's home and show him or her how they are used. If bringing the dog to a kennel, you should either bring your own food or make sure the facility has suitable, healthy food for your pet.

When you return
There isn't much to do when you return, besides picking up your dog and giving him a good check-over to make sure he's in good health. If anything seems amiss, bring him to a vet hospital to get a professional's opinion.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.