Cat boarding prep

Cat Boarding prep cat elahCats, especially those who are indoor cats, are not used to living in many different environments which means that when they board for the first few times, the experience can be stressful. However, cat boarding doesn’t need to be a questionable experience for your cat. This is why we came up with this cat boarding prep list.

download (2)Getting your cat used to a new environment can be done in stages. We know that in some cases you need to board your cat right away, but if you have time for planning, your cat’s boarding experience can be greatly improved.

Visit the space where your cat will be boarding. Make sure the facility has a designated cat boarding area. The area should be clean, away from other boarding animals like dogs and should have some cat friendly amenities such as scratch posts, towers and cat toys.

Before your cat is boarding for an extended period of time. Bring them in for a short visit so images (1)they can become acquainted with the people and the space they will be in. Make this visit a few hours long so your cat knows you’ll be back for them. If you have time, repeat these visits making some longer and some shorter so your cat understands that no matter the length of time they spend at the cat boarding facility, you will be back for them.

Bring their own food to board with them. Cats that are boarding might be extra picky about their food so bring in the good stuff. Not just dry kibble, but some wet food they love, some chicken or sardines that they occasionally get as a treat.

Include some of their favorite toys in their overnight bag, their bed or blanket, and their favorite treats so the cat boarding staff can pamper and spoil your precious cat. It is also important for your cat to recognize a space as theirs which is why their own bed or blanket (that has smells of your cat and home) will make them more comfortable than the ones that can be provided at the cat boarding facility.

download (1)Even the trip in the car can start making your cat nervous so acclimating your cat to their carrier and going for short drives are great ways to help your cat adapt to new environments and experiences. Make sure that trips in the car don’t always mean something the cat dislikes, like vet visits. If you just take them for a short drive and then give them some love or treats and head back home, the trips won’t be instantly paired with something dreadful for the cat.

Make sure the cat boarding staff has detailed information about your cat’s personality, including likes and dislikes so they can best accommodate your cat’s needs. The more we know about your cat the more comfortable and fun the experience.

Older pet tips

download (4)Everybody gets older every day and that includes your pet. Older pets have different needs than younger ones and here are a few things to take into consideration as your pet gets older. Depending on your pet’s size, health, nutrition, breed and some other factors, their approximate age in human years varies, the following charts published by the American Veterinary Medical Association can give you an estimate.

pet age

images (1)Regular vet visits. If you’ve had a health pet for years then odds are you probably only visit the vet for updated immunizations. As your pets get older, you will want to visit the vet more consistently since preventing disease is usually easier and cheaper than curing disease. Talk to your vet about any concerns with mobility, sight, hearing, etc. in your older pet to see if there are food supplements or specific diets that your pet might benefit from.

Keep a healthy weight, older pets are usually less active than younger ones so it is important to adjust their caloric intake to prevent unnecessary weight gain. In some cases switching to a lower calorie food will be beneficial to these older pets. In other cases, older pets start losing weight due to illness or tooth and gum sensitivity, in these cases, providing softer foods might be necessary.

Tooth and overall mouth health is very important, you can help your older pet stayimages (9) healthy by brushing their teeth regularly. If your pet is not likely to let you brush, then provide dental chews daily to try to keep their mouths healthy.

download (1)Exercise daily. The type of exercise and duration might be a little different than in their younger years, but they still need to move regularly. Many vets suggest linear exercise like taking your dog for a walk or swimming instead of for example chasing balls which involves a lot of jerky movements and fast turns that can easily injure your older pet. While it is vital for your pet to exercise, it is also important to listen to your pet, don’t force them to walk or play longer than they want. If your pet has not had a consistent exercise routine in the past then start slowly.

Temperature sensitivity. Older pets might be more sensitive to hot weather than they were when they were young, overheating more easily. You will also find that many of the bigger pets, or arthritic pets will move a lot slower when the temperatures drop.dog bed

Mobility issues. Help older pets on and off the couch and bed, as well as in and out of the car. You can also use ramps to provide easier access. Avoid unnecessary trips up and down stairs. As you pet gets older certain things that used to be super easy become a little more images (8)troublesome and the risk of injury can increase. Provide a soft spot to lie on, orthopedic beds and raised beds can be great options for dogs with achy joints. Use rugs or carpeting in areas with slippery surfaces to avoid falls.

Therapeutic massage. Just like people, older pets can greatly benefit from therapeutic massages to help them relax and relieve minor aches and pains. You can try massage techniques at home or schedule your pet for a massage with an expert pet massage therapist or chiropractor.

 

Old dogs and new tricks. Don’t forget to stimulate your pet’s mind, pets of any age can learn something new. Regardless of your pet’s age, new games and toys will keep their mind agile and in many cases can be crucial to their interactions with you later on. For example, download (2)teaching hand signals to a pet that’s hard of hearing, or auditory cues for those going blind. But even if your pet is in perfect health, a good puzzle toy at feeding time or your added attention while teaching a new cue is greatly appreciated.

Home wellness check. One of the most important things for your older pet is for you to be aware, doing regular home checks for bumps, bugs, spots and moles, coat quality, teeth and gum health, etc. Observe your pet so you can distinguish changes both physically and emotionally. Report back to your vet regularly to discuss best options for your pet as they get older.

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