We know there’s no place like home, but the Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves team strives to ensure that our first-class boarding facility is your pet’s second favorite place in all of southeast Texas. 

As any two-legged traveler knows, the most successful vacations begin long before the departure date. To ensure your pet has the best possible “Stay,” we’ve compiled a pre-boarding checklist for your first-class pet.

#1: Confirm the facility’s pet health requirements

When you reserve your pet’s boarding stay, ensure you ask about the facility’s pet health requirements. These safety measures protect not only your pet but also the other boarding pets and our caring personnel. Policies are updated frequently and may vary between boarding facilities, so always confirm what your pet needs to ensure they receive any necessary services and medication refills prior to their arrival. 

Neighborhood Veterinary Centers require that all pets be current on their annual examination, recommended vaccinations, and parasite preventives.

#2: Review your pet’s crate training skills

Although we ensure our boarding guests have plenty of time to stretch their legs, play, and socialize with their caretakers, boarding naturally involves some confinement to their cage, kitty condo, or run. If you don’t regularly crate your pet at home, we recommend revisiting crate-training basics in the weeks leading up to your pet’s stay.

Cats generally handle confinement better than dogs, but both species can benefit from positive crate-related interactions. If your pet isn’t crate trained, start from the beginning, but if they’re familiar with confinement, simply refresh their existing skills. Your review should include:

  • Pairing the crate with food and positive reinforcements (e.g., treats, toys, praise)
  • Confining your pet to their crate while you stay in the room
  • Gradually increasing your distance and then your pet’s crate time until they can happily spend several hours in their crate

#3: Lead the pack with these pet packing tips

Although you’re likely tempted to pack all your pet’s favorite things to ensure they feel comforted and relaxed, we ask that you leave precious items at home to avoid loss or damage. Your pet will receive so much individual attention and enrichment from our pet-loving care team that they won’t have time to think about what they’ve left at home.

We recommend that you pack light for your little pack member and include only the following:

  • Food — Minimize digestive issues by packing your pet’s regular diet.
  • Medication — Bring all medications in their original packaging. 
  • Detailed care instructions — Let us know if your special pet needs special care, such as:
    • Medical treatments (e.g., insulin injections)
    • Mobility needs (e.g., harness, sling)
    • Personal preferences (e.g., “Doesn’t like to be picked up”)
    • Simply extra bedding and belly rubs

#4: Schedule happy visits or a sleepover for your pet

If you’re concerned about how your pet may handle the boarding experience, ask our staff about happy visits or sleepovers, which can help your pet acclimate to the boarding experience without the emotional challenge of a lengthy stay. Options include:

  • Happy visits — These brief visits allow shy or nervous pets to briefly visit our parking lot, lobby, and facility, and be greeted by our team, who will provide treats, praise, and petting. We ask that you call ahead to schedule a happy visit to ensure a quiet, unhurried experience.
  • Sleepover — One-night sleepovers can help you and our care team understand how your pet may handle a longer stay and allows us to determine if additional supportive measures, such as anti-anxiety medications or calming supplements, might be needed.

#5: Schedule additional services during your pet’s stay

In addition to veterinary-supervised care, boarding at Neighborhood Veterinary Centers allows you to conveniently schedule your pet’s routine or specialized services during their stay. These include:

You can request these services when you make your pet’s boarding reservation.

#6: Rehearse calmly departing from your pet

Pets are incredibly perceptive to our moods and emotions, and if you are over-dramatic and insist on a long goodbye on drop-off day, you could send your normally calm pets into a tailspin and they may be stressed and anxious for the entire stay.

When you are leaving your pet, put on a brave face and push aside any sadness—remember, you’re leaving them in excellent hands! Rehearse this departure routine at home, so that on the day you drop your pet off for boarding, you seem naturally calm. 

Boarding your pet can be a new experience for both ends of the leash, but knowing what to expect can minimize apprehension and ensure a pleasant stay. For more information about our first class veterinary-supervised boarding services, or to schedule your pet’s wellbeing screening or vaccine updates, contact Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Groves.