Many of our patients here at Envision More Veterinary Ophthalmology require daily eye medications, and some have additional medical conditions that require specialized care. Leaving these pets behind when you go out of town is never easy, because you need a qualified and trustworthy person to attend to their needs. Therefore, our team offers this guide for boarding a pet with eye issues.

Choosing a boarding facility for your pet

Choosing who will care for your pet while you are away is the most important step toward ensuring a good experience. You should take the following steps to carefully consider all your options:

  • Research local facilities — If you’re not sure what’s around you, do a quick Google search for your area’s animal care and boarding facilities. Visit their websites and social media pages initially for their pricing, services, hours, and overall “vibe.” You can also read some reviews to look for red flags, but as with any other online review, take them with a grain of salt.
  • Consider alternative boarding options — Depending on your pet’s condition and how many daily medications or other treatments they need, boarding may not be the best option. Ask your veterinarian’s office if they offer medical boarding, where your pet will stay alongside hospitalized pets to receive daily medical treatments and close monitoring. You can also seek out a home-care pet sitter with previous experience with pets with complex medical needs. These alternatives ensure your pet’s care does not fall through the cracks in a larger facility.
  • Interview employees — Ask questions at each location about their ability to administer your pet’s treatments. Is the facility always staffed? Can they give early morning, late night, or three to four times daily eye drops? What kind of training and background do caretakers possess?
  • Ask for references — Request a list of happy customers you can ask about their experience at the facility, or consult with your social media circles about first-hand accounts and opinions.

Preparing your pet for their stay

Before you leave on your trip, schedule a visit with your primary veterinarian to update your pet’s vaccines, discuss appropriate parasite control, and ensure chronic medical conditions are under good control. You should also contact our office about your pet’s routine ophthalmology recheck and ensure they have enough eye medication to get them through their entire stay.

Packing for your pet’s stay

You have chosen a facility and the staff have agreed to follow your pet’s medication or treatment schedule. Now, you must ensure you bring everything your pet could possibly need when you drop them off. Include the following when you pack:

  • Food — Pack your pet’s regular diet to minimize GI stress, and pre-portion their meals in individual baggies or containers for fool-proof feeding.
  • Medications — Bring all eye and oral medications and provide the staff with detailed instructions to prevent confusion and missed doses. This is especially important for pets with glaucoma or eye inflammation, which can flare up quickly, and improper dosing can risk your pet’s vision. Bringing extra eye drop bottles and stressing the medication’s importance is also recommended.
  • Extras—Familiar blankets or toys can help your pet feel more comfortable and at home in the boarding facility, which will decrease their overall stress level.

Planning for eye or other veterinary emergencies

You should also prepare for the possibility of your pet needing emergency treatment while under the boarding facility’s care—for example, their eye condition may worsen or they may develop another concerning medical issue. Provide the staff with written instructions detailing your pet’s current health and signs indicating a change or problem. You should go over this plan in detail when you drop off your pet to ensure your care team understands.

At drop-off, facility staff will ask you to complete a form that authorizes them to bring your pet to the veterinarian should a medical issue arise. Assure the staff that your primary veterinarian can handle general health problems, but they should contact our Envision More team for any eye-related problem. You may also wish to assign an emergency contact person who knows you and your pet well enough to make veterinary medical decisions if boarding staff cannot reach you.

Carefully choosing who will care for your pet in your absence and diligently preparing for their stay will ensure your pet receives the best possible care. Contact our Envision More Veterinary Ophthalmology team to schedule a pre-boarding eye examination, obtain eye medication refills, or for more tips about your pet’s eye health while you’re away.