Being stationed overseas can be a fantastic opportunity for convenient travel to more than one bucket list location. Before heading off to the Eiffel Tower, or the ruins of Athens, however, you’ll want to find a place for your pets to be cared for during your trip! Whether you find a babysitter on your own, or seek out a kennel service, you may find that care for your pet in Germany is a little different than in the States. In this article, we hope to highlight some of the key differences in kenneling and boarding requirements (for cats and dogs only in most cases), in order to make planning your next vacation one step easier!
Any kennel or boarding facility will ask for your pet’s current shot records. You’ll want to have a paper copy of this on hand, and ensure your pet is fully up to date with all the shots, including the rabies vaccine! Additionally, most German facilities will also require a kennel cough vaccination (Bordetella bronchiseptica), and flea and tick preventatives, prior to dropping your pet off at the center. In the US, kennel cough is often only a suggested vaccine, so be sure to double check your paperwork!
- Pet Insurance
Some, but not all, boarding facilities may ask for pet liability insurance prior to staying. This is to insure you are fully covered if your furry friend happens to get into a scuffle with other pets. (This applies mainly to dogs that may be in a group play setting). While liability insurance is always great for peace of mind, many kennels that do not require the insurance will also offer the option of having your pet kept away from other animals. Health insurance is not required, though if there are any emergencies, most facilities will take them to the nearest open veterinary center and you will front the cost upon returning.
- Holiday Planning
With so many destinations close by, boarding facilities for pets will fill up fast during peak seasons! This includes three day weekends, the winter holidays, and busier summer months. Be sure to always call and book ahead if possible, to ensure you don’t run into a jam later! Additionally, if you are using a kennel or boarding facility off base, keep German holidays in mind. You don’t want to plan on dropping your pet off, only to find out that hours are adjusted, or the facility is closed entirely!
Last, but not least, be sure to shop around and do your research! All facilities are required to meet German standards, and the pet positive culture creates a very reassuring atmosphere when dropping your pet off to any local kennel. However, its always best to look around, and find a center which meets the needs of your family and your pet! Some facilities offer open play time, some have large cages, no cages at all, or aren’t open at all on Sundays. See what’s out there before making your decision!
Planning a vacation can be stressful, but taking care of your furry friends doesn’t have to be.
Think smart and plan ahead before your next trip, and you’re pet will thank you later!