Where do your exotic pets go when you go on vacation?
You plan an exotic, or perhaps not so exotic, getaway for you and your family. Tickets are booked, hotel plans are made, then you are stuck with the question – what do I do with my beloved exotic pet? Some owners bring in a pet sitter who will come twice a day to visit, feed and clean their pet in their home. While there are benefits to having someone come to your house when you’re away, a lot can happen to your pet during the hours the sitter is not there. Another option is to bring your pet to the sitter’s house, a pet shop, or a boarding facility. In these places, the pet is then monitored more closely; however, the risk of exposure to potentially infectious disease is greater. Most pet stores and boarding facilities do not require a certificate of health from a veterinarian before pets board, increasing the chances that a sick pet might come in and expose all of the boarders, especially if pets are housed in close quarters as they are in many of these facilities.
Unfortunately, we at the Veterinary Center end up treating many pets each year that become ill as a result of inappropriate care by pet sitters when the owners are away or as a result of exposure to other pets carrying disease at pet stores and boarding facilities. At the Veterinary Center, we require blood and stool tests of all our patients before accepting them as boarders in our state of the art boarding facility. Boarding pets at the Center do not have any contact with each other because all of the cages are separated from each other by solid walls that slide up to the sides of the cages, thereby enabling us to adjust the boarding space to accommodate to the size of the cage the boarders are in.
By preventing boarders from seeing their neighbors, we further minimize spread of disease-causing germs through the air and lessen the stress each boarder feels by not seeing a strange neighbor next door. During their stay, our staff provides care, love, and healthy living. Cages are changed twice a day, pets get out of their cages to exercise, and we weigh pets daily to ensure they are eating well. While we are happy to feed whatever food you bring in with your pet to help him feel more at home, we try to provide the healthiest diet possible when your pet stays with us.
If he hasn’t been on the most nutritious diet at home, with your permission and in the controlled environment of the hospital where we can monitor your pet’s appetite and stool production closely, we use the boarding stay to transition your pet over to a healthier meal plan that you can continue when he goes home.
While we see the boarding pets ever day in the hospital, Dr. Hess keeps an eye on them at night, after hours, on her computer screen at home, via closed circuit infrared cameras that even work when the lights in the room are off. Also, when not being entertained by our veterinary technicians the animals enjoy watching cartoons on the flat screen TV positioned just for them. There are even speakers in the ceiling to provide music if they need some quiet time, and the lights in the room are on a timer to go off at night before bedtime.
Best yet, the hospital is alarmed and monitored via motion detectors to ensure your pet is safe, and Dr. Hess lives just 5 minutes away in case of emergency. So, with your little loved one in our care, there is no need to worry the next time you go on a short or long, exotic or not so exotic holiday.
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About Veterinary Centers for Birds and Exotics
If you have been looking for specialized care for your bird or exotic pet, look no further! We have you covered. At our unique animal hospital, we provide care to birds and exotics ONLY—no cats and dogs! We are the only bird and exotic veterinary hospital with a full-time, board certified bird specialist, Dr. Laurie Hess. Dr. Hess, who, with her two associates, Dr. Amanda Marino and Dr. Amanda Dewey, are the only full-time veterinarians in Westchester County who are residency-trained in bird and exotic medicine and surgery. Call to schedule an appointment for your pet!