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Stephanie Hanna | Essmak

Pets Are Our Children Too!

May 2nd 2015 at 2:24 AM

Boarding kennel stress is a very real problem for our beloved pets who are boarded while we go merrily away on our vacations. Our pets often become depressed when we leave them, and especially when we leave them with strangers.

And can you blame them? After all, we are their whole world. They depend on us for food, entertainment, and love. They place their trust in us to care for them, so when they are suddenly transferred to a new environment without us, it can be really scary for them.

The stress of being in an unfamiliar environment can cause pets to be anxious, angry, hyper-vigilant, and so uptight it causes medical problems. When pets are placed in a cage, surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds, the smells of unfamiliar animals, and taken care of by unfamiliar people, they can become very unhappy.

Cats and dogs identify and understand their surroundings by their sense of smell. A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times what ours is and a dog’s sniffer is even more powerful. So, it can help tremendously when we board Fido, Fifi and Fluffy to send things to them with our scent on them.

This is a good practice when our beloved pets have to be hospitalized, too. When our cat, Meddler (yes, that is his name as well as his personality), had to be hospitalized to be catheterized due to a urinary blockage, we took only those things of his that were washable with him.

If his hospitalization had not been so messy, we would also have taken his cat bed that is shaped like a little tent, so he could have a good place to hide in the cage. It smells like him and the other three cats that own us.

We would also have taken a few of his favorite toys, and washcloths we had used to bathe with that had our scents on them. To ensure the items I take with him come home with him when he has had to be hospitalized, I label them all with’s tiny name labels.

They are reprinted with his name and my last name so there is no doubt whose funky washcloths, slightly chewed cat toys, or cat hidey places they are.

I love the fact these labels can withstand a dishwasher, a microwave, a sterilizer and a freezer. That means they stand up extremely well to an occasional rough, scratchy cat tongue.

When Andy cat came up on our front porch one day and said, “Hi, my name is Andy and I am supposed to live here” we took him to the vet to be boarded for the ten-day waiting period to ensure he did not have rabies.

That gave us a good chance to take some toys and other items with the other cats’ scents on them so he could get a sniff or two of his new cat housemates. When he got his ‘Get-Out-of-Vet’ (or Get-Out-of-Jail as he saw it) pass, he came in and introduced himself to them, knowing already what their scents were. This made for a much easier transition for him.

I didn’t have any ‘Andy’ labels at the time, but I used Meddler’s labels. Since Andy couldn’t read, he didn’t mind, but it was a wee tad confusing for the vet’s people.

About The Company: is a website where you can order stylish & waterproof labels, which help busy families, keep track of kids’ belongings & everyday items.  Their products are a big success in schools & nurseries too, because they help parents & teachers identify what belongs to whom. The great thing about is that you can customize the labels to your taste by choosing text, icons, colors & fonts.

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