If you have an older dog, then you know the amount of care and love that an elderly canine requires. If you plan on leaving town on vacation, the idea of leaving your beloved older dog at a boarding facility may be a bit intimidating. You might worry that he won't get the careful attention he needs or that something will go wrong and the boarding facility may not deal with it properly. But while leaving your old companion may not be easy, there are plenty of ways to make boarding easier on your older dog and on yourself. Here's a look.

Select a pet clinic that boards.

If you can find a pet clinic in your area that offers boarding services, this should be your first choice for your older dog. This way, you know that if your furry companion comes down with an illness or his arthritis starts acting up, a vet will be on hand to take care of the issue professionally. You can even meet with the vet personally before the stay and have your regular vet send over your dog's records so that the vet at the boarding facility has them on hand if anything happens.

Make sure the boarding facility has your end-of-life wishes in writing.

It's a sad reality that there is a chance your older dog could become seriously ill and in need of euthanasia in your absence. So make sure the boarding facility has your wishes in this regard in writing. Let them know under what circumstances you would like your dog to be put down, as well as your wishes for his body if this were to occur. (Do you want him cremated or do you want the body preserved so you can bury him when you get home, etc.)

Ask to receive daily pictures and updates about your dog.

It will comfort you so much to receive daily updates about your dog! Most boarding facilities will be happy to text you a few pictures and maybe even a video of your dog each day if you request this service. You may even be able to Skype or Facetime with your dog, which can be comforting for him and for you.

Write down medication instructions and show the boarding facility how you administer the medication.

One of the big concerns with boarding older dogs is that they won't receive all of their medications properly. No matter the type of pet boarding services you're using, it's important that you write down each of your dog's medications, the dose he receives, the time of day he receives it, and how you administer it. If there are any drugs you must administer in a certain way, such as hiding the medicine in a special kind of treat to ensure the dog take it, demonstrate this for the boarding employees before you leave.

Have a trusted friend stop in and say "hi."

Does your dog love your aunt, best friend, or cousin? Arrange for them to stop by the boarding facility and visit with your dog once or twice during your dog's stay. They can take your dog for a walk or spend some time cuddling with him. He'll enjoy seeing a familiar face, and you can also get the reassurance, from someone you love and trust, that your elderly dog is okay.

Make sure you shop around at a few boarding facilities before selecting the best one for your older dog, and know that it's perfectly okay to pay a bit more for a higher-quality boarding experience for your old guy. He deserves it!