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The holiday travel season is coming up and many people will find themselves in need of overnight boarding for their dog. Does this sound like you? If so, do you want to make sure you choose the right home away from home for your dog but don’t know how?
Cost aside, check out these 6 tips to make sure you select the best facility for your beloved friend.
Notice how clean the facility is, what it looks like, and what the rooms look like, what safety measures they have in place to protect your dog (like double fencing). Look to see if they have outdoor space and if so, what the ground cover is. Rocks aren’t good for paws, mulch can be dangerous, and many dogs don’t like the feel of artificial turf, plus it gets very hot during the summer.
Make sure they show you the entire facility! If not look elsewhere. During the tour, ask about the staff and their training. Also ask about the staff to dog ratio. One person for more than 5 to 6 dogs is not safe.
Make sure all of your questions are answered. If for some reason the staff can’t answer everything (that can happen) ask to have the owner call you.
Oftentimes larger facilities have to limit the amount of time your dog will have outside of his kennel because of space and the large number of dogs they have in their care. Ideally, your dog should spend most of his time outside of his kennel during the day, only going in to rest and sleep at night.
Will he be playing with other dogs? If so, ask about their evaluation process for selecting the right play group for your dog.
Ask how many dogs are in any given play group (more is not better) and about the staff to dog ratio. If you dog isn’t friendly with other dogs, ask exactly what he will be doing when out of his kennel.
Exercise is very important, and many boarding kennels only give dogs minimal time outside to sniff and go potty before putting them back in their room, especially those who aren’t good with other dogs.
Stay away from any facility that doesn’t require vaccines (or titers for certain vaccines like DHPP). Facilities should also require a fecal exam every six months. Without this protection in place, your dog could easily come home sick.
Most facilities charge for a myriad of extras, such as extra or one-on-one play time, a bed time treat, belly rubs, a bath, and much more. You could wind up spending more than you planned, without knowing if your dog ever received the extras you purchased.
While they may be skewed depending on who’s written them, the comments are worth your consideration if you’re having trouble making a decision.
The wrong boarding facility will result in your dog spending his days stressed and uncomfortable, OR WORSE.
When you return home, you may find your dog is not quite himself, either very tired, depressed, or seemingly upset with you, all from being placed in a situation he hates.
If you don’t get the answers you’re looking for when asking the above questions, go elsewhere. Your best friend deserves it.