Boarding your pet while you are at work or on vacation can be nerve wracking for a pet owner. Our pets are like family and mean the world to us, so it is important to identify a reputable pet boarding facility that will treat your pet just like you do- like family!
Consider these questions when choosing the right place for your pet.
How knowledgeable is the staff?
Talk to the staff, get a feel for them, and ask them about their backgrounds and expertise. Having a staff that is more diverse in pet care will help them understand your pet’s moods, their actions, and their motif. Which in return, will help them come up with better solutions to make your dog feel comfortable when you’re not there.
Can they handle an emergency?
At the time of a medical emergency, it is important for your pet to receive the help they need, as fast as possible. Ask what their procedure is when handling a medical emergency. Not having a protocol set in place is a huge red flag. Most kennels are attached to a particular vet but, if you would like, you can ask to have your pet sent to your veterinarian in the case of an emergency. Provide your vet’s contact information to your boarding facility.
Where will your pet stay? Ask for a tour!
Make sure to visit the kennels you’re considering. It will give you a good sense of the place and a chance to interact with the staff and ask whatever lingering questions you may have. There are two signs that a facility is not be suited for your pet. The first, is asking you to make an appointment for a tour. This may show that the staff has something to hide during certain times of the day. It should be run smoothly at all times of the day. The second is rushing you through the tour. If they don’t have enough time for you then they certainly don’t have enough time to dedicate to your pet.
How often is it cleaned?
With so many dogs coming in and out of the kennel each day, it’s important to choose a kennel that’s clean. It should look and smell clean, dont be afraid to ask how often they clean it. If your pet has allergies, make sure to ask what products they use for cleaning.
How secure is the play area?
The majority of boarding facilities allow for pets to play in an open area a couple of times a day. Ask to tour the play areas and see if the area is securely fenced in. Some pets might try to run away, so a secure area will make you feel better about leaving your pet behind.
Beware of hidden cost
Boarding your pet doesn’t come cheap, it can cost an average base price of about $20-$65 a night. The price varies from dog to dog, based on their size and their individual needs. There are add-on cost such as leashed walks, administering medication, multiple feedings, the list goes on which you might need to consider. Luckily, for those of you who have more than one pet, the second pet usually stays for a lower price.
Bring your dog in for a tour
Allowing your furry friend to sniff out the place and interact with the staff before you actually leave them will help ease the separation anxiety. They will be more familiar with the environment making it easier on them to adapt to the location once you’re gone. Also, it’ll give you a chance to see how the staff warms up to your pet.
Each facility sees hundreds of dogs a year so make sure to tell them a little about your pet. Things to consider,
- Any allergies
- Special medication
- Feeding times
- Special handling
- How social they are with other pets
- Sleep patterns
Pack them a piece of you
Make sure to pack something that smells like you. It can be a pillowcase, a towel, or an old shirt, as long as it smells like you. It will remind them of you and make their space at the kennel feel more like home. Make sure it’s something you’re willing to part with because there is the possibility that it could get lost.
Can they house your pet?
It is important to call the kennel in advance to check for availability. Just like a hotel, during peak travel seasons, kennels could get filled to capacity quickly, so it’s important to plan ahead. If its booked you could also look into an “at home pet-sitter” but, keep in mind that this option can be a little more pricy