If you’ve got a vacation coming up and your dog isn’t able to come along, you’ll be searching for a good boarding facility for them to stay in. If your dog enjoys being around other dogs, a pet boarding facility might be more enjoyable for them than being left at home with a pet sitter. Aside from packing and having neighbors/relatives check in on the house, you’ll be searching for boarding facilities in your area. Once you know what options are available nearby, go and check them out. See if any are a good place for your dog to stay. While you’re checking out places, keep the following in mind.
Size and Staff Ratio
What is the general number of dogs that are cared for daily? How many kennels get filled up? Is your state-regulated to have a certain number of staff to ensure the dogs are well taken care of and supervised? You want to make sure there are enough staff members around in case the dogs get too rowdy with each other during playtime. There should be someone present who knows how to break up a dog fight before injuries occur.
If you’re able to schedule a tour of a facility, you’ll be able to see how clean they keep the place. Dog hair is an expected and minor nuisance. If it doesn’t look like the kennels are cleaned every day, you might not want your dog staying there. Be sure to ask how often the kennels are cleaned.
Typical Kennel Environment
How is the temperature of the kennel maintained? If there are outdoor play areas, what are the rules concerning the weather? Some dogs may enjoy being out in the rain or snow, but the staff might not want this. Is your dog going to be surrounded by a lot of barking?
Options for Exercise
How often will your dog be let out for exercise? How long will their exercise time last? Will your dog be let out of their kennel often enough to not have an accident? Will your dog be allowed to play with other dogs or do they need to by themselves?
Boarding facilities can offer various amenities and maybe there are a few that you specifically want for your dog. Do you want your dog groomed or have access to a pool? See if they provide the amenities that you’re gonna want while your dog is in boarding.
What times do they feed the dogs? If your dog has specific feeding instructions, make sure the staff are aware and will follow them. Whatever facility you end up choosing, adjust your feeding schedule so it’s similar to the facility’s feeding schedule to prepare your dog for boarding.
What safety features do they have in place to ensure dogs won’t end up loose? Do they leave collars on or take them off. Lots of dog owners get their dog microchipped and you might too. This can be useful in case they get out and end up wandering off. Also, does the facility have night shifts in case a dog needs to go out? If not, what time do they let the dogs out for walks and bathroom breaks before locking up for the night? Overall, how secure is the facility?
Is there a veterinarian nearby should the need for one arise? Your dog may wake up sick or maybe recovering from an injury. You want to be sure that should a medical situation come out of nowhere, it’s tended to properly.
Find out what vaccines the dogs are required to have to ensure a clean bill of health. Make sure your dog has all of their needed vaccines.
What all food, treats, and toys will you be sending with your dog? Does your dog have any quirks that the staff should know about that will make it easier to care for your dog? Does your dog have any special needs they should know about?
Do a Test Stay
If you’ve found a facility but are still worried, test your dog with a 24 hour stay. This will give you an idea of how they’ll handle the stay during your vacation.