Boarding Your Pet: How Do You Choose The Right Place?

by Mary Haight on December 20, 2008

Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo, S...
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Where do you board your pet when you travel?  What kind of guidelines do you use when checking out locally available pet motels, kennels, and other styles of boarding facilities?  Have you ever heard of any experts who could tell you how to find the right answers to these questions?  This is one exercise that is charged with anxiety.  After all, we’re talking about allowing strangers to care for our pets. 

You can find listings of local facilities online and in the yellow pages, you might be given a referral by a friend, groomer, or trainer, but you will need to check out the premises for yourself to determine who runs the facility, how many dogs are allowed to play together per staff member, what condition the facility is in, what flooring is used and how that might affect your dog, if the place smells or if the ventilation is good and without drafts, the general appearance of the facility, the employees, and their general attitudes, what cleaning regimens are practiced, what is the daily schedule for feeding, exercise and socialization, and how escape proof the place is.  And these are just a few of the questions that need answers.  This is such an important choice, and a very handy pdf booklet from the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) should help you cover all the bases in your search for a great “fit” between your pet and the facility. 

The PCSA was founded in 1977 with the purpose of instituting standardized guidelines for all pet care facilities, as well as a place of continuous learning where members can stay abreast of important developments in this field.  The membership is international with approximately 3100 active facilities taking part in the ethics program, certification program for pet care facility operators, accreditation programs for facilities and many other opportunities for continuous improvement.  They have an online listing of all the facilities in their membership.

Remember that your dog needs to be prepared for going to their temporary digs.  Don’t overfeed or excite your dog with too much play before dropping him off.  It’s not the time for dramatic prolonged goodbyes that only confuse your best friend.  You’ve done your homework so that both you and your dog can enjoy your holidays!  You will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that professionals are caring for your best friend.   

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