Dog Boarding

All About Dog Boarding

Pet boarding is growing more and more popular for people who want to make sure that their pet is not only taken care of while they’re gone, but that he is tended to and given the love and attention that he requires. Dog boarding has been available for years; recently, however, a veritable boom has occurred in terms of the number of dog boarding facilities available – and the amazing variety that is offered. Where dog boarding was once a utilitarian affair, today pet boarding facilities offer a comprehensive array of features and amenities. Before boarding your dog, learn a bit more about what’s available, what to look out for – and how to choose the right facility.

Basic Dog Boarding Vs. Upscale Dog Boarding

As in the past, most areas have plenty of basic dog boarding facilities available. What’s included in a typical dog boarding facility? Such places usually include:

·  bedding for dogs to sleep on

·  indoor/outdoor runs, or a large indoor exercise area

·  meals that agree with a dog’s normal schedule and dietary needs

·  staff members who continually check on a dog’s well being

·  runs that are cleaned and hosed down daily

·  regular cleaning and disinfecting of the premises

·  the administering of medications, if necessary

While these services are definitely adequate, some dog owners prefer pet boarding facilities that offer a bit more in the way of luxury. Upscale dog boarding facilities may include:

·  pick up and drop off services

·  bathing and grooming prior to returning home

·  walks

·  obedience training

·  toys

·  high quality, plush bedding

·  a supply and gift shop

·  special areas for elderly or sick dogs

Narrowing Down Your List Of Prospective Dog Boarding Facilities

Choosing a pet boarding facility can be daunting. After deciding whether you want basic boarding services or a more specialized, upscale facility, you’ll probably still have many different options to choose from. The first step in narrowing down your list of dog boarding facilities is picking up the phone and asking a few key questions. Below, we’ve provided a few sample questions that you can ask to determine whether a facility makes the cut; you should ask more personalized questions of your own, too, to narrow things down further.

·  Where will my dog stay? – Find out whether the dog boarding facility uses cages or small rooms for their guests. If you have a small dog, cages might be okay with you; otherwise, you can cross off places that use cages to narrow your list to a more manageable size.

·  What will my dog be fed? – Ask whether the pet boarding facility will allow you to bring your dog’s own food in. Generally, most dogs do not acclimate well to being fed a different diet while at a boarding facility; if the place you’ve called forbids owners to supply their own food, move on to the next one.

·  What kinds of exercise will be available for my dog? – Find out whether there are scheduled times for dogs to get out and move around, or whether daily walks are provided. Either way, it’s important to ensure that your dog will be getting some exercise while in the care of a dog boarding facility.

·  Do dogs interact with each other? – Ask about the facility’s policies regarding dog playtime. Sometimes, pet boarding facilities allow dogs to play together for limited amounts of time; however, if dogs aren’t carefully monitored, problems can arise.

·  What will happen if my dog gets sick or is injured? – If the facility doesn’t have a veterinary hospital associated with it, find out the procedure they follow in the event of illness or injury. Make sure that regular checks of the doggy guests are conducted to ensure that everybody is okay.

Take A Tour Of The Finalists

After completing your series of brief phone interviews, you’ll hopefully be left with a manageable list of dog boarding facilities. Before settling on one, you’ll need to go in and take a tour to make sure that it is really right for your pet. Knowing what to look for during such a tour is critical, which is why we have outlined a few of the most important things below.

Gauge The Overall Cleanliness Of The Facility

Immediately upon entering any pet boarding facility, see what your first impression is regarding its cleanliness. Scan over the dog runs and see what condition most of them are in; a couple of dirty runs is one thing, but if most or all of them are filthy, it could signal trouble. Sniff the air; if a dirty, unclean smell lingers everywhere around the boarding facility, then cleanliness is probably not a top priority. A tiny bit of odor is understandable, but if it is overpowering and all encompassing, go elsewhere.

Look For Good Ventilation

As you tour the place, keep an eye out for proper ventilation. If the dog boarding facility isn’t properly ventilated, the air will be stale and stagnant – and germs and viruses can proliferate more easily.

Watch The Staff In Action

Meet a handful of staff members, then watch how the interact with the dogs. They should display a genuine comfort and love for their guests, and treat them as they would their own.

Get A Comprehensive Breakdown Of The Costs

Ask for a detailed listing of all of the costs and charges associated with keeping your dog at the facility. If they won’t provide it, move on.

Find Out Which Immunizations Are Required

If you’ve pretty much settled on a facility, be sure to get a list of all the immunizations your dog will need in order to board there. Compare the list to your records and determine whether your dog is current. If not, get her to the vet right away to make sure everything is in order.

When all is said and done, as long as you feel comfortable with the dog boarding facility and everything checks out, you should be good to go! The evidence of whether you’ve made the right choice will show in your dog’s reaction upon returning there, so pay attention.