If you’re ready to send your dog to a boarding facility for a few days, there are several things you need to be sure of first. Just like you research the area, hotel, restaurant scene, and transportation situation before you book a vacation, you need to research the boarding facility you send your dog to in order to make sure they will be happy and comfortable. To ensure you find the right boarding facility for your furry friend, ask these questions.
Is the facility clean and inviting?
Don’t hesitate to visit the boarding facility before you leave your dog there. Does it look clean? Do pets look taken care of? What is the layout like? Is there plenty of space for your dog to play? Are there toys to play with? You want to make sure the space looks right for your dog.
What vaccinations does my dog need?
Your dog will need to have specific vaccinations prior to boarding. You’ll probably need to provide documentation as well, but check with your facility.
Is the facility certified?
Boarding facilities don’t have to be certified, and there is a long, expensive, and difficult process involved with getting certified, but you should check if your facility is certified anyway.
Are staff members experienced?
Staff don’t always need certification in things like dog training, but it will look better if they are certified. You want to ensure your pet is in good hands, so look for team members with veterinary experience and certification in dog training or animal behavior. An even better indicator that your dog will be in good hands are staff members that appear attentive, patient, positive, and informed. If your dog has medical issues, separation anxiety, or other abnormal behaviors, it’s especially important you talk to someone on staff that is familiar with this.
What hours is the facility staffed?
Boarding facilities aren’t typically manned 24/7, but facilities may have live camera feeds or someone who checks in on the dogs every couple of hours. You also want to be sure the facility is open during hours that work with your schedule so you can pick up and drop off your dog in a timely fashion.
What are the rules of the facility?
If there are any specific rules, routines, or safety hazards, you should know about them. Do you need to bring your own food, treats, and toys? Who will administer medication to your pet? How many leashes should you bring? How are dogs separated? Make sure you’re clear on all rules and requirements of the facility before dropping your dog off.
When you visit a boarding facility, follow your instinct. Does it feel like the right place for your dog to stay? If something feels off—staff is rude, the dogs seem unhappy, or it is unclean—research and visit a new facility. If you don’t feel at ease, either will your dog. Find a boarding facility where your dog will feel at home.