Whether traveling for work or taking a short vacation, you will likely be forced to leave your dog at some point within their lifetime. As this temporary separation can present an emotional challenge for both you and your furry friend, you will want to do your best to ensure the safest, most comfortable environment for your pet. If you don’t have a sitter for your dog, you may want to ask your veterinarian for recommendations. It is important to do your research on several different kennels to determine whether your dog’s needs will be met.
The following are important points to consider before booking your dog in a boarding facility:
1. Living Conditions
To ensure your dog’s comfort during your absence, ask the boarding facility what the living space is like for the animals. Take a tour of the facility to see if it suits your expectations for your dog. Consider whether the cages or runs accommodate your dog’s needs. If your dog is crate trained, cages may do just fine, but if a dog is not accustomed to smaller spaces, cages can be a problem. If your dog has arthritis, for example, they will need more room to move around. If you are uncomfortable with your dog being in a small space for an extended period, look for pet hotels, resorts or other types of upscale boarding; they will likely have small rooms with dog beds and toys. While these accommodations may cost more, making your dog feel at home may be worth the extra cash.
If your dog is walked every day, you will want to ask the boarding facility how often they let the dogs out; some only let dogs out twice a day for a few minutes at a time. This will likely work fine for crate trained dogs, but can otherwise be a problem. Some boarding facilities have packages that include playtime and additional dog walking. If not, ask whether they have a fenced-in area where your dog can roam, this is a feature a kennel usually has.
Due to loneliness, our pets tend to eat less when we’re not around and being in an unfamiliar environment may only intensify that indifference. Food from the kennel may also give your dog stomach problems if they are not used to certain ingredients. While most kennels include meals in their boarding cost, luxepethotels.com still advises to bring your food from home as it can make the dog feel in a more comfortable environment. If your dog has specific dietary needs, make sure you stress them to the boarding facility, including what your dog specifically can or cannot eat.
Find out whether your dog will be able to play with others lodging in the dog boarding facility. Some kennels offer daily play sessions where dogs can play together off-leash. Though this can be fun for the dogs involved, it can also be risky with more aggressive breeds. Even when a more obedient dog is overstimulated, there is potential for aggression. Be sure to ask the facility about their playtime policies and ensure that playtime is heavily monitored with only a few compatible dogs playing together. You will also want to know their protocols if a dog does get injured during playtime.
5. Medical Attention
A good boarding facility should keep daily track of each boarder’s appetite, water consumption, urination and bowel movements. Anything unusual including vomiting or diarrhea should be logged. If a boarding facility is part of a veterinary hospital, they will likely perform a “once-over” on boarders to make sure their physical condition is consistent throughout their stay. Find out where animals are taken in the event of serious injury or illness. If you are unfamiliar with the veterinarian, ask whether your dog can be transported to your vet if medical attention is needed.
6. Boarding Cost
When saving for a vacation, you need to account for your dog’s boarding. Do your research ahead of time and take any add-ons into account. For example, extra playtime, grooming or accommodating special diets will likely cost extra. Make sure you check with each boarding facility, as these prices will vary. If you can, try to obtain a written estimate.
Once you’ve found a great boarding facility, make a reservation as soon as possible, especially if you will be gone over a major holiday; kennels tend to fill up quickly! When you drop off your dog at the facility, don’t forget their food and any special instructions you have. Avoid bringing items that your dog is particularly attached to; these items may get lost or damaged. Because of this, many facilities have a limit on certain items. Give the boarding facility your contact numbers, including emergency contacts if you cannot be reached.
Now that you have peace of mind that you’ve found the best possible environment for your pet, it is time to enjoy your vacation and trust that your best friend is happy and in good hands!