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The holidays are a time for love, cheer, and travel. Whether you’re going across town, or across the country, when the holiday season starts you may find yourself searching for boarding facilities for your dog. Sometimes the easiest option for holiday travel is to leave your pet behind. That’s not to say that you don’t want to spend the holiday with your pet, but some forms of travel are just not conducive to animals. Or maybe you’re going to a relative’s house who is deathly allergic to dogs. The possibilities are endless, but the results are usually the same. Finding a boarding facility doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. With a few simple questions and best practices, you’ll be able to find your pet the perfect boarding facility this holiday season.
Boarding facilities can range from barebones to ultra fancy, with high-class amenities. One of the most popular amenities that most boarding facilities are offering as a part of their services is real-time video monitoring and daily picture updates. This allows owners to keep an eye on their pet while traveling, meaning that they don’t just need to rely on what the staff relays to them. It’s up to you to decide what level of amenities you want your pooch to enjoy while you’re off on vacation. But there are some factors of a good dog boarding facility that can’t be compromised. You may be okay with your dog going without a deep tissue massage, but you shouldn’t be okay with your dog going hours without a bathroom break. Below we’ve outlined some of the key factors that you should look for when deciding which boarding facility is right for your pet this holiday season.
It’s essential that you visit your perspective, before you board. Any good kennel will welcome these visits and give you a chance to see their facilities in person, and most Kennels will not even let you board without touring first. This gives the staff the opportunity to meet your dog as well as for you to scope out their place. When walking around the facility all cages and runs should be clean and fresh-smelling. Additionally, the animals that are currently in residence should also appear clean and well cared for. In any outdoor areas, waste materials should be routinely removed, and there shouldn’t be any dangerous objects around.
Dogs need exercise, it’s as simple as that. Discuss the options the prospective kennel offers in terms of variety and frequency when it comes to exercise. Find out how often dogs are walked, or if they are allowed to run free in an enclosed area. Some kennels will give dogs extra walks or exercise time, but often at an additional charge.
Your perspective facility should have proper cage and run sizes. Natural light is ideal, but if not possible then they should have adequate indoor lighting. The air should circulate well and not smell stagnant. Proper ventilation will significantly decrease the risk of disease transmission.
Find out how many animals are routinely boarded at a single time and the number of staff taking care of the animals. More people and fewer animals may mean more attention for the individual animals.
Information You Should Leave Behind
A good kennel will most likely ask for all of this information before you leave, but just in case, or to make the drop off process easier, have the below-listed information ready before arriving with your pet.
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Emergency vet clinic
- Vet name
- Vet phone number
- Vet address
- Secondary emergency contact
- Dog name
- Description of appearance
- Type of food
- Things your pet likes
- Things your pet doesn’t like
- Number of time taken out per day
- Medication notes
- Special instructions
- Socialization notes
- A recent photo of your pet
Find The Right Boarding Facility For Your Pet
Do an online search, ask for recommendations from your vet, or talk to your friends who have dogs. Once you compile a list of potential boarding facilities, use our tips above to help you narrow down your choices. Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your pet is a member of the family, and any good boarding facility will appreciate your thoughtfulness and diligence.