If you need to spend any amount of time away from home then you will want to make sure that your beloved pup is safe and well cared for. This is where boarding facilities come into play! Today, our Southern Wisconsin vets share some of the considerations when choosing a dog boarding facility and some important questions to ask.
When looking for dog boarding kennels, it's critical to consider the needs of both you and your dog. This is because when it comes to leaving your dog at home or a boarding facility, there are more options than ever before.
When you are looking for dog boarding it can be beneficial to know what you should be looking for and any questions that you should ask. A smart place to start is to ask your veterinarian, groomer, dog-owning friends, or neighbors for recommendations on boarders or dog sitters.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Dog Boarding Facility
The following list contains advice for what you should be looking for or actions you should be taking to find a facility for dog boarding in Southern Wisconsin that is suited to both you and your dog's needs.
- You should reach out to the kennel well in advance of needing them for your time away.
- Do your homework. Find out if the commercial dog boarding kennel is certified or a member of a professional organization. When interviewing a dog sitter, find out how long they've been doing it and how many repeat customers they've had. Check a couple of references as well.
- Find out what immunizations are required. Many kennels will demand Bordetella vaccinations, as well as rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Are dogs checked for fleas and ticks as well?
- Keep an eye out for places that are clean, safe, and sanitary. There should be enough exercise and sleeping places that are securely fenced and have pleasant non-slip surfaces. Is it acceptable for you to visit all parts of the kennel or residence where the dog will have access? Are they safe and devoid of hazardous chemicals?
- Meet the caregivers and pay attention to how they connect with your dog. How many dogs will they look after at once? How much exercise do the dogs get, and how frequently are they taken out to relieve themselves? What kind of education and training does the provider have in animal care?
- Take stock of provisions made for the comfort of borders. This includes fresh drinking water, temperature control, ventilation, and shelter.
- Find out what happens if your dog has any healthcare needs or emergencies requiring medication and/or veterinary services. Determine if the pet care provider is certified in pet first-aid.
- Evaluate the staffing situation. Is there proper staff on the premises 24 hours a day? Is there an evacuation plan in case of an emergency?
- Observe the handling of the dogs. Is any interaction allowed with other dogs? How well is this supervised?
- Are there dedicated staff members for nighttime or anyone who will be nearby to listen for any issues? Are there cameras monitoring the dogs at night in case something happens?
What to Expect Before, During and After Pet Boarding
It is also important to keep in mind that there are certain aspects of dog boarding that are your responsibility as well. Here are some of the considerations that you need to keep in mind throughout the dog boarding process.
- Understand the rules and policies of the boarding facility. Before boarding your dog at a new facility, inquire about its policies, procedures, and services. For instance, what kind of food do they feed the dogs, what items can you bring from home (toys, blankets, etc.), what their emergency procedures are, and if they can administer your dog's medication? Inquiring about the policies, procedures, and services provided by the facilities can assist you in determining the best home away from home for your dog.
- When you drop off your dog, keep your emotions in check. Dogs are experts at reading their pet parents' emotions. Your dog can tell if you are stressed, overcompensating, or saying goodbye. This will be reflected in your dog's mood and behavior, making it more difficult for them to relax once you leave. Keep things simple, short, and positive to ease the transition.
- When your dog first arrives home, he or she may exhibit a variety of behaviors. It's critical to understand that your dog may act strangely in the first few days after returning from the kennel. Your dog may be clingy, lethargic, or suffering from diarrhea. They may even consume more food or drink than usual. This, however, is a normal reaction to your dog's excitement at returning home. However, if things do not improve after a few days, contact your veterinarian.
Other Dog Boarding Considerations
Determine the daily/nightly rates and whether they include walks, individual attention, medication administration, and bathing. What is the checkout time, and how much are late fees charged? What about the cancellation policy? Some establishments demand a fee for late cancellations.
Consider a brief overnight stay before an extended stay if your dog has never been boarded before. Even a few hours of canine daycare can be an excellent litmus test. This will make your dog more comfortable with the experience and provide the caretaker with a greater understanding of your dog's needs. It will also allow you to monitor how your dog behaves when you pick them up.
Trusting someone else to care for your canine partner is often the most difficult aspect of leaving town. Making the effort to locate a dog and cat boarding facility that you can trust and that your pet appreciates will make all the difference in the long run.