Heading on a vacation or bringing your teen back to college? Can’t bring Buddy with you? There are plenty of kennels and boarding facilities where you can board your dog while you’re gone. Make sure you feel comfortable leaving him at a place while you’re gone. Here are some tips for finding a boarding facility that you and Buddy will like.
1: Do a search on the internet and contact the facility. Many boarding facilities will have reviews written about them on Yelp, Citysearch, and Google. Ask your fellow pet owners if they have a place they like and why. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few places, contact them and ask about taking a tour to see where the dogs sleep, stay, and play.
Be aware that some facilities may not be able to show you their boarding areas during business hours because of dogs that are out and playing and they don’t want you to accidentally get jumped on or nipped at. Most will do a tour right as they open or close before it gets too hectic and crowded.
2: During your tour take note of the kennels, their cleanliness, and the smell. It will smell like dog but it should not smell like dirty dog. Ask to see the play area, the food storage area, and where your dog would sleep. Observe the dogs that are there if there are some boarding. Do they seem comfortable? Do they all have water? Do they have bedding? Do they seem happy or stressed? Ask questions and take note of the security to prevent pets from escaping their sleeping area or the facility.
3: Questions to ask: How much play time do boarding dogs have throughout the day? Where do they go potty? What’s the feeding schedule? Does the staff know how to administer medications? Is there an on-site staff 24/7? Are there webcams? Is it climate controlled? What are the procedures for emergencies? What can you bring for your dog?
4: If your dog is good with other dogs and likes to play, ask about an option for daycare and the schedule for it. You may want to schedule a few daycare visits before boarding to get your dog used to going to the facility and making a few friends. It’ll decrease your dog’s stress level as well as yours.
5: After the first few days of daycare, see how your dog behaves. Is he tired? Is he forgetting all his commands? Were there any concerns from the staff about his play style or interactions with other dogs? How’s his appetite and does he have an upset stomach? It’s natural for your dog to be tired, a little hungrier than usual, and maybe even have a small upset belly. Changes in routine and exercise can bring about some body changes. However, if your dog seems weary of staff or afraid to go into the facility it may have been too much or too many hours with a pack. Some dogs love to play all day and others only want to play for a few hours and then call it quits. Talk to the staff about what schedule of daycare and boarding would work best for your pet.