Vacations are exciting, no matter what time of the year they are. The only downer that comes with planning your getaway is having to leave your pet, or pets, behind. And, believe it or not, it’s just as stressful for them as it is for you.
One of the more popular options for your pet is to check them into a boarding facility. It’s a great option for pets like dogs and cats that need exercise and more attention than just a simple check in from a friend once a day.
When choosing a boarding facility for your furry family member, there are some questions you should be asking to make sure the facility is a good fit. Your dog or cat need a safe and caring environment, and you need peace of mind.
- What vaccinations are required by the boarding facility? Are there additional recommended vaccines?Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. All respectable boarding kennels will require proof of current vaccinations. If they don’t, that is a red flag you should turn with your critter and run.
- Are there enough exercise options to keep your pets (especially dogs) happy?
Exercise is important for all pets. It is especially so for certain breeds of dogs like German Shepherds or Greyhounds who have to be walked at least once per day. Make sure the facility has an exercise option that is right for your pet.
- How are medical emergencies handled? Is there an on-site veterinarian?
Accidents happen. Scuffles break out between animals. Fido can misjudge a jump and fluffy can run head first into glass. The important thing is that your pet has access to the proper care, no matter when the incident happens.
- Is there supervised group play?
Social playtime can be fun for your dog, (how often do you adult cats playing with each other?) but scuffles between dogs do happen. If one breaks out while no one is watching, the situation can lead to severe injuries quickly. Make sure to ask if and how many staff members are supervising group playtime.
- Find out how often the pets are let out of their kennels?
It’s important to know your dog or cat isn’t in a kennel too long and has the opportunity to have potty breaks.
- How often is the facility cleaned?
Again, this seems like a question you shouldn’t have to ask, but you do. Nobody wants his or her pet walking and laying around in fecal matter. Ask what the cleaning and disinfecting procedures are. If they can answer that quickly, you’ve got a winner.
- Are there tours of the boarding facility available?
If you’re not allowed to tour a boarding kennel you’re considering, walk away and don’t look back. A good kennel will let you tour the facility any time to see what they do, how they do it, and show you where your pet would stay if you decide on them.
- Can your pet try the facility for a half day?
You may think you have found the perfect fit for your dog or cat, but your pet may not. It’s best for everyone if you try out a kennel before you go on your trip to make sure everyone involved is happy.
It is important that you visit several different boarding facilities and compare them. Pay attention to how they make you feel and always trust your gut. If you feel comfortable, there is a good chance that your beloved pet is going to be happy there too. By choosing the right boarding kennel, you'll enjoy your trip more knowing your pet is in good hands.
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