Boarding Facilities for your Dog

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Published: 29th October 2012
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What happens when you have to travel and need to leave your dog behind? It is not easy to leave your pet behind when you travel. But if you have no option of leaving your pet with your friend, you can ask your vet to recommend a comfortable boarding house. When looking for boarding kennels, you must ensure that your dog has a safe and comfortable place to stay while you are away. Ensure that you call a variety of boarding kennels to compare and choose what will be most suitable for your dog. Here are some of the important things you should consider before making a boarding reservation for your dog.

1) Condition of the living space.

It is very important to know how your pet’s temporary living space will look like. Request for a tour of the facility and ensure that the environment is clean, organized and free of odor. Since different dogs come for a background of different training, look for what is most important and suitable for your dog e.g. While it may be okay for a crate trained dog to be in a cage, it can be unsuitable for a dog that is not accustomed to it. Check the cages or runs for any defaults. Older dogs with arthritis need more room to move around. If your dog is unaccustomed to staying in a small cage the whole time, look for a boarding facility that offers upscale boarding. These "pet hotels" often have small rooms with dog beds and toys that have an outlook of a home environment.

2) Dog stretches and exercises

If your dog is used to being let out once or twice a day for a few minutes at a time, it may not be a problem because most boarding facilities let dogs out twice a day. However, if you want your dog to get a bit more stretch, look for a place that walks dogs three or more times daily. Also you can ask if they have a safe fenced-in compound where your dog can roam. If not, request the attendants to walk your dog around for several minutes more than just letting them relieve themselves and get back in the cage.

3) Dog Diet

Taking out your dog to live somewhere else can be stressful to your dog. A change in diet can also add to the stress on her body. They normally react with diarrhea or vomiting. When admitting your dog to a boarding hotel, consider bringing your dog’s regular food. This will prevent it from getting stress. Also you can find out if there is an extra fee to feed a special diet. Some dogs may not eat well while boarding, you can bring along something healthy that can be added to her food to make it appetizing. Leave specific instructions with the boarding facility regarding what can be given to your dog and what she cannot eat.

4) Play time with other dogs

Boarding facilities offer daily sessions where dogs are permitted to play together off-leash. This is a healthy exercise that can be fun for your dog, but it can also be risky. Over-stimulated dogs in a group environment they can cause havoc. Ask the attendants the number of dogs they allow to play together at a time. Check that the attendants only allow a few dogs to play together at a time. Also inquire from the boarding facility about their policies regarding dog playtime, including their established protocol if injury occurs.

5) When your dog becomes sick or injured.

Daily habits of your dog should be monitored daily by all boarding facilities. Most facilities keep a routine check on appetite, water intake, urination and defecation. Vomiting, diarrhea and other abnormal activities are noted during these routine checks. Request the boarding facility to perform a daily “once-over” on your pet to ensure they have been no changes in their physical condition. It the boarding facility is not part of a veterinary hospital, find out where they take dogs that become sick. You can also request to have your dog transported to your own vet if she needs medical attention.

6) Cost Implication for the Stay

When you plan a vacation, you must include any cost implications for your dogs stay whether in a boarding facility or with a friend or a vet. Find out if there are any hidden costs or add-ons e.g. fees for special diet, medication or extra walks. According to your dog’s needs, be upfront with the boarding facility and request a full quotation of the stay.

7) When not satisfied with the Boarding Facility

One option is to hire a pet sitter. However, this can be more expensive than a boarding facility. Knowing that your dog receives individual attention in the environment she is used to is however worth the extra expense.

The other option is to ask friends and family if they can host your dog during your time away. This is cheaper especially when you get someone who would be happy to take care of your dog. Ensure that you make specific and clear instructions that will be comfortable for that person and your dog. When you come back do not forget to bring a thank you souvenir for the pet sitter.

When you have found a great boarding facility, make advance reservation in case the facility might be fully booked. Also remember to bring everything that will facilitate a smooth transition for your dog e.g. dog food, special instructions and other permitted items. In case of loss or damage; do not bring items that you would like to get back. Most importantly, leave your contact numbers, vets contacts and local emergency in case you cannot be reached.

With all the research done and you ensuring your dogs is in the best hands, relax and enjoy your vacation!

Saurav sharma is a dog lover who loves to share interesting dogs related stuffs,like dog food brands of dogs and puppies, on the web. He is very enthusiastic to acquire and share knowledge about dog food, dog accessories etc.

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