Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tips For Evaluating A Pet Boarding Facility

If you are wrapping up the summer with a last minute vacation, you may need to  find a suitable accommodation for your beloved family dog or cat.  If your choice is boarding, here are a few tips to make it a safe and happy time for both you and your pet. Remember: it’s important that when boarding your pet to let the facility personnel know what your pet’s needs and habits are; as pets can become stressed. Different pets have different needs, so make sure to ask plenty of questions about how different issues will be handled.  For example, some dogs won't defecate in a dog run setting so ask if your dog can be walked or brought into an open yard after eating.  This may seem like an obvious request but many facilities walk the dogs and then feed them in their cages afterwards.

Check out the facility first- this goes without saying, but it is important to investigate the facility. Your pet is unique and not all facilities are right for every pet.  Check for cleanliness, safety, activities, and level of care provided. All are considerations for a happy stay for your pet. Remember, you know your pet the best, ask lots of questions. 

Doggie Playtime--Many facilities now offer doggie playtime.  It is very stressful for dogs to be locked in a cage all day long.  Try to find a facility that will give your dog some social time. 

 
Veterinary Services- Ask what their veterinarian services policies are while your pet is boarding. Do they have a vet of staff?  Will they take the pet to your own vet?  Your pet's safety is of the upmost concern and wanting them to have access to good veterinary care is crucial. Also discuss your financial responsibility for these services. 

Food-Many pets have food allergies or sensitivities and it is important that your pet's diet is kept constant during your absence. Clarify with the facility the diet restrictions including; brand,type/flavor and amount. Providing your own food is a great way to ensure the diet is followed. The last thing you would want to deal with upon your return is an allergy flare-up.


Pet Vaccinations-  Most kennels require your pet to be current on his vaccinations. Plan ahead and make a veterinarian appointment in advance, so that you can provide the boarding facility with up to date records.

Medications or Supplements- If your pet takes medications or supplements, ask the boarding facility if they can accommodate your pet's medication/supplement schedule.  Also, check to see if there is an extra charge to give the medications to your pet. Be sure to reorder all medications/supplements in advance to ensure your pet has an adequate supply while you are gone.

Anxiety- Your pet may suffer from separation anxiety, bringing a beloved toy or blanket from home may help them feel more comfortable. You may also want to consider leaving your pet for a day/few hours, so they become familiar with the situation before you leave on your trip.

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