While getting ready to go on vacation can become chaotic, don’t let finding a boarding facility add to your stress! There are many options when it comes to boarding your pet. Of course any pet owner’s main concern is the health and wellbeing of their pet while they’re away.
The Humane Society of the United States offers a few helpful tips when searching for the right boarding facility. Before choosing, understand the pros and cons to boarding your pet while away.
Professional boarding pros:
- You’ll avoid the stress of taking your pet on the road or in the air.
- They’ll receive more attention and supervision than they would if home alone most of the day.
- They’ll be monitored by staff trained to spot health problems.
- They’ll be secure in a kennel designed to hinder dog or cat escape artists.
- The stress (for both you and your pet) related to staying in an unfamiliar environment.
- The proximity to other pets, who may expose your pet to health problems.
Now, let’s focus on choosing the right facility. The Humane Society suggests asking your friends, neighbors, veterinarians, etc. for a recommendation. Once a few facilities are selected, plan a detailed visit with the staff. Here are a few things to look for during your visit:
- Does the facility look and smell clean?
- Is a comfortable temperature maintained?
- Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring?
- Are pets required to be current on their vaccinations? (Such a requirement helps protect your animal and others)
- Does each dog have his own adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or an indoor run and a schedule for exercise?
- Are outdoor runs and exercise areas protected from wind, rain, and snow?
- Are cats housed away from dogs?
- Is there enough space for cats to move around comfortably?
- Is there enough space between the litter box and food bowls?
- How often are pets fed?
- Can the owner bring a pet's special food?
- What veterinary services are available?
- Are other services available such as grooming, training, and bathing?
Once you’ve selected the facility right for you and your pet, try taking your pet to the kennel for short visits to get him/her accustomed to the staff and environment. And always remind the staff of any medical or behavioral problems your pet has. It’s also a great idea to share your veterinarian’s contact information with the boarding staff.