BOARDING YOUR PETS DURING HOLIDAYS
by the NetPlaces Network Staff
Animal owners who plan to travel to family get-togethers need to arrange dependable care for their house pets.
Automatic feeders can be used
for some species but NOT for your dog or an inside cat and taking them to visit
relatives or friends is inadvisable. Other people may be allergic to pets or
find them annoying, fearsome, or a challenge to children.
That means that your dog(s) will have to be crated and hand-walked. Add to that
the reality that your pet may get diarrhea from the change in water, too many
treats, or simple stress.
All in all, it is usually better to board your pet. Tell him he’s going on
vacation to a doggy spa! Then take time to verify these important points before
choosing a boarding facility.
Don’t worry about finding a boarding kennel that is close. Better to drive
across town than make a bad decision. YOU will only be driving minutes. Your dog
will be staying there for days… First, ask if they are licensed and who is their
veterinarian? If the person stumbles over the answer, ask to speak to the owner.
Not there? When will they be back?
If that went okay, then ask the owner or manager if they have business insurance
and what their general protocols are. Do they walk the dog daily? That is
important for house-trained dogs who won’t want to eliminate “inside” or near
where they sleep.
Okay, then ask if you can visit their facility
with your dog? If the owner
stalls or wants to “set a time” ask (yourself) why? Two points here… First, they
should welcome your visit at any time during normal business hours, the only
exception being during feeding time. Obviously that would upset their dogs.
There is no other excuse.
Oh, they are cleaning? That shouldn’t matter. They are short of staff or the
owner isn’t there? So what? Who takes care of the dogs if there’s no staff???
And what difference does it make if the owner is or isn’t there? The facilities
are the same right?
Give them a star if the person you are talking with says “Sure, come on over any
time.” It is okay if they say “Can you come around…” and mention a time.
When you get there, the NetPlaces Network suggests you carefully consider these
points, provided by David Hachey, President of Ogena Solutions:
Caging — This is where your pet will be sleeping. You want a place that has
large enclosures with various amenities like toys and a dog-sized couch or bed
where they can lay down comfortably. Some kennels offer a nanny cam service
where you can check in on your dog from your smartphone.
Professional Staff — It is said dogs are great judges of character, and they
instinctively know when they are in the presence of a dog lover. Don't be afraid
to ask for certification from the kennel staff, and if they are uniform it will
indicate a professional atmosphere.
Cleanliness — This is hugely important, even more so in the midst of the
COVID-19 pandemic. Inquire about the cleaning plan used at the facility,
including the materials, products and equipment used to maintain cleanliness of
both the animals and the buildings. Safe cleaning products and the safe
application of those products is a must. Professional cleaning equipment like
the Anivac bathing system is a message that the kennel cares for the upkeep of
Grooming and Bathing — One of the benefits of leaving your pet at a kennel is
them getting a full on “spaw” treatment. Professional bathing using equipment
designed specifically for that purpose — as opposed to trying to scrub them
clean with the shower head or garden hose — makes a huge difference. Ask about
the expertise of the kennel’s staff when it comes to grooming. It’s nice to
return from a getaway to have a pet that is clean and well kept.
Activities — Dogs like to be busy. They love to play and benefit from the
exercise. You absolutely do not want your beloved pet locked in a cage all day.
An exercise run is great, but make sure there is a staff person that will
actually play with the dogs when they are in that run. Some kennels may even
offer obedience training, which is a nice bonus!
For more information, visit
ogenasolutions.com or follow Ogena Solutions on
Twitter; OgenaSolutions and Facebook
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