Holiday or vacation travel can be stressful for dog owners who need dependable care for their pets. Here is quick-read professional boarding kennel advice!
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 its charges.
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!
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