Your dog is more than just a pet, they’re a member of the family, a fur baby. However, sometimes you just can’t take your dog everywhere with you. So, just like you would with a human child, you need to find a babysitter who can look after your dog.
There are a lot of horror stories out there about dog boarding kennels, so make sure you have done your homework and asked a few questions before you send your best doggo off to have their own holiday. You will have likely asked all the normal questions, but here are a few you might not have thought of.
Is There Room To Run?
Whether you have a Chihuahua or a Mastiff , a Great Dane or a Terrier, your dog needs to be able to get out and exercise. This need can be harder to meet in an inner city, but if you are looking a facility like the Good Dog Ranch which is away from inner city life, you will be able to find a place that has enough to be able to provide room for dogs to roam.
However, for most canines, running free through over paddocks with no actual purpose is not really much fun. So when you are talking with your prospective boarding kennels, ask them how they exercise the dogs. Do they take them all out on mass? Do they take them out a few at a time?
If you have a small but energetic dog you will want to ensure that they are given as much time to burn off that energy as a larger endurance breed, however they aren’t going to be able to cover the same distance, or leap the same walls. So, you may wish to ask specially about your dog, and talk to them about what sort of exercise you currently do with your dog, and what you would like them to do.
Do They Ask For Vaccination Certificates?
You are a responsible dog parent, so you have your dog’s vaccinations up to date at all times, but if your potential boarding service doesn’t request to see a copy of current vaccinations from you, you can safely assume that they aren’t worried about anyone else’s dog being vaccinated either.
Although vaccines will minimize the illness if your dog does happen to catch something, however no vaccine is 100% full proof, so you would like to think that your dog will be safe in a healthy environment while they are away from you. There are a range of illnesses that dogs can get (like this), however most are preventable with good care and vaccination. You want to ensure that the people who will be looking after your fur baby have the same level of interest in keeping your pet safe and healthy as you do.
Can They Continue Or Emphasize Training?
Whether you have a show dog, an agility champion, or an adorable lay-about, if you have certain skills that you have been working on with your dog you will want to make sure that the kennel is able to carry on that training to some degree. Whether this is simply asking your pup to sit before they’re allowed to eat, through to needing to scale a 6’ wall each day, if you talk to the facility beforehand you will be able to find out what they can and can’t help with.
Somethings will be outside of their ability simply due to time constraints and the limitations placed on them caring for a number of different dogs with different needs, while some will be quite easy for them to adapt into the daily boarding life.
If you are having difficulties with your dog, this is also a great time to see if the kennel can help. If they do provide any form of training, they may be able to help you find the cause of problem behaviors, and either help to remedy them to offer you solutions that might work once you have taken your pup back home.
Do They Treat Dogs As Individuals?
Too many boarding places have too many dogs and not enough humans to provide the level of care that you want. Although you don’t expect 24/7 attention for your good doggo, you should expect that they can pay adequate attention to their needs. If you have a nervous or anxious dog, you want to ensure that they will get quiet attention and not be expected to run with the pack. While if you have a boisterous dog, who loves to run for hours you want to see if the facility can cater for their need too.
Can They Do Grooming?
While your dog is in boarding is the perfect time to get routine grooming such as nail clipping done. If you check you will often find that they offer other services, so you might like to think about asking for your pooch to have a great bath just before you pick them up.