When people go on vacation or a professional has to travel for work, where to put the dog can become a problem. Sometimes, a family member who lives close enough will look in on the dog every day, feed it, and play with it for a while. Friends or family may volunteer to take the dog for a week or two.
Most people do not have that luxury today. Family members often live far away, friends may live in small apartments, or the pet owner does not know the neighbors. In those cases, dog boarding is the answer. There are several options for boarding services, so it is wise to compare them.
Differences in Facilities
The facility, the training of the staff, and the quality of care will differ drastically from place to place. Some boarding facilities offer cages large enough for the dog to sleep in, provide food, and allow some time for exercising each day. Others supply individual rooms and professional staff. There are even luxury resorts designed to pamper every pooch.
Activities and amenities will also be different. Not all boarding facilities will have a dog run. There may be a play area, but no space for energetic dogs to run around. Not all are climate controlled either. That can be an issue depending on the climate. Some places will just board the dog, while others offer dog training programs as well.
Questions to Ask
Before leaving the furry family member at any boarding facility, ask the same questions at every facility for purposes of comparison. Ask about staff training and how long the facility has been in business. Get a tour of the entire place and check out accommodation choices.
Find out the pricing and what that includes. Facilities may offer a few boarding packages to suit the needs of the dog. A high strung pet, for example, may need individualized attention from staff. Dogs with dietary restrictions may cost more to board, or the owner may have to provide the food.
Depending on the length of stay, owners may want to ask about bathing, protocols for medical attention if necessary, and how often the facility is thoroughly cleaned. Be sure to leave emergency contact information, any medications the dog is on, and proof of recent shots from the veterinarian.