Choosing a suitable dog boarding facility for your dog can be quite the challenge. With over 9,000 boarding kennels servicing over 30 million pet owners annually, there certainly isn’t a dearth of facilities to choose from.
How do dog owners apprehensive to the idea of utilizing a boarding facility for their pup go about choosing one? The objective of this article is to answer that question and provide some guidance to prospective users of doggy boarding facilities while also addressing some of the many misconceptions around doggy boarding facilities that exist out there in the ethos.
Doggy Boarding Facilities – A Great Alternative To Pet Sitting
Dog boarding facilities offer an excellent alternative to just leaving your four legged best friend at home alone or under the supervision of the inexperienced. Leveraging the expertise and resources that boarding facilities provide can offer up a much better, worthwhile experience for your dog .Your dog won’t have to deal with the potential duress brought upon by extensive amounts of travel , nor will he/she have to deal with the negligence brought upon by the inexperienced. Whether the separation is temporary or for an extended period of time, doggy boarding can truly provide a peace of mind knowing that your dog is safe and being well taken care of.
However, there are certainly some things that one needs to be aware of when shopping around for an adequate doggy boarding facility and these things can cause a lot of trepidation when it comes to taking the plunge into the world of dog boarding facilities. These tips serve to provide you with the information to traverse these pitfalls.
#1 . Ensure Boarding Facility Is Certified
Certifications should be of the utmost importance when shopping around for a dog daycare facility for your pup. Not only does it provide a peace of mind, but also helps to distinguish the boarding facility from others and goes a long way towards establishing legitimacy.
There are several certifications out there that provide a degree of legitimacy to dog boarding facilities , but the most salient one you should be on the lookout for are the ones provided by the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) Boarding facilities certified by the IBPSA. The IBPSA offers up three certifications :
- Species-specific Certifications
- Risk Management & Safety Facility Certification
- Infectious Disease Management Certification
You want to ensure that the boarding facility you are vetting has the last two or something similar at the bare minimum. Ensuring that the boarding facility you are thinking about utilizing has the right certifications
#2. Request A Thorough Tour Of The Facility
You are going to want to request a thorough tour of the boarding facility. You are going to want to assess the sanitation and overall conditions of the facility and where your dog will ultimately be housed. The facility should be free of foul odors, excrement, urine, debris, stagnant puddles of water, etc. etc. You want to make sure that the facility is consistently cleaned and wiped down.
Make sure that there are no traces of vermin (mice, rats, etc. etc.). Check to see their policies and what the protocols are in the event that there is an outbreak in pests. What flea deterrents do they have in place in the event of an outbreak? What do they have in place to prevent infestations? All of these questions and more will need to be asked when vetting a boarding facility.
Another important thing to take note of area the play areas and where your dog will be spending most of his/her time at the facility. Take note of the amount of hours your dog will be outside juxtaposed to being inside. Also take notice of the size of the holding area your dog will be in while inside.
#3. Asses The Experience Of The Dog Handlers
Assessing the experience of the individuals who will ultimately be responsible for caring for your dog is a vital component of the vetting process. After all, you wouldn’t go without trying to gauge the experience of someone who is tasked with looking after your child , would you? If your dog is going to be under the supervision of anyone for an extended period of time, a assessment needs to be made. Dogs are just as complex as humans and have typically have a variety of personalities. A dog handler’s ability to properly cope and adapt with these personalities is key. Know your dog’s personality and threshold tolerance and make sure that whoever will be handling your dog is experienced in dealing with that type of personality.
#4. Ensure That They Offer Insurance Policies
You are going to want to ensure that the dog boarding facility that you are vetting is bonded and insured. You want to ensure that the boarding facility is bonded just in case of employee negligence and you want to make sure overall general coverage of your dog in their care. This is generally referred to as “Care , Custody/Control animal Bailee.” There are other animal welfare insurance offerings out there as well that you are going to want to take advantage of if the aforementioned aren’t available. It’s all about ensuring that the dog boarding facility that you are vetting is on their P’s and Q’s when it comes to the pets under their supervision.
#5. Check For Ancillary Amenity Offerings
There are many boarding facilities that offer services ancillary to the traditional services typically provided at boarding facilities. These include grooming, training, pickups from your house, etc. etc. These benefits are serve to make your life easier as a dog owner and also make boarding facilities more attractive to those worried about prohibitive costs. Understand that you are getting more out of your money paying for a boarding facility than paying your run of the mill neighborhood pet sitter. There can be a lot of sweet perks that come with using dog boarding facilities, you just have to find them.
#6. Network With Other Dog Owners
One of the most common sense tips I can give you on choosing a dog boarding facility is to network with other dog owners who have used them before. There can be a wealth of valuable information that can be gleaned from conversing with other dog owners who have experience within the arena of dog boarding facilities. Check to see which ones to look into and which ones to generally avoid.
#7. Check The Ratio Of Dogs To Handlers
This is one that’s bound to get overlooked by most and sort of ties into the aforementioned tip involving making sure that the handlers who your dog will ultimately be under the supervision of are experienced .It’s important to pay attention to the ratio of dogs to handlers to get a feel for how much attention will be on your dog in particular. There’s only so many dogs that can be watched at any given point of time and you don’t necessarily want your dog going extended periods of time being neglected. Problems can also arise when you have an inexperienced handler dealing with too many dogs at once.
#8. Check The Procedure For Emergencies
Nothing in life is perfect and this statement most certainly rings true concerning dog boarding facilities. Even the most certified reputable boarding facilities aren’t completely free of accidents. The question isn’t if an accident is going to occur, it’s when and it is important to ensure that dog boarding facility you are vetting has sound procedures in place in the event that they do occur. Some pertinent questions that should be posed:
- In the event of an accident, how long will they take to contact me?
- Who is going to be my point of contact in the even of an emergency?
- Will there be medical personnel (i.e. veterinarians) in the event of a health emergency?
There are many other questions that you can come up with but these particular ones happen to be top of mind. Making sure that you and the boarding facility are on the same page in the event of an emergency is vital.
Well , there you have it. 8 tips on how to choose an adequate boarding facility for your dog. It’s all about doing your due diligence getting out there and doing the research and asking the right questions. There is a lot to be gained from utilizing a dog boarding facility and if you choose the right one your dog will end up thanking you for it.