Planning a well-deserved vacation but feeling guilty about leaving your four-legged companion behind? Fear not! With a little preparation and advance research, you can choose the best dog boarding facility that will provide a tail-wagging experience for your furry family member. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of choosing the perfect pet resort, so you can enjoy your vacation worry-free. Get ready to unleash the adventure!
Start Your Search Early: Planning is key! If you want to secure a spot for your pup, it's crucial to call at least one month in advance. For popular holiday periods, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, consider booking two or more months ahead to ensure availability.
Ask the Right Questions: When contacting potential dog boarding facilities, be prepared with a list of questions to help you gauge their suitability. Here are some essential queries to ask:
What are your daily rates, and are there any additional charges for extra services?
Do you require vaccination records, and what vaccinations are mandatory?
Are there any specific breed or size restrictions?
Do you have any testimonials or references from other pet owners?
Can you accommodate any special needs or medical requirements?
What are your drop-off and pick-up hours?
Take a Pawsome Tour: Before entrusting your fur baby to just any ol' boarding facility, schedule a tour of the premises. Pay close attention to the following:
Are the dogs happy, active, and engaged?
Do the dishes and living areas appear clean and well-maintained?
Is there a clearly defined daily schedule for feeding, exercise, and playtime?
Do they offer overnight care and supervision?
Do they have security cameras or a live feed for added peace of mind?
What is their experience with administering medications, if necessary?
Check the Paperwork (Not Ruff): It's essential to review and understand the paperwork involved. Look for waivers, contracts, and any other necessary documentation. If a facility lacks such paperwork, it might be a red flag, so consider running in the opposite direction!
License to Thrill: To ensure the facility is legitimate and operates within regulations, check the Department of Agriculture website to verify that their license is up to date. This step is crucial for your pet's safety and well-being. Even in-home sitters need licensing in most states.
Playful Pup Time: Exercise and socialization are vital for a happy dog boarding experience. Inquire about their playtime routine and if they provide opportunities for interaction with other dogs. Ask about the frequency of playtime and how they ensure compatibility among different pups.
Discipline and Safety: Nobody wants to be the "bad cop," but it's important to ask how the facility handles discipline for poor behavior. Ensure their approach aligns with your expectations. Additionally, inquire about their policy on intact males and females sharing spaces and the precautions they take to minimize accidents.
Frequent Bathroom Breaks: To keep your dog comfortable and avoid accidents, find out how often they provide bathroom breaks. Adequate potty time is essential for your pup's well-being, so make sure it's part of their daily routine. If your pet requires more frequent potty breaks, can they accommodate that?
Updates for Peace of Mind: While you're soaking up the sun, it's natural to wonder how your furry friend is doing. Inquire about their policy on providing updates and how frequently they share them. Some facilities even offer photo or video updates, which can put a smile on your face during your vacation.
Trust Your Instincts: Lastly, trust your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right or if the facility doesn't meet your expectations, keep searching. Your pet's happiness and safety should be the top priority, and there's a perfect pet resort out there waiting to welcome your beloved companion.
Packing List for Your Dog's Boarding Stay:
Identification: Ensure your dog wears a secure collar with an updated ID tag, including your contact information.
Vaccination Records: Pack a copy of your dog's vaccination records, including proof of vaccinations and any necessary medical documentation.
Food and Treats: Provide enough of your dog's regular food to cover their entire stay, plus some extra. Don't forget their favorite treats for a taste of familiarity. A typed out or nicely written letter that includes feeding instructions can also help make sure the facility gets your pets normal feeding routine right every time.
Medications and Instructions: If your dog requires any medications, pack them in clearly labeled containers along with detailed instructions for the boarding staff.
Comfort Items: Pack a familiar blanket or bedding with your dog's scent to provide them with a sense of home. A favorite toy or two can also help them feel more at ease.
Leash and Collar: Include a leash and collar for walks and outdoor activities during their stay. Make sure they are in good condition and properly fitted.
Bowls and Water: Pack your pets favorite food and water bowls for easy feeding and hydration. Some boarding facilities provide bowls, but it's always good to have backups.
Grooming Supplies: If your dog requires specific grooming items, such as brushes, nail clippers, or ear cleaning solution, pack them to maintain their grooming routine.
Contact Information: Provide the boarding facility with your contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and an emergency contact who can reach you in case of any issues.
Remember to check with the boarding facility if they have any specific packing requirements or restrictions, as every facility may have its own guidelines. Safe travels for you and a happy boarding experience for your pup! Told you, choosing the best dog boarding facility is easy!