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Posted on 09-08-2016

How to choose a boarding facility for your pet

With the holidays right around the corner I hope this is a helpful topic.   As much as we love our pets sometimes they need to stay home while we vacation.  But what is the best way to choose where they should stay?

There are many options for your pet.  You may have a friend that will come and take care of them a couple of times a day.  Some people hire pet sitters.  Some pet sitters come by at scheduled times of the day and others actually stay at the home. This can be a good option for many families.  You should definitely check references on a pet sitter and have the sitter come meet your pets to see how they get along.  If your pet requires medication be sure to have them demonstrate that they know how to give it. This may be a more expensive option for pet care.  Depending on the option you choose your pet may be home alone more hours than they are when you are home.  This may create depression or destructive behaviors or accidents in the house by your pet.

Boarding kennels are a good option for many people.  Pets in boarding facilities may actually receive more attention than they do during the day at home as they are being interacted with during the day by staff.  There are several aspects to consider when choosing a kennel.   It is important to ask a lot of questions.  Hours available for pick up and drop off will be important to you as well as price.  Be sure to ask what the price includes.  Some facilities offer extra services such as playtime and bathing.  Do they require vaccine and if so which ones?  You want to choose a facility that requires vaccinations from communicable disease such as parvo virus in dogs and calici virus in cats.  Are cats kept separated from dogs?  How often are they fed, walked, and kennels cleaned?  Are dogs allowed to exercise with other dogs and if so how is their safety insured?  If your pet needs medication or has special medical needs what is their ability to handle that?  Many people choose to board at a veterinary clinic to be sure their pet has medical care available if needed.  At my clinic we monitor boarders for any problems and if one develops we take care of it.  We also have clients who board at other facilities that allow us to pick up their pets if they need medical care or who bring the pet to us if something happens while boarding.  Be sure to ask what the policy is if your pet gets sick while boarding.

I think it is important to take a tour of the facility as well.  You wouldn’t leave a child at daycare without touring the facility and the same should be true for your pet with boarding.  You need to be sure that you feel your pet is being well taken care of while you are away so you can both have a good vacation.

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