Dog Boarding Tips & Red Flags to Consider | Pupford
May 25th, 2023
Filed under Pet Parenting
When selecting a dog boarding facility, it's crucial to conduct proper research to prioritize your pet's safety and well-being. In this article, we'll discuss essential factors to consider, including what to look for, red flags, and valuable tips for a successful boarding experience. Whether you're traveling for work or pleasure, ensuring your beloved furry friend has a secure and enjoyable stay is of utmost importance.
HOW TO CHOOSE A DOG BOARDING FACILITY
LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY
When selecting a dog boarding facility, it's ideal to choose one that's easily accessible, especially if you might need to drop off or pick up your dog during unconventional hours. Take into account the distance between the facility and your home, workplace, or travel destination, as well as the time it takes to get there.
This is important because being close to your usual routes or conveniently located near your residence can be incredibly beneficial in emergency situations or when you require last-minute accommodations for your dog.
FACILITY SIZE AND ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS
A trustworthy facility should have spacious accommodations suitable for dogs of various breeds and sizes. It is important that the facility offers a diverse selection of lodging options, such as individual kennels, communal play areas, or private suites, to cater to the specific needs of each dog. This approach acknowledges the distinct temperaments and preferences of dogs, empowering you to select the most suitable accommodation setting for your beloved pet.
For some dogs, the comfort of their own personal space in an individual kennel might be ideal, providing them with a sense of security and tranquility. On the other hand, social dogs might thrive in a communal play area where they can interact and play with other dogs under proper supervision.
CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE
Don't be shy to ask about their cleaning routines, how often they sanitize away the germs, and keep your nose out for any funky smells or dirt. A clean facility shows they're all about keeping your furry buddy in a fresh and healthy space.
Here’s some questions to ask: How often do you clean and sanitize the kennels and common areas? What cleaning products do you use to maintain hygiene? How do you handle waste disposal and ensure proper sanitation? Do you have a specific protocol for preventing the spread of illnesses or infections among the dogs? How frequently do you wash the bedding and toys provided to the dogs?
STAFF CREDENTIALS AND EXPERIENCE
The quality of the staff is another critical factor to consider when selecting a dog boarding facility. You want to make sure that the staff members are trained, experienced, and certified to handle dogs of different breeds and sizes.
It's always a good idea to ask about the qualifications and certifications of the staff caring for your dog. You can inquire about certifications such as CPR and first aid training. Keep an eye on how the staff engages with the dogs and see if they show real love and affection towards them.
SAFETY MEASURES AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
A good dog boarding facility should have adequate safety measures and emergency procedures in place to ensure the dogs' safety and well-being. You'll want to ask about their security measures like sturdy fencing, surveillance cameras, and alarms. It's always a good idea to find out about their emergency plans, like evacuation procedures, access to a vet if needed, and how to reach you in case of any unexpected situations.
EXERCISE AND SOCIALIZATION OPPORTUNITIES
Dogs are social animals and need regular exercise and socialization to maintain their physical and mental health. A great dog boarding facility should offer plenty of opportunities for dogs to play, socialize, and exercise with other dogs and people. Ask about their playtime schedules, exercise options, and group sizes. It's also important to find out their policies regarding dogs that might be aggressive or unsocialized.
AVAILABILITY OF GROOMING AND TRAINING SERVICES
Some facilities offer additional services such as grooming, training, or spa treatments, which can be convenient for pet parents. Check the facility's menu of services and prices and see if they align with your needs and budget.
RED FLAGS WHEN CHOOSING A DOG BOARDING FACILITY
- Poor Online Reviews - A notable red flag when choosing a dog boarding facility is negative online reviews. Check their reputation on platforms like Yelp, Google, or Facebook to see what other pet parents say. Pay attention to consistent patterns of negative feedback, such as hygiene issues, communication problems, or inadequate care. Don't rely solely on the facility's website or marketing materials, as they may not reflect the actual conditions accurately.
- Lack of Transparency or Communication - A reliable dog boarding facility should openly share its policies, procedures, and pricing. If you sense that the staff is evading your inquiries, it may be enough reason to look at other options. Likewise, if the staff fails to regularly update you about your dog's care and behavior, it’s a big red flag.
- Inadequate Staffing or Supervision - If you notice that there aren't enough staff or they seem overwhelmed and disorganized, it could be a sign that they may not be able to give your dog the attention they deserve. Keep an eye out for any signs of neglect or mistreatment, like dirty or injured dogs or unsanitary conditions. Your furry friend's well-being is top priority!
- Unsanitary Conditions - Check the facility's kennels, bedding, and play areas for signs of dirt, odor, or feces. Also, observe how the staff handles waste and how often they clean and disinfect the premises.
- Lack of Medical Facilities or Veterinary Access - If your dog has a pre-existing medical condition or requires special care, make sure that the facility can accommodate their needs. Check whether the facility has a designated on-site vet or whether they have a partnership with a local vet clinic. Also, make sure that the staff knows how to administer medication or treatment if necessary.
- Negative Interactions between Staff and Dogs - The staff members should treat the dogs with respect, care, and compassion at all times. If you notice any signs of aggression, neglect, or abuse, it's a sign that the staff may not be suitable for working with dogs. Also, observe how the staff handles conflicts between dogs and whether they intervene promptly and appropriately.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS WHEN CHOOSING A DOG BOARDING FACILITY
FAMILIARIZE YOUR DOG WITH THE FACILITY BEFOREHAND
Take your dog for a visit and let them sniff around, meet the staff, and get comfortable with the surroundings. This will help your dog feel less anxious and stressed when it's time to board.
PROVIDE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR DOG'S CARE
Make sure that you provide clear instructions for your dog's care, including their feeding schedule, medication, and special needs. Write down any relevant information for the staff and make sure they understand your expectations.
BRING ALONG FAMILIAR ITEMS FROM HOME
To help your dog feel more at ease in the unfamiliar environment, bring along familiar items from home, such as their favorite toy, blanket, or bed. This will provide a sense of comfort and familiarity for your dog.
With these tips in mind, you can confidently choose a boarding facility that meets your pup's needs. Remember, don't hesitate to reach out to Pupford if you have any questions or need guidance. Prepare your dog beforehand for a smooth and enjoyable boarding experience.