Leaving your pet with someone you don't know can be a daunting and confronting task however for some pet owners it is a matter of necessity. Here are some tips on how to select a facility for your pet and make their stay as comfortable as possible.
Many dogs are very happy when they stay in kennels and look forward to their stay. Despite the fear of owners, most dogs settle into boarding life very quickly.
Plan well in advance. Visit the kennel beforehand to verify that the facility meets your expectations. Ask for references and talk to other pet owners about their previous experiences with the facility.
Some kennels will also recommend a series of short boarding visits lasting a few hours to allow your dog to become accustomed to being away from you as well as familiarising themselves with their new surrounds.
If you are making an extended trip, we suggest one or two short stays at the facility. When you pick up your pet, evaluate their general condition. This may give you an indication of the standard of care your pet received. Be sure to ask the kennel staff about your pet's behaviour and appetite. Don't be alarmed if their appetite declined during their stay. Many pets that are unaccustomed to boarding will show some signs of anxiety which is often reflected in eating habits.
Pets must have current vaccinations before boarding. If your boarding facility does not stipulate any vaccination requirements then this could indicate in appropriate standards of care.
For dogs, distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus and "canine cough" vaccines are universally required. Boarding kennels will require written proof of vaccination prior to boarding your pet.
Any special medical problems or dietary requirements should be fully discussed before boarding your pet at a kennel. Be sure to call and find out what is required prior to your visit to prevent last minute delays.
Recommendations from friends, neighbours or our healthcare team are often your best source of information.
Visiting kennels and speaking to the owners of the facilities will give you a good starting point for evaluation. Here's some of the things you should look out for and ask.
There are many options for boarding. If you are not happy with the facilities you have visited, try another until you find the people and location you are most comfortable with so you can relax and enjoy your time away from home too.