If you're planning a vacation that you can't take your puppy on with you, it can be stressful. Here, our Hattiesburg and Petal vets share some tips on what to look for in a boarding facility when you need to leave your dog somewhere safe while on vacation.
Where To Leave Your Dog While on Vacation
If you're going on a business trip or a long vacation, finding the right care for your dog is important. It can be a bit overwhelming to decide what's best for your furry friend, but understanding more about dog boarding can help ease your worries.
By exploring your options and learning about different boarding facilities, you can make an informed choice that suits your dog's needs while you're away.
How To Choose a Dog Boarding Facility
Boarding facilities are designed to provide a comfortable stay for your dog when you can't be with them. While it's not the same as being at home, these facilities aim to create a safe and secure environment for your furry companion. However, not all boarding options are the same.
The range of features and services can vary greatly, from basic accommodations to more luxurious offerings like doggie spas or summer-camp style experiences. To ensure you choose the right boarding facility for your dog's specific needs and personality, it's recommended to visit and assess a few places in your area before making a reservation.
This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog will receive the care and attention they deserve while you're away.
Dog Boarding Facility Features & Services
Often, you can get an idea of the types of features and services a facility offers by the price. Extravagant, spa-like spaces with pampering services will likely cost more than a standard facility with spacious crates and fenced-in dog runs.
Some facilities will also offer dogs one-on-one time with a staff member for outdoor play, walks, or swimming.
But keep in mind, more expensive does not necessarily mean better care.
Standard Services in Dog Boarding Facilities
Regardless of any additional features, a boarding facility may offer, you should expect the following as standard care:
- Meals are served in the kennel.
- Time for play or walks during the day.
- Bathroom break before bed.
- Spacious kennel to sleep in.
- Time outside of the kennel to stretch and move.
Benefits of Dog Boarding
Certain facilities may offer additional services such as veterinary care and close monitoring, ensuring that any necessary medications for your dog are administered properly. This can be particularly beneficial for older dogs or those with specific medical needs.
Moreover, boarding facilities typically follow a daily routine, providing your dog with consistent meal times and exercise schedules. Additionally, dogs have the chance to socialize with both other dogs and humans, allowing for valuable interaction and companionship during their stay.
What to Look for in a Dog Boarding Facility
Aside from price and features, there are other things you may want to consider when deciding on the best place to care for your dog until you return.
Your Dog's Boarding Preferences
It's important to keep your specific dog, and their needs, in mind when evaluating boarding options. A dog that doesn't tend to do well with other dogs or is aggressive may be better suited to a kennel whereas a very social dog may be happier in an arrangement with more interaction between dogs and people.
Pairing at the Dog Boarding Facility
Certain boarding facilities will pair dogs based on factors such as size, age, or other considerations. It's important to inquire about their criteria for pairing dogs, so you have a clear understanding of the other pets your dog may be sharing space with.
Discussing your dog's personality with the staff will enable them to make appropriate pairing decisions that align with your dog's needs.
Additionally, it's recommended to ask about the facility's protocols for handling potential conflicts between dogs. Inquire about any isolation areas where dogs may be temporarily placed in the event of a disagreement or skirmish, and ask for the opportunity to inspect these areas.
This will help ensure the safety and well-being of all dogs in the boarding facility.
Meals at the Boarding Facility
Dogs may not eat as much or as often in a boarding facility as they would at home due to separation anxiety, fear, or simply missing you. Some boarding options may offer meals as part of your dog's stay; if this is the case, ask what types of food they provide to ensure they are nutritious.
You may need to request that they feed your dog their own food if they are fussy eaters. It is essential that your dog has access to clean, fresh water during their stay, so be sure to ask about this as well.
Supervision at the Dog Boarding Facility
Ask about the hours of supervision and who will be responsible for caring for your dog. Dogs can become very anxious when their owners leave, especially if they are in a new environment at the same time.
Ensuring there is caring, qualified staff dedicated to helping your dog stay calm and comfortable will make your dog's stay more enjoyable. Some boarding facilities also have veterinarians available. If your dog needs daily medication or has any health conditions, this might be a good option for you.
Vaccinations Required for Dog Boarding Facilities
Ask about the specific vaccinations that are necessary for your dog to be admitted to the boarding facility. It's important to ensure that your dog has the required immunizations to stay at the facility, as this not only guarantees their eligibility but also indicates the level of safety provided.
When dogs are in a boarding environment with other animals, their vulnerability to infections and illnesses can increase, particularly if they experience stress, which can weaken their immune system.
Being aware that your dog is current on their vaccinations, and that all other animals in the facility are as well, can help alleviate some of your worries.
In most cases, dogs should be vaccinated for Rabies, Parvovirus, Distemper, and Kennel Cough (Bacteria Bordetella/Canine Parainfluenza Virus).
Keeping in Touch With Your Dog While on Vacation
Even if the boarding facility has met all the requirements for a safe, comfortable stay, you should check in on your dog occasionally. Some facilities have 24/7 live camera feeds that allow you to get a glimpse of your dog at any time.
Others may arrange for video calls or regular text messages to keep you updated on how your dog is doing while in their care. Regardless of the method, you should always be permitted to inquire about your dog. Also, be sure to leave contact information with the boarding staff as that would be imperative during an emergency.