Tips for Finding the Best Pet Boarding Facility

November 13, 2009

in Cats

Whether your animal friend is a loyal dog, or perhaps a finicky cat that requires special care, it can be difficult locating a good place for them to stay when you head out for vacation. If you don’t have the luxury of acquaintances or relatives who can visit your pet at home every day, you will have to find a suitable pet boarding facility.

All in all, picking a place to board your pet is a serious decision. Unless you know someone personally or have decent referrals, it’s hard to know where to go. The best choice is a place where you know your pet will be well taken care of and content. Since many house pets tend to do poorly in strange surroundings, finding a place that will meet their needs and keep them reasonably happy is especially challenging.

The best thing to do is visit any boarding facility you’re considering. Ask for a quick tour and keep your eyes open. Observe how the pets are treated, check the cleanliness, and in general get a feel for how well the pets and the facility are maintained. Are the floors nasty? Is there a bad odor over and above what you’d expect?

When checking out a facility, ask if they require current vaccinations. They should. If they don’t, keep shopping until you find one that does.

It’s pretty common for veterinarians to provide a pet boarding facility as an add-on to their practice. You would think this would be the best choice, but don’t count on it. The boarding is sometime just an afterthought that isn’t given a lot of attention.

Think about how your dog would feel staying in a regular hospital. Hospitals are great for what they do – taking care of sick and injured pets. However, it can be a depressing environment for a healthy animal and they aren’t likely to get more than minimal care in such a facility.

The major focus of a vet clinic is treating and managing care for sick and injured animals. The assistants and other staff usually have their hands full at all times trying to stay on top of things. How likely is your pet to get really good care and attention in an environment like this?

While you are visiting different facilities, see if the animals are monitored and kept safe and secure while exercising or playing outdoors. They should not be left in any enclosed area without supervision for long periods of time. Observe all fencing and make sure it looks secure, with no holes or “easy to dig out” places at the bottom.

If you are boarding a cat, they should be contained in an area that is separated well from the dogs. Few things can stress out a normal cat worse than around the clock barking and howling! If you will be boarding a dog, be certain to find out how he will be cared for. How often will he be fed? Will he have regular outdoor play time? Will they give him his own healthy dog food that you bring from home?

Finally, the one intangible you need to look at. How do the people working at the pet boarding facility work with the pets? This is not an easy job and requires a special person with lots of patience and desire. If the workers seem hurried and stressed with their job, this is probably not the best managed environment for your pet.

Deciding on a place to leave your pets is an important decision. Keep all these things in mind when you make your choice.

Choosing a reputable pet boarding facility is one excellent way to be a responsible pet owner. Learn more and get the inside scoop on keeping your pets healthy and happy!

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