Boarding your pet at a facility may be a stressful time, not only for your dog or cat, but for you as an owner as well. To put your mind at ease and your worries to rest, you need to choose a boarding facility that you feel comfortable and confident with. While it is best to get a recommendation from a trusted friend or from your veterinarian, you might want to take a tour of the facility beforehand. Do you know what to look for during your initial "interview" with staff and during the tour? The following is a checklist of hallmark characteristics of a first-rate pet boarding facility:
1. The Facility Is Clean and Odor Free
A good boarding facility will have no strong odors throughout the building, including the receptionist area and boarding area itself. If everything is neatly organized, immaculately clean and odor free, this is a good sign. As you tour the facility, take notice of the cages and pet runs as well. They also should be kept clean and disinfected.
2. All Species Boarded Will Be Separated
In a first-rate facility, all species will have its own designated area. Many cats become nervous around barking dogs, while parrots or birds may become frightened by the sights of larger animals as well. Keeping the pet species in separate areas helps minimize stress for the pets.
3. The Facility Is Safe and Secure
A good pet boarding facility will utilize security cameras on the grounds and inside the building. There will be no public access to the pets from outside. In addition, pets will be secured with fences, allowing them to freely exercise without the danger of escape. All fences and wires will be intact, with no bent or sharp edges.
Bird cages will have appropriately sized perches for the species. Cage bars will be spaced appropriately as well, to avoid trapped wings, heads or toes between the bars. Small species of birds (parakeets, lovebirds, canaries) will not be caged with larger parrots.
4. Immunization Requirements Are Enforced
Any reputable pet boarding facility will require pet owners to present up-to-date immunization records before a pet is admitted. This may include dog vaccinations including rabies, distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus. Inoculations for cats may be required, including feline panleukopenia, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis. Cats boarded will be free of disease such as feline leukemia.
5. Special Accommodations Will Be Offered
A quality pet boarding facility will offer accommodations for pets with special needs or disabilities. Will your blind or hearing-impaired dog receive special attention from the staff? A good boarding facility will offer this reassurance. If your aging cat has difficulty with mobility, litter boxes will have a low height for accessibility. Dogs with arthritis will be given a soft cushion or bed to rest on.
6. Constant Supervision Is Given During Group Play
In many pet boarding environments, the dogs are allowed time out to play with the other dogs. This is often helpful for socialization skills and interaction with other pets. During this group play, a good boarding facility will enlist the supervision of a staff member at all times. The staff member will be trained to intervene if a situation arises, such as an altercation or aggressive behavior of one pet towards another.
7. There Will Be 24-Hour Emergency Veterinarians on Call for Emergencies
Any reputable pet boarding facility will have access to emergency vets in the event of an accident or illness. There will be plans established for such emergencies. This is a true hallmark of a top-notch pet boarding facility. Pet owners that insist on such assurance need to be sure of this before boarding their pets.
If you're still checking out local boarding facilities and their services, click here for more info. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be able to find the right facility for your pet.