About 40% of US households own dogs. Given that volume of K9s, the domestic pet boarding industry is booming to the tune of about 9 billion dollars in revenue annually.
If you’re a pet owner that’s thinking about boarding your dog for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions…
Will your dog be safe? Are they ready to be boarded? What constitutes a good boarding facility?
Before arriving at your local boarding location, our recommendation is to get all of those questions answered by reading our list of boarding dos and don’ts. They will help enlighten you and create a more positive boarding experience for your pet.
The Do’s of Boarding Your Dog
There are several things that you can do to ensure that your dog has a pleasant boarding experience. Here are proactive measures to keep in mind:
Do Your Homework
Not all boarding facilities are created equally.
Some won’t let your dogs out to stretch their legs during their stays. Others aren’t meticulous about picking up animal droppings which means that your best friend could end up sitting next to their feces for prolonged periods.
The best way to avoid bad boarding locations is to do your homework.
Take to the internet and read reviews. Ask your pet-owning friends for information on this dog resort that they booked last summer or that pet hotel that they used in the fall.
With a little bit of effort, you should be able to narrow your boarding choices down to a handful of reputable businesses.
Tour Where Your Pet Will Be Staying
It’s one thing to read about a place when you’re going to be boarding your dog. It’s another thing to experience a boarding facility first hand.
By touring a boarding facility, you’ll be able to see the conditions that animals are kept in behind the scenes. That insight will let you know whether or not an establishment is a fit for your pet.
Read Your Boarding Contract Carefully
Every boarding facility that you do business with will give you a boarding contract. Read it carefully before signing.
Contracts outline a lot of details regarding the treatment of your pet. You don’t want to hastily agree to something that you’re uncomfortable with.
Require That Somebody Be On-Site 24/7
The reason why you’re paying to board your dog and are not just leaving them at home with an automatic food dispenser is that you want a human to be present while you’re away. To that end, ask if somebody will be on-site at your boarding facility 24/7.
If a facility lets you know that staff leaves for the evening, continue your search. You don’t want your dog to have an emergency without anybody being there to assist.
The Don’ts of Boarding Your Dog
Now that you know things that you should do before boarding your dog, let’s touch on things that are best avoided. The following are based on common boarding mistakes that we see pet parents make:
Only Shop Based on Price
How cheap or expensive a boarding facility is doesn’t paint you a picture of the quality of services that an establishment offers. Because of that, you don’t let price be the most important factor in your boarding decision.
Let your decision be predicated on how well your dog is likely to be taken care of which you can surmise after researching a location thoroughly.
Freak Out When Dropping Off Your Pet
Dogs can sense emotions. If you have anxiety when leaving your pet at a boarding facility, they’ll pick up on the tension and their anxiety will skyrocket.
The more calm and positive you are when boarding your dog, the better.
Neglect to Talk to Your Veterinarian
Diseases can quickly spread through boarding facilities. Issues like “kennel cough”, for example, are relatively common and can severely impact dogs that aren’t vaccinated.
To ensure that your dog is not at a heightened risk of getting ill while boarding, talk to your veterinarian in advance of your dog’s boarding date.
You may find that your dog needs certain medications or shots to help them get through their boarding experience. You may even be advised to not board your dog at all due to their age or unique medical issues they harbor.
Forget to Pack Something Familiar
In moments of anxiety, people turn to what’s familiar to find comfort. Dogs do the same thing.
That’s why we love recommending that pet parents leave their dogs at boarding facilities with a few familiar items. These items might include your dog’s favorite toys and/or a shirt that you wear from time to time.
Little things like packing your dog items that make them feel at home can have a huge impact on their ability to tolerate their time away from you.
Now That You’re a Boarding Pro, Drop Your Best Friend Off With Confidence
Boarding your dog doesn’t have to be a negative experience for you or your best friend. To make things positive, follow our tips and make sure that you allow yourself that time that you need to find, tour and select a quality boarding location.
Dogs are resilient animals so with a little bit of care, they’ll coast through today’s boarding experience and any other experiences that come up in the future.
If you’re craving more information on all things related to owning a happy pet, keep browsing the newest content on our blog. You’ll be glad that you did!
Hi! I’m Karen and a certified dog lover. As a freelance writer and blogger, I do my best to squeeze in some time with my dogs, learning more about the way they act and how I can make sure that they continue to stay well-cared for by yours truly.
My dogs have helped me through a lot, and this is my way of giving back to them! Besides animals, I also love to travel and cook, having explored my country’s restaurants and unique places. Follow me as I show you all the amazing tips and bits of information I learn along the way about our furry friends!