If boarding your dog is a new experience for you, don’t rush into making a decision on where to go until you know what to look for. If you’re a little nervous about leaving your pet for the first time, knowing what to expect from boarding can help you feel better.
When Should I Make Reservations?
If you’ll be boarding your dog during a busy time, such as during a holiday weekend, try to make your reservations early. Otherwise, you can reserve a space at any time as long as there’s room. Make sure you ask about the facility’s cancellation policy in case your plans change.
Can I Take a Tour?
Ideally, you should be able to take a tour of the boarding facility to see the kennels and play areas. These should look clean, and you should see bowls of water available. Not being allowed to tour a facility should be a cause of concern, since you won’t know what condition the kennels and play areas are in. You should not be required to make a reservation to take a tour and should be shown any part of the building you would like to see.
Will My Dog Need Shots?
Your dog will need to be up-to-date on all of his shots, since boarding facilities require certain vaccinations by law. Your dog might also need additional shots that he normally doesn’t get, such as a bordetella shot to prevent kennel cough.
What If My Dog Gets Sick?
If your dog becomes ill while staying in boarding kennels, it’s important for you to understand the facility’s policy on illnesses. You might have to sign a form beforehand allowing the facility to take your dog to a local animal hospital or emergency clinic if necessary.
Is Someone Always There?
Not all boarding kennels have staff on-site all the time. Some only have staff members around during regular work hours and for a few hours on the weekend to take dogs for walks and feed them. If you’re not comfortable with this, look for a facility that has someone on-site 24/7 to handle emergencies or just to keep an eye on the dogs.
What Will My Dog Do All Day?
That depends on where you take your dog. Some boarding facilities keep dogs in kennels most of the time, except when they go for walks. Others have spacious play areas available to give dogs a chance to keep busy and socialize with other dogs. Some places also offer training sessions and grooming services.