5 Factors to Consider Before Boarding Dogs
Separating from your dog for a vacation or work assignment leaves you and your pet feeling emotional. You know you have to leave your pup with a dog sitter or at a dog boarding facility.
Be it the resort-style facility, cage-free facility, or in-home care with your neighbors or friend, your pup will feel your absence and have moments of wishing you were here.
But, a good dog boarding facility and friendly dog sitters can help your pooch wade off these feelings and enjoy themselves.
The best boarding facility should take note of your dog's personality, special needs, pet sitting options, and preferred routine.
You could take extra precautions by giving your pet Doggysupps natural supplements that’ll:
- Strengthen their immune system to fight illnesses
- Add good digestive bacteria to fight off food allergies and food reactions
- Strengthen their hip and joints for play activities
- Protect their skin and coat
Let’s look at the five factors to look for in a boarding facility that’ll give you some relief knowing that your dog is well taken care of and they are in a hygienic environment.
What to Look for in a Dog Boarding Facility (Before Boarding Your Dog)
Boarding facilities have been in use since the 1950s, where dogs were kept in kennels and let out for toilet breaks 5–8 times a day.
This traditional method evolved to boarding facilities with massage parlors, dog swimming pools, spa services, special treats, and live stream updates for pet owners.
American Pet Product Association statistics show that America has 89.7 million dog-owning households, with 4% of canine owners having used dog boarding or kennel services in the last six months.
The boarding facility you choose depends on:
- Your Budget
- The length of your trip
- The special needs of your dog
- The proximity to your veterinarian
Factor #1. Staff Management
Your dog needs to be looked after with the utmost care by competent employees 24/7. The pet sitters should also be friendly and enjoy being around animals.
Ask about the staff ratio in the day and night shift to know if your dog will get the needed attention round the clock.
The recommended staff ratio by the Pet Care Services Association is one staff for every 15 dogs. This ratio varies in different dog boarding kennels depending on:
- Staff experience
- Services provided
- The activity level of the dogs.
Do the employees receive any training? At a minimum, dog boarding employees should receive training on basic animal care, picking stress cues, and canine body language. A more qualified staff has training and experience in dog communication, behaviors, and first aid.
Dogs being pack animals tend to be territorial, and they easily start fights — other pups may join in the action. Therefore, the boarding facility needs to have competent staff who can sense a looming fight or can effectively stop one immediately.
Factor #2. Physical Activity and Dog Walkers Routine
Do the dog boarding kennels have activities? Are the activities indoors or outdoors? Do they have dog walkers?
The appropriate daily dog exercise time is 30 mins to 2 hours — which includes dog walking. This need varies in different pups depending on:
- The breed
- The dog’s metabolism
- The personality of your dog
- Your pet’s hip and joint health
- The medical condition of your pet
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Talk to the dog boarding service provider and find out the daily activity schedule for the dogs. You can also find out if they consider special requests in the event your dog needs extra activity or has a unique hobby they engage in with a pet sitter.
Some dog boarding facilities require your pooch to go through a temperament test to see if they can join the other dogs during playtime. If your pet doesn't qualify, what options will they have for your dog?
Your pet’s mental health well-being during and after your absence depends on how they relieve stress through activity.
Factor #3. Food Requirement
What foods do they offer? Do they have dietary options for special needs? How many times do they feed the dogs and offer drinking water? Can you pack your preferred meals?
Sudden dietary changes in pets that have a sensitive digestive system leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and decreased appetite. Giving your dog digestive health supplements before and during their stay at a dog boarding kennel can minimize these side effects.
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Pets mostly react to foods in boarding facilities due to:
- The ingredients in the food like additives
- The type of food
- Food contamination
Ask the dog boarding kennels you visit if they’ll allow you to pack your pet’s food instead of paying for the meals in the facility.
Packing extra snacks may help if you find that your pup's eating schedule differs from the kennels or in case you extend your stay.
If you choose to have your pup eat their food, you need to find out what time they feed the pets so that you can move your feeding routine close to that time.
If your dog has allergies to a type of food, ensure the facility has the full details and preferably with a tag that mentions the specific allergy and the first aid to give if they come in contact with the allergen.
Factor #4. Vaccination Requirement for All Pets
Does the dog boarding facility require all pets to have an updated vaccine schedule? Do they work with a vet clinic to offer vaccine services if a pet needs one during their stay?
Turn and don't look back if you encounter a dog boarding service that doesn’t ask for your pet’s vaccine schedule. If not, your dog will likely interact with another pup that isn’t up-to-date with their vaccine, increasing the chances of your pet getting an acute or chronic illness.
Diseases that are common in dog boarding kennels and can be prevented by vaccination include:
- DHHP vaccine
- Leptospirosis (optional for some kennels)
- Bordetella (kennel cough)
- Canine influenza (dog flu)
Let's look at the timeline between vaccine administration and boarding admission you have to consider to avoid your pup being rejected.
|Vaccine||Normal Schedule by Age||Time Elapsed After Vaccination and Before Boarding|
|DHHP||8, 12, 16 weeks, and 1 year||3 weeks|
|Rabies||14 weeks then yearly||4 weeks|
|Leptospirosis||12 and 16 weeks, then yearly||3 weeks|
|Bordetella||8 and 12 weeks, then yearly||1 week|
|Canine Influenza||8 and 12 weeks, then yearly||2 weeks|
What better way to boost your pup’s immunity with immune support supplements that offer added immunity to the vaccine that protects your pup from fatal diseases.
Factor #5. Veterinary Service Proximity
How does the dog boarding kennel respond to a medical emergency? Is there a veterinarian on call?
Pet owners fear their dogs contracting a disease, and they aren't there to nurse them. They often wonder if the dog boarding service or pet sitters will offer appropriate pet care.
If you don’t plan on leaving your dog at a veterinary clinic daycare and boarders facility, then knowing how they handle a sick pup is of utmost importance.
Ask for the step-by-step process the dog sitters will take to ensure your dog gets to a veterinarian in good time. Save the number of the facility’s veterinarian or leave your veterinarian number with the kennel.
The common boarding diseases that may require veterinarian services in pet kennels are a result of:
- Poor sanitary conditions
- Lenient vaccine schedule requirement
- Food contamination
- Limited dog supervision
Ticking these boxes as you hunt for the best dog boarding kennels near you will ease the stress you feel from leaving your pup with new pet sitters.
Giving your pup immune support supplements will also help them to fight off any disease they might contract while in the boarding kennel.
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Let Doggysupps Supplements Give Your Dog Added Protection in Any Dog Boarding Facility
What You Should Know About Joint Supplements for Dogs
Nothing can replace the care you give to your pup, and they know it. But, there comes a time when your pet has to spend a few days without you and giving them the best alternative ensures they lead a stress-free and healthy life.
To ensure the transition back with your dog doesn't come with extreme dog health issues, Doggysupps offers you various healthy natural supplements made from high-quality natural products from Germany.
Choose from our wide range of dog treats and supplements just for your dog’s needs:
Place your order today and enjoy a healthier and happier dog.
Featured Image: Flickr by Patti Abbott