Essential Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Boarding Facility
Making arrangements for your dog while traveling or working long hours can be stressful. Should you choose traditional kennel boarding, in-home pet sitters, or luxury pet hotels? With so many options for boarding your furry friends these days, it can be challenging to choose what’s best.
This article will guide you through key factors to consider when selecting dog boarding, from safety and cleanliness to staff experience. Understanding these elements will give you peace of mind that your four-legged family member is in good hands while you’re away. We’ll also explore what to look for when visiting facilities in-person and reading online reviews.
Follow these tips to feel confident finding the right boarding facility for your dog’s needs.
What to Look for in a High-Quality Dog Boarding Facility
Factors to Prioritize
When researching boarding kennels and pet care facilities in your area, make sure to inquire about:
- Separate dogs based on size/temperament
- Housing meet dog safety standards
- Emergency plans and vet access
Staff Experience & Training
- Background checks performed
- Experience caring for dogs
- Ongoing staff education
Cleanliness & Sanitation
- Regular housing cleaning protocols
- Disease prevention procedures
Pet Health & Diet
- Can accommodate medications, special diets
- Ensure adequate outdoor time & exercise
Also important – supervised playtime, webcam access, staff-to-dog ratio, etc. Getting clear, detailed responses instills confidence they can properly care for your dog.
Visiting Dog Boarding Facilities In-Person
It’s always a good idea to visit any pet care facility before booking so you can get a first-hand feel for daily operations. An initial tour and meeting staff will give you an idea if it would be the right fit. You want to ensure that the staff interacts positively with the dogs.
Observe the various housing spaces where dogs would sleep/eat, indoor and outdoor play spaces, separation between spaces, cleanliness precautions, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions to staff during visits as well.
Reading Reviews Thoroughly
One of the best ways to evaluate a kennel or pet sitter is reading through recent customer reviews online. Pay attention to repeat mentions of cleanliness, safety issues, pricing transparency, staff professionalism and demeanor. Multiple concerning complaints should make you hesitate from considering somewhere for boarding a beloved pet.
On the other hand, glowing remarks about the level of care and attention provided to their dog can give you confidence in using a facility. Look for trends over several years in ratings and comments as these highlight what to expect.
Understanding the Costs of Dog Boarding
When budgeting for any pet care services, what’s included in the daily or overnight rates will vary significantly by provider. Basic costs tend to cover:
- Standard feedings
- Staff supervision
- Exercise and playtime access
Additional fees may apply for:
- Specialized diet meals
- Administering medications
- Extra playtime or walking
- Premium housing upgrades
- Early drop-offs or late pick-ups
Reputable facilities will provide clear breakdowns of their rates and what is or isn’t included. Make sure to confirm pickup/drop-off windows, deposits, and cancellation policies as well.
Ensuring Your Dog Feels Safe and Secure
While quality food and housing matter, a top priority when boarding your dog should be their emotional well-being. Spending days away from their family and home can cause anxiety, stress, whimpering, or other reactions. Kennels should have protocols to minimize distress.
Consider your dog’s:
- Separation anxiety level
- Sociability with other dogs
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Need for medications, specialized care
Ensure staff will provide:
- Gentle intro period
- Consistent daily routine
- Soothing techniques if anxious
- Accommodations as needed
With compassionate staff catering to your dog’s needs during their stay, you can rest easy knowing they are getting the best possible care in your absence.
Choosing WoofConnect Dog Boarding
If wanting to avoid kennel fees and the stresses boarding can bring on your dog, consider the WoofConnect app for home dog boarding.
Benefits of WoofConnect Include:
- Free home boarding
- Dogs matched by breed for compatibility
- Warm, homey environment instead of cold kennels
- Tailored care from owners familiar with your dog’s needs and personality
While limiting compared to kennels, WoofConnect offers a personalized boarding option that could be less stressful for certain dogs not suited for traditional facilities.
Key Takeaways on Selecting Dog Boarding
- Inquire about critical safety, staff qualifications and other policies
- Schedule meet and greets to get a firsthand look at daily operations
- Read recent customer reviews carefully for any red flags
- Confirm what is/isn’t covered under advertised rates
- Ensure proper protocols to ease anxiety and cater to your dog’s needs
- Consider home boarding through WoofConnect as an alternative
Putting in the upfront time to research and evaluate facilities will give you peace of mind while you’re away. Stay vigilant until you find the right boarding providing tailored care your furry best friend deserves. Safe travels!