Now that we're mostly back to our regularly scheduled lives, pet boarding has started to pick back up as people travel more. On top of that, there is an increased demand for doggy day care as more people are heading back to the office. If you are one of the many people who brought a new pet into your home during the pandemic, you may not be familiar with what to look for when evaluating boarding facilities and doggy daycares.
First, it's important to understand that doggy daycare and/or boarding isn't a good fit for every pet. But for many, it's an ideal solution to keeping your pet happy while you're away. You may be asked to have your dog participate in a temperament test before being a regular at the boarder or daycare. This is normal, and we do this here at Central Pet for our daycare doggies. It helps us understand how your dog reacts when other dogs are around and helps us notice any personality quirks that we should take note of.
Read on to learn more about five things to look for in a pet boarding facility.
1. Will the facility be comfortable for your dog or other pet?
First and foremost, you want to make sure your dog or other pet will be comfortable during their stay at a boarding kennel or while spending their days at daycare. You should choose a facility that looks and smells clean. Ask how often the kennels are cleaned.
Kennels should have good ventilation, enough light and must be consistently kept at a comfortable temperature. Find out if each dog gets their own indoor or indoor/outdoor area to run protected from wind, rain, or the Tucson heat.
The facility should also give your pet sufficient opportunities to play and interact with staff and other dogs.
If you're boarding a cat, make sure their housing is away from dogs and that they will have enough space in their enclosure to move around comfortably. Ensure the litter box is kept far enough away from food and water bowls.
2. What safety precautions are taken to be sure your pet, and all of the pets, are safe?
You want to make sure your pet will be kept safe and healthy during its stay at a boarding facility. The best way to prevent illness is to be sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date. Most facilities will ask for a copy. If they don't, it could mean there are dogs or cats near yours who aren't up to date on their shots.
Ask questions about what happens if there is an emergency. Will they call your vet or a vet they have on-call? How will you be notified if there is a problem? While this is rarely an issue, sometimes we need to reach out to ask the owner a question or discuss an issue. You'll want to be sure the facility's contact info is in your phone as a contact so that you don't mistake a call or text related to your dog for a spam caller.
3. What activities are offered?
If you're looking into a daycare, ask about playtime and what that consists of. There may sprinklers and kiddie pools for your dog to cool off from the hot Arizona sun. And there can be some special events hosted for the holidays, etc.
If you're boarding your dog, ask about how much activity the dogs get on a daily basis at the base rate and then what else is available to make sure your dog gets exercise and has some fun while you're away. There may be options for some one-on-one playtime every day and even treats brought in while you're away.
4. Does the facility offer a way to check in on pets?
This detail is more for your comfort than for your dog. You may want to check in on your pet while you are away and see how they are doing in their home away from home. We offer cameras of our daycare facility and our boarding kennels for pet parents to look in from time to time. Many facilities do the same. It can be fun to see what your buddy is up to while you're not there.
5. Can your pet receive training while being boarded or during doggy daycare hours?
Especially if you're new to your pet, you may be hoping for a little bit of training to help you out at home. There is some amount of training that can be done while you're away, and there's some training that you'll need to be present with your pet for success. Let your boarder or daycare know what kind of training you'd like to accomplish and they can tell you if they offer this service. If they do there may be a few options for you to choose from.
Choose the right boarding facility for your pet
Boarding and daycare can be a good experience for both you and your pet. It is costlier than just having a friend or family member stop by to feed and check on your pet each day, but the extra cost comes with some benefits you might not get otherwise including social interaction and companionship. you'll also have the comfort of knowing your home is safe from any destructive behaviors that pets can show when they miss their family.
Ensure there is a way for you to check in on them during their stay, there are available health care services in case they are needed, and the price is affordable for you.
Learn more about daycare and boarding at Central Pet in Tucson, including the extra playtime and grooming services we can offer while you're out.