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What to Look For When Boarding Your Dog

What to Look For When Boarding Your Dog

When you need to go away, it can be difficult to leave your dog behind. Luckily, boarding kennels offer a great option for ensuring they are well cared for. Today, our Westfield vets talk about considerations with boarding for dogs, how to choose the right boarding facility, and how to prepare your dog for their visit.

The most important thing to consider when boarding your furry friend is their specific needs. When choosing to leave your dog with a friend or at a pet boarding in Westfield, there are more options than ever before.

If you would like to look into a dog boarding facility then it is a good idea to think of questions that you may want to ask the staff. The staff can help to put your mind at ease by answering all types of questions such as ' Are kennels bad for dogs?'. If you are unsure of what to ask you can reach out to your vet or friends and family for ideas.

Things to Consider When Boarding Your Cat or Dog

When you are planning on using dog boarding in Westfield, some things that you may want to consider are :

  • Speak with the kennel well before you plan on needing them to ensure your desired availability.
  • Research the boarding options in your area. Find out if the commercial boarding kennel is certified or a member of a professional organization. When interviewing a dog sitter, find out how long they've been doing it and how many repeat customers they've had. Always reach out to the provided references.
  • Make sure that your dog is up to date on all required vaccinations. Many kennels will demand Bordetella vaccinations, as well as rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Are dogs checked for fleas and ticks as well?
  • The health and safety of your dog come first, so choose a facility that displays cleanliness. There should be enough exercise and sleeping places that are securely fenced and have pleasant non-slip surfaces. Is it acceptable for you to visit all parts of the kennel or residence where the dog will have access? Are these areas safe and clear of toxins?
  • Watch how the staff members interact with your dog and other pets in the facility. How many dogs will they look after at once? How much exercise do the dogs get, and how frequently are they taken out to relieve themselves? What kind of education and training does the provider have in animal care?
  • Pay attention to any comforts that they provide the pets in their care. This includes providing fresh drinking water, temperature control, ventilation, and shelter.
  • Find out what happens if your dog has any healthcare needs or emergencies requiring medication and/or veterinary services. Check if the staff are trained in first-aid for cats and dogs.
  • Evaluate the staffing situation. Does someone stay overnight at the dog boarding facility? Is there an evacuation plan in case of an emergency?
  • See how they manage each pet and any situations they may encounter. Is any interaction allowed with other dogs? How well is this supervised?
  • Is there a night shift? Will there be someone at least in earshot of the dogs in case something happens? Do they have cameras to keep an eye on everything even when they can't?

Preparations: Dog Boarding Checklist

As a pet owner, there will be a number of things you should do before boarding your dog including:

  • Find out more about the regulations and policies in effect at the facility of your choice. Before boarding your dog at a new facility, inquire about its policies, procedures, and services. For instance, what kind of food do they feed the dogs, what items can you bring from home (toys, blankets, etc.), what their emergency procedures are, and if they can administer your dog's medication? Inquiring about the policies, procedures, and services provided by the facilities can assist you in determining the best home away from home for your dog.
  • Stay calm when you are dropping off your dog. They can see and feel it when you become emotional. Your pet will be able to feel everything that you are feeling. Your pet can tell if you are stressed, overcompensating, or saying goodbye. This will be reflected in your dog's mood and behavior, making it more difficult for them to relax once you leave. Keep things simple, short, and positive to ease the transition.
  • When bringing your dog or cat home from the boarding facility you can expect your pet's behavior to be a little stranger than usual. It's critical to understand that your dog may act strangely in the first few days after returning from the kennel. Your dog may be clingy, lethargic, or suffering from diarrhea. They may even consume more food or drink than usual. This, however, is a normal reaction to your dog's excitement at returning home. If you do not see your pet return to normal within a few days then you should schedule a veterinary visit.

Other Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Boarding Facility

Discuss the fees and what they include ahead of your dog's stay. Find out when you are expected to pick your pet up, and how much the late fees are. What about the cancellation policy? Depending on the facility, you may need to pay a late fee if you do not show up before the agreed-upon time.

In order to test the waters, the boarding facility may over short overnight stays to see how your dog reacts. Even a few hours of canine daycare can be an excellent litmus test. This will make your dog more comfortable with the experience and provide the caretaker with a greater understanding of your dog's needs. This will also give you a good baseline for how your dog will behave upon returning home from the boarding facility.

We know that leaving your dog is incredibly difficult, no matter how long you plan on being away. Making the effort to locate a boarding facility that you can trust and that your dog appreciates will make all the difference in the long run.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to learn more about dog and cat boarding services at Westfield Animal Hospital? Contact our vets to book a preliminary or extended stay for your pet.

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Looking for a vet in Westfield? Our vets at Westfield Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our friendly and welcoming vets love providing cats, dogs, and exotic pets with high-quality veterinary care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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