More and more boarding facilities are opening, and summer is the busy time for them. Some are new on the block, and some have been around for years. How do you know which is the best for your pet? Don’t just go by what you hear or see in ads and brochures – make an informed decision!
Does your dog love to play with other dogs? Do you worry about him or her sitting in a cage all day? Then a facility with a “day care” component may be the best. These often require the dog to have an “interview” prior to making reservations, so they can be sure your dog plays well with others.
Is your dog older, or just not that into other dogs? Then a more traditional boarding facility might be best for your dog. Visit the facility on a weekend, when they are busy, to see the conditions the dogs are in, see the staff, and get the general vibe. If a boarding facility will not let you see the kennels, or tells you to come on a different day, don’t come back. Find a different facility!
Cats can be boarded as well. Again, it’s best to see where your cat will be staying, and meet the staff. Is the area next to all the barking dogs? Do they have a quiet place? Recently a new trend has begun in the form of boarding facilities that are cat exclusive!
Finally, don’t just think boarding is the way to go! Personally, I would never board my dog (I’m way too over-protective). Petsitting is a fantastic option for most pets! They can stay home where everything is familiar, and the only new aspect to their day is the person. Many petsitters offer free meet-&-greets in your home as well. This lets your pet get to know them, and you can get a feel for the person as well. Of course, always check references on anyone coming into your home.
Regardless of which option you choose, it never hurts to “butter up” the staff. Whether it is a facility you take your pet to, or a sitter coming to your house, a nice note or a tray of cookies goes a long way! Want your pet to get extra attention? Don’t just ask for it, bring something yummy with a note clearly stating which pet it is from! Most kennels hire teens and college-age kids.
Trust me – when Fluffy’s owner is the one that brought the salsa, Fluffy just might get an extra treat.
You didn’t hear that from me.