Going away for work or a trip can be stressful for everyone, including your canine companion. Luckily, being prepared for these times can make it easier to manage. Today, our Bedford vets share some tips for choosing the right boarding facility for your pet and some key aspects you should consider.
You should always keep the best interests of your cat or dog in mind when making decisions about their care. When choosing to leave your cat or dog with a friend or at a pet boarding in Bedford, there are more options than ever before.
When considering a pet boarding facility you should be prepared with some standard questions to ask the staff. 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
Some of the main considerations when planning for cat or dog boarding in Bedford are :
- Reach out to the facility well in advance to ensure they have time and space to accommodate your pet.
- Carry out some research. 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.
- Double-check which vaccinations your pet will need to stay at the boarding facility. Many kennels will demand Bordetella vaccinations, as well as rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Are dogs checked for fleas and ticks as well?
- Only pick locations that are obviously clean and sanitary and make the health and care of your pet a primary concern. 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?
- Spend some time watching how the staff members interact with your dog. 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?
- Take a mental note of how comfortable they make the pets that are 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. Is the location staffed 24 hours a day? Is there an evacuation plan in case of an emergency?
- Take a look at how they handle each pet. 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?
How to Prepare For Dog or Cat Boarding in Bedford
There are a number of responsibilities that you will have as a pet owner prior to boarding your cat or dog including:
- Learn the rules and policies in place at the facility you choose. 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.
- Don't get emotional or stressed when you are dropping off your dog or cat. 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
Find out what the cost of boarding is and what is included in the fees. Find out when you are expected to pick your pet up, and how much the late fees are. What about the cancellation policy? Some establishments demand a fee for late cancellations.
You can put everyone's mind at ease and make it an easier transition by scheduling a short, single-night stay for your pet to see how they respond to being at a boarding facility. 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.
Trusting someone else to care for your canine partner is often the most difficult aspect of leaving town. 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.