If you’re planning a trip but can’t secure a house sitter, someone else is going to have to look after your dog. Unlike cats, you can’t just send someone by the house to fill a couple of bowls every few days—your dog needs a healthy diet, active engagement with people, and plenty of exercise. That’s where boarders come in. But not all dog boarding boarding facilities are alike, and you understandably have high standards for who you’ll entrust with your dog. Look over these tips for choosing a dog boarder to find one that’s right for you.
Meet the Staff
There are many things to consider when finding the boarder that’s right for your dog. But among them, knowing that your dog is in the best hands is paramount. Before you even take inventory of a facility’s amenities, make sure you meet and trust the staff. Observe how they interact with the dogs, how they handle feeding and playtime, and how well they manage the facility. Ask the manager what sort of training and certification staff members receive. Note the ratio of dogs to staff, as well—boarders may hire the best people, but even they can suffer from being stretched too thin. Try to find a facility where there are no more than ten dogs for each staff member.
Seek Attention To Cleanliness
Equally as important as the people themselves is their attention to cleanliness. It’s no secret that dogs can make messes, especially under the stress of being away from home. But an unfamiliar and messy milieu that goes uncleaned can snowball your dog’s duress, making matters worse. A facility that doesn’t look clean, even with scores of dogs running around, should be an immediate deal-breaker for you and your dog.
Of course, your dog is up to date on all his or her vaccinations, but you must be aware that not all other dog owners are quite as responsible as yourself. Ascertain that the boarder’s requirements regarding immunizations are what you would expect for maximum safety to your dog. From the standard rabies shots to the kennel cough vaccine, all are a must for any dog who will be interacting with strangers.
Find Space for Outdoor Exercise
Your dog will need space to work out a day’s worth of nervous energy, especially after missing his or her owner so much. Does your dog boarder allow for adequate outdoor space to run and play? Perhaps more importantly, will your dog be sharing space with age and size-appropriate playmates? Do dog runs have coverings that will allow them to get exercise even in inclement weather? These are all important questions to ask. Your dog needs fresh air as much as you do.
Note the Security
One of your worst fears when you and your pet are apart is that your dog, empowered by missing you so much, will work up the strength to break out of the dog run or sneak through an open door to try to find you. No owner wants to put out the call for a lost dog. Survey the facility and look for ways that dogs could find a way out; many distressed dogs dig along fencing and burrow their way out, while others will simply make a break for it through slightly ajar doors.
If you’re confident in the fail-safes that would prevent this, along with checking all prior boxes, you may have found your boarder. Here in the Metroplex, Cosmic Canine offers safe and comfortable dog boarding to Dallas-area pet owners that meets and exceed these requirements. Beyond our region, these tips for choosing a dog boarder can help you find the boarder that’s right for you.