10 important questions to ask before boarding your pet  retriever_dog_in_grass_boarding

Going away on holiday can be an exciting time for us pet owners, yet how can you be sure that your companions stay will be as happy and relaxing as your own, whilst you are away? Leaving your pet with knowledgeable and experienced pet boarding operators can be achieved by knowing the right questions to ask.

1. Can you have a tour of the facilities prior to booking?

We asked well-known veterinarian Dr Katrina Warren, of “Totally Wild and “Harry’s Practice” fame, what questions we should ask. Her recommendation was that it’s “important to ask/be invited to have a tour around the facility, so you can be comfortable with hygiene and level of care”.

2. Cleanliness; How often does your pets enclosure get serviced?

Lindsay Stordahl, the author of ThatMutt.com suggests that whilst having your tour of the facilities, always be aware of how clean the enclosures are. Are there any strong or abnormal aromas present? Ask the staff what time of day and how often the pens get cleaned? Does your pet have a large enough area to sleep in away from where they soil? Does the bedding look clean?

3. What level of care can be expected from the Business?

Will your pet be boarded with others? For dogs, being pack animals this may be a good solution if your dog is sociable. According to PetMD.com, dogs should have enough room to allow them to break into a run, whereas cats are more solitary by nature but need enough room to move around freely and exercise isometrically (by stretching). Ask how often your pet will be fed each day. During your tour, check that there is plenty of access to clean water at all times. NSW Animal Welfare Code of Conduct for example, sets standards to ensure that owners or managers of facilities maintain appropriate food and water, and protect animals from disease, distress or injury wherever possible, whilst in their care.

4. What type of supervision is to be expected?

How many animals are boarded at any one time and what is the ratio of pets to carers? PetGuide.com advises that a good rule of thumb is that the dog boarding facilities should have for every ten dogs, at least one staff member.

5. How safe will your pet be within their pen?

It’s important to check the enclosures to ensure that your dog or cat can stand, move around freely, stretch and fully rest, and that the enclosure is a safe and sheltered structure, free from any protrusions or dangerous objects.

6. How will your pet be identified among others by the Business?

This may seem like an odd question to ask, when as pet owners we can easily identify our own pets? However Lindsay Stordahl, who has worked in the industry for many years, has seen first-hand that dogs can be mistaken for other dogs by boarding facilities staff. She advises that pets should be identified in some way, so that you as the owner, can be sure that your pet is getting the correct care, diet and exercise that you expect and therefore receive the service that has been paid for and agreed upon by the Business.

7. What type of security is to be expected?

It’s not only important to check the enclosures for safety, but also to check if the enclosures and exercise yards fencing and structures are secure to eliminate the possibility of any escape routes.

8. What would happen in an emergency situation?

Ask your chosen facility how they will handle an emergency situation? Do they have a vet on site or nearby in case of emergency health issues? How and who will they contact in this situation?

9. What exercise will your pet receive?

What type of exercise and for how long each day is included in your pets stay? Is there a play area or run and will your cat or dog be sharing the area with other cats or dogs? Inspect the area, make sure you are happy with the size, cleanliness and its security. Also notice whether there are any dogs or cats in the play areas, whilst you are touring the facility.

10. What is the price of the stay and the inclusions?

Finally, you should always be aware up front what your boarding fees will be and what are their inclusions? Will you be charged extra for special dietary requirements, or for administering your pet’s medication? Can you negotiate a better rate for a long-term stay and does the fee include the day of drop off and the day of pickup? Are there any cut off times, when you may be charged an extra days stay?

 

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10 important questions to ask before boarding your pet
10 important questions to ask before boarding your pet

Going away on holiday can be an exciting time for us pet owners, yet how can you be sure that your companions stay will be as happy and relaxing as your own, whilst you are away? Leaving your pet with knowledgeable and experienced pet boarding operators can be achieved by knowing the right questions to ask.

Read more