It’s that time again: vacation! Wherever you go, whatever you do, if you can’t take your dog with you, then what? An essential part of your planning needs to be how to make the best care decision for your dog.
The two types of pet care options for vacation and business travelers are pet boarding facilities and in-home pet sitters. Each has its own benefits, and the ultimate decision needs to be based on your dog’s temperament, personality, and ultimate quality of care.
Pet Boarding Facilities
Boarding facilities offer a wide variety of options ranging from low-cost, bare-bones to higher-end, multi-amenity luxury accommodations. Your ultimate decision will be based first on cost, and then on what choices are best for your pet. It’s imperative that you visit any boarding facility you are considering to ensure it’s the best place for your dog.
Also expect that licensed kennel facilities will have pet parent agreements to fill out which will include necessary information such as care details for your dog.
Simply put, your high-energy pup will love the exciting atmosphere of living with multiple dogs in a dynamic environment. Specifically:
- Dog suites: Rest assured that your dog will stay safe and secure in suites that are constructed for his ultimate well-being. Ideally, his kennel suite will also have an outdoor run. When you visit, make sure these areas are clean and that there are special dog beds for your pet to sleep on comfortably.
- Staff: A major advantage to boarding is that your dog is cared for by trained, professional dog handlers. When you visit, ask about the training staff members must receive.
- Supervision and management: Given a trained, motivated staff, your dog will be watched to ensure his safety and assimilation into the boarding environment. Ideally, staff will take notes on each dog as to activity, feeding, and overall adjustment, which they can then transmit to you.
- Scheduling: Dogs thrive on schedules, and a boarding facility will have schedules in place for all activities.
- Options: Other options at kennel facilities are doggy daycare with one-on-one playmates and other services such as extra playtime and more such as a go-home bath.
The best boarding option of all, and only offered by some facilities, is a package that combines a structured, professional daycare program with boarding. This combination gives your dog the chance to romp with other dogs and have a change of scenery from the kenneling area. Choosing this combination package gives your dog a stimulating and enriching daily experience filled with fun and naps.
For dogs that don’t get along well with others, some facilities may offer one-on-one playtimes with staff members, too.
Dog Training Option
Some boarding facilities also have dog trainers on hand. So, a board and train program may be a great option if you have a pet training wish list for your dog.
Pet sitting has two distinct types. They are:
- The pet sitter comes into the home at set times to exercise, feed, and make sure the dog is okay.
- The pet sitter stays in the home overnight, while you are away.
If you decide to hire a pet sitter to come into your home, it’s a must that the person has professional credentials as well as be bonded and insured. References are also essential and do check them.
Like boarding, pet sitting also has its advantages. The most prominent is that your dog can remain at home in its familiar territory. As mentioned before, it’s important that your pet sitter is credentialed, licensed, bonded and insured.
When interviewing pet sitters, do see whether or not your dog connects with them. Also, if you own a protection or guardian breed, take into consideration that if a bond is not established with a pet sitter beforehand, then your dog may protect their home leaving the pet sitter outside.
Things To Think About
Be it pet sitting or boarding, it’s always a great idea to do a trial run. In other words, go on an overnight getaway and see how your pup adjusts in a kennel atmosphere or with a pet sitter.
If doggy daycare is on the pet list, all kennel facilities with daycare will require an evaluation first to see if your dog gets along well with others. Additionally, a licensed kennel facility will require that shots are up-to-date which will include Rabies, Bordatella, and Distemper/Parvo. They will also need a negative fecal sample result.
At the end of the day, making this decision is personal and the only one that really knows their pets best is their pet parents. If a pup is looking for fun and stimulation, a kennel facility affording daycare will result in an enriching experience.