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5 Questions to Ask Before Boarding a Pet: In the LINK of an Eye!

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VanessaJ VanessaJ 6 years
I was a vet tech for 13 years & spent A LOT of time working in kennels, taking care boarding dogs and cats. So, here are my suggestions (from a seasoned pro): 1. Drop by the place you are thinking about boarding your pet at. Don't call first! Just drop by (try on your lunch break) and ask to take a tour of the boarding facilities. If they tell you 'no' I would say definitely don't board your pet there. Someone should ALWAYS be monitoring the boarding facilities & be available to give you a tour. 2. On your walk through, check for cleanliness (poop in the cages or runs, etc), and see if all of the animals have water available. There have been instances where I couldn't leave a bowl of water in with a pet because they would constantly spill it, try to go swimming in it, or if it was immediately following a surgical procedure, however this the exception rather than the rule. 3. If the facility says they send the animals to an off site boarding kennel, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET THERE! Who knows who will be taking care your pet at a place like this. 4. Some places will bathe your pet for free before they go home if you leave them for an extended period of time (usually at least 1 week). Ask if this service is offered. 5. Ask to meet the staff that will be caring for your pet(s). You wouldn't leave your child with someone who you'd never spoken to, would you? 6. Find out how many times a day the dogs are taken outside. Is there a fenced in area where they are taken & can be let off leash to run & play, or are they leash walked the whole time. Either of these are acceptable, however if they are able to be let off leash, make sure that someone is always watching them. I worked at a place that allowed the animals to run around off leash and (on my day off) a dog got out of the yard while no one was watching & was hit by a car & killed. No one wants to come home from a vacation to that news! 7. Ask what kind of food the kennel feeds. If your pet follows a special prescription diet, you will want to provide your own food. 8. If the boarding facility is not located in a veterinary office, find out where your animal will be taken in case of emergency. These are the main things to ask when scouting out a potential boarding facility. There are many wonderful boarding facilities out there, but there are a ton of shady places too. Do your homework. You can also ask your regular vet if any of the technicians or receptionists would be willing to pet sit your pet for you at your own house. I used to offer this service & had so much business because I knew what to do if the pets go sick or injured. Pets are much more at ease in there own home too & if you have multiple pets, you can actually save money having someone come to your house rather than boarding them all in a kennel. I hope all of this information is helpful and you have luck finding a nice boarding facility or trustworthy pet-sitter.
lilegwene lilegwene 6 years
Definitely look into what you're getting with a boarding facility! My first job (at 14) was working at a vet clinic which also accepted boarders. It was fine most of the time, but when holidays would roll around and more people would want to board is when things got out of hand. The vet in charge would never say they were at capacity, and instead the regular boarding kennels would be filled, then the extra dogs would be put in crates and cages in the clinic and would be taken outside twice a day. :(
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