During the summer months many individuals and families love to travel, but owning a dog and traveling is something that takes planning and creativity. Over the next few days/weeks I will be focusing on different things you may encounter when it comes to vacation planning as a dog owner.
If you decide not to bring your pet on your trip, you have a few options – leave your dog with a friend or family member, hire a dog sitter to come to your house multiple times a day, hire a dog sitter to keep your dog in their house for the duration of your trip, or use a boarding kennel (many veterinarians also provide boarding services).
Finding the right boarding kennel can be a scary and daunting task, but hopefully these questions will help you weed through all of the kennels in your area, and ensure you board your pet at a reputable kennel that will take excellent care of your beloved dog.
If you need to board your pet while you travel, there are several considerations in choosing a boarding facility.
1. How often and with what disinfecting agents are the pet’s quarters cleaned?
2. What type of bedding material is provided?
3. Are pets walked to eliminate and exercise? If so, where?
4. What type of walking surface is provided? Inside or outside?
5. Does the facility require current immunizations, especially bordetella (kennel cough)?
6. What steps are taken to assure that pets are healthy and parasite free?
7. What diet is provided by the facility?
8. Are staff members trained to monitor pets? Give medications?
9. What protocols are in place to provide medical care in the event of an unexpected illness, injury, or emergency?
10. Are pets kept in separate quarters, or is there a community area where pets intermingle?
11. Are separate cat and dog quarters available?
12. How is noise controlled in the facility?
13. Is ventilation good and temperature comfortable?
14. If community playtime is offered, do trained staff members supervise it? If so, what is the staff per pet ratio during this time?
15. How are pets screened for temperament and socialization skills for interaction with other pets?
16. Are the check-in and checkout times convenient?
17. Are there additional charges for medicating or exercising your pet or feeding a special diet?
18. What additional amenities (such as TVs, music, etc) are offered to make your pet comfortable and feel more at home?
19. Is the pet’s environment generally comfortable?