The most obvious and simple option is to consider a kennel or boarding house for your pet, but before deciding on one, ask your friends and vet for their recommendation. Then call them based on your research. Naturally, you will have a number of questions to ask but might not be sure where to start. Here are some helpful tips:
Interview The Kennel
This is very important. Before making any reservation, speak on the phone and if possible, in person with the people at the kennel. Ask for references and try to find out how much experience they have in running the facility.
Give Them a Surprise Visit
After interviewing them, put aside one day to pay them a surprise visit. This will help you to determine how the place works, how the handlers treat animals there, and examine closely the condition of the cages and facilities.
Ask Important Questions Regarding Exercise
There are some pet boarding facilities that let dogs out only twice a day and for a few minutes at a time. You will need to look for another place if their schedule isn’t suitable for your pet.
Inquire About Their Feeding Norms
It’s important to know what and how they will feed your dog, what brand of pet feed they use, is it of good quality, etc. Many pets can develop diarrhea and vomiting as a result of eating food that they are not accustomed to.
Determine Interaction with Other Dogs
Find out whether your dog will be placed with others (especially bigger sized dogs) or if your pet will be separate. If they do allow dogs to play and interact together, make sure to observe the attendants at duty during playtime. Remember to ask the facility about their policies and protocol regarding playtime.
What Will Happen In the Event of a Sickness or Injury
It’s essential to find out the facility’s protocol when a pet gets sick or injured, how they address such a concern, and treat the pet in question. Also find out whether the staff keeps logs about your dog and notes important information such as your dog’s appetite, water intake, defecation, urination and other important points.
Provide Your Dog's Full Medical History
This will help them determine whether or not the facility can facilitate your pet in the event that you require some special treatment or has special needs. Include as much information as possible about your dog’s conditions, medications and any other problems, such as behavioral issues.
Leave Special Instructions and Contact Information
Last but not the least, provide the handlers with a list of all special instructions you think are necessary, regarding nutrition, medication, naptime, etc. Also provide them contact information where they can reach you in case of an emergency or just to provide a report about your dog.
Tips offered by Mario Penn, a trained dog handler and owner of SpoiltRotten Dogs, a boutique dog boarding and day care centre in Sydney.