Choose the Best Boarding Facility for Your Dog
It doesn’t seem fair. Buster got cozy with the thanksgiving turkey one time, and he’s no longer on the invite list, while your sister’s string of weirdo boyfriends gets the red carpet treatment every year. But it’s okay, because he’d probably prefer a stay at an amenity laden kennel over mom’s bone dry turkey and your cousin’s cheap cologne anyway. But not all kennels are created equally, so consider these key criteria before you make a reservation, and he may not want to come home.
Consider the Amenities
On your all inclusive trip to Mexico, there are hot stone massages, white glove service, mimosas on the beach, and a staff doctor to stitch your head when you fall down from too many mimosas. What happens if your dog becomes sick during his stay at the kennel? Will there be a vet on call? Is the kennel staff trained in first aid? Will your dog be walked and get attention during the day, and can he bring his own food, toys, and bedding? The answer should be a resounding si to all of the above, and many boarding kennels will schedule FaceTime calls, text photos or videos, or even have live web cams so you can check in on the fun anytime.
Proof of Vaccination
Kennels usually require a health certificate that certifies proof of vaccination for bordetella, distemper and rabies. But rules can vary, so find out in advance what is required. Put it off until the last minute, and your vet’s waiting room might feel more like Noah’s Ark. And remember that puppies who haven’t had their first series of vaccinations should not be boarded.
Get Familiar with the Kennel
With amenities like cozy couches, agility equipment, swimming pools, and flat screen TV’s with pet friendly programming, you may become a little envious of your dog’s upcoming stay at the kennel. After all, she may get to choose between Lassie or Scooby Doo, while you’ll be stuck watching bass fishing with grandpa. Many boarding kennels also offer daycare, which is a perfect chance to let your dog get familiar with the place. They may even let you bring a blanket to the kennel for a day or two , then take it home so your dog can become familiar with the kennel’s scent. And when the big day comes, bring along a favorite toy or t-shirt with your scent to help her feel more comfortable. Or if she’s really clingy, some stinky gym socks, or a yoga towel.
Decide on a Decision Maker
Maybe you decided that 9 hours on the interstate followed by three days on a scratchy sofa rehashing embarrassing moments from the 80’s isn’t how you want to spend your holiday vacation. So you’ve opted for space tourism instead. While in orbit, you’ll have a nice view of earth, but you may be hard to reach, so make sure to provide the kennel with an emergency contact back on earth who can make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
Ask Your Veterinarian
Will she want an LCD flat screen TV or LED? Synthetic filled bedding or goose down? Selecting the right kennel can be difficult, and if you’re having a hard time choosing, ask your veterinarian’s office if they can recommend one. They know both you and your dog, and also receive plenty of feedback from other clients about kennels.
Remember to Book Ahead
Don’t forget that you’re probably not the only one with a dog that isn’t welcome in space or at grandma’s house for the holidays. The best kennels fill up faster than a Wal-Mart on Black Friday, so reserve your dog’s stay well ahead of time.