6 Questions You Need To Ask When Boarding Your Dog

Leave your dog behind with peace of mind by asking all the right questions.

You’re heading out of town on business or for a vacation, but you can’t take your dog with you. If friends or family can’t watch your pooch while you’re away, chances are you’ll need to leave him at a dog boarding facility. This can be a stressful situation for both you and your dog, and that’s exactly what you don’t want when you’re leaving for an extended period of time.

If this is the first time you’ve ever used a particular dog boarding facility, there are a few things you need to know before deciding on a kennel. To help you ask all the right questions, print off this list before making the final decision:

Can I tour the facilities?

If the answer is anything other than “Yes,” hightail it out of there. This is a must, and if they won’t let you, trust your gut and leave immediately! While you’re touring, make sure that the kennels are clean and spacious. It will also give you time to get a feeling about the overall vibe of the boarding facility and if it’s the right fit for your dog.

How many dogs are boarded at your facility at one time?

Reputable dog kennel have a license that limits the number of canines it can house. Find out if your dog gets a private room or if he’ll have to share it with others. If there are two to three dogs to a unit, ask why. In some cases, multi-dog families are kept together, but that should only account for a few of the shared accommodations.

How many staff members are on duty?

Most dog boarding facilities offer one staff member for every 10 dogs. This is important to find out, because your dog needs adequate attention, especially if there’s a problem or emergency.

What are the costs for everything involved?

Get the dog boarding facility to break down all of the costs involved. Is there a flat fee? How much extra are special services, like additional walks? Make sure that all the hidden charges are flushed out so you know what to expect on your bill.

Are you licensed and insured?

When a dog boarding facility obtains a license, it sets the terms they must operate under. This includes a dog limit, as well as standards for safety and cleanliness. On top of the license, it also needs to have adequate insurance coverage. Insurance will cover any expenses that occur if your dog injures another dog or person, if he damages their property, or if your dog has an accident or gets sick while in their care.

Do they have references from previous clients?

If this wasn’t from a trusted referral, ask the owner for references from pet parents… and follow up on them! You’ll be able to get first-hand experiences from other dog owners to see how they liked the service, if there were any problems and if they would recommend it.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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