Up to some people might enjoy it, we can’t be with this dogs on a regular basis. Whether you’re taking a protracted vacation without the one you love pooch, or you simply need some peace and quiet to get things done around the house, a doggie Pet Boarding can be considered a lifesaver. But the question is: How will you choose the best one for your pet? As the long-time animal rescuer, dog parent, and lost pet specialist, I’ve compiled a list to help you pick your winner.
1. Require personal referrals from family, friends, and neighbors.
Turning to folks you trust frequently yields great results. So start early and put the term out. And don’t just forget about calling your online circles through social media and neighborhood websites like Nextdoor.com.
2. Do your own online research.
As you may get ideas from people, Google the names of the facilities and owners. Look them up on Yelp, Angie’s List, and the BBB website. And, obviously, you can plug within your own search terms to find places you might like to check out.
3. Visit facilities personally.
Once you’ve discovered some potential daycares, go take a tour. Pay attention to:
Staff to dog ratio
Overall cleanliness, appearance, and smell
Doors/gate: Is there at least two of these between your lobby and street? Are they in good working order, including latches and locks?
Outdoor areas: They must have appropriate fencing (at least 6’ or 7’). Make sure the fence is not compromised in any way. Also notice if there’s plenty of water and shade available and this dogs are constantly monitored while outside.
General appearance and demeanor of staff: Are they friendly, knowledgeable, and communicative? Do they seem to be pleased to be there and well-rested? Do they seem to be well-liked by both human and canine clients? Be skeptical of staff that are sullen, tired, uninformed, or confused, and the ones who don’t interact well with human or canine clients.
The way the animals are treated and supervised: Look for staffers that provide their full focus on the dogs. Watch how they manage the dogs. Do they seem to be to be able to read dog body gestures? Are they in a position to head off scuffles at the pass? Are they calling the dogs by name? Take into account any employees who are on their phones or otherwise distracted. Watch out for staffers who appear either overly aggressive or too passive with the dogs. Do the dogs display happy body gestures (tail wagging, heads up, using one another)? Scan the corners – are dogs cowering or displaying behaviors that indicate they don’t feel safe?
4. Meet with managers/key staff and learn just a little about the facility.
Ask lots of questions:
How long gets the facility been operating?
What’s the application/evaluation process?
What is the typical day to day routine like?
Do they use cameras to monitor the dogs? Are they web-accessible to clients?
What exactly are the qualifications of the staff members?
Ask to see licenses and facility permits
Ask what their protocol is ideal for lost pet prevention and response
Ask how they handle emergencies like a dog fight, injury, or sickness
Ask questions about any online or person to person concerns you have about them
5. Ask previous and current clients what they think about the facility.
You can do this by striking up conversations in the parking lot or by directly messaging or emailing the authors of any interesting online reviews.
6. Observe the parking lot and lobby.
Watch the body language of dogs entering the facility. Do they seem excited, or do they placed on the brakes? What do the dogs appear to be as they exit the facility?
Note how staffers handle dogs during fall off and pick up. Are they cognizant of avoiding fights and letting the dogs bolt out the entranceway? Do they know and use dogs’ and humans’ names? Are they professional and efficient with any paperwork and payment procedures? Do they seem to be to truly have a lot of long-term clients or is the clientele mostly new?
7. Provide them with a trial run.
If you believe you’ve found successful, drop your dog off for only a few hours while you run local errands. Make it a day when you’re able to drop everything and get over there if anything goes sideways. While your pet will there be, call and check in on your dog. Staff can provide a status report in fairly short order. When you select your pet up, require another report of what and exactly how she did. The greater specific the answers staff can provide, the better.
8. Once you go back home, notice your dog’s behavior.
She should be tired, however, not totally exhausted. She might be considered a little stinky, but she shouldn’t reek of urine or feces. Be sure to give her body a full once-over to consider any marks. Little scratches are to be expected, but bites or other severe injuries should be a major concern. Sometimes, accidents happen at doggie daycare, however the facility should call you immediately to report them. If indeed they don’t, they are either trying to cover up it or they don’t know about it – neither which is good.
9. Stay alert.
Once you select a facility, stay involved and communicative. Things can transform as time passes, and accidents happen even in the best places, so don’t let yourself become too complacent. Continue to keep your radar up.