How to Choose a Good Boarding Facility for the Holidays

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Between shopping, party planning, and traveling, the holiday season can be your busiest time of year! As much as you love spending time with your dog, sometimes you just need boarding and daycare services. If you’ve never used one of these facilities before, it can be nerve-wracking and stressful to find the right one. Well, fear not, Pooch Hotel has put together some tips for finding the right match for you and your dog.

Ask About Daily Routines and Practices

When you leave your dog at an unfamiliar facility, he or she can become anxious. It’s natural for your dog to miss you. After all, you’re going to miss them when traveling, right? But you’ll be visiting friends and family, seeing new places, and changing up your routine to make it easier. Well, that’s what you want your boarding facility to do for your dog, too.

While you’re away, even if it’s just for the day, you want your pet to be engaged and having fun. Your dog’s day should be filled with fun, exercise, and pampering so they don’t feel stressed out or “left behind.” If your dog is social, make sure there’s plenty of group playtime so they can make new friends and stay active.

On the flip side, your dog will also need some down time, so find out how much time will be spent in a private room or kennel. If you’re contemplating a ‘cage free’ communal or group boarding facility, you might want to reconsider. Know that sleep is very important to a dog’s health, just as it is for humans. After a few nights without quality rest, a dog can easily become over tired. These dogs will be less tolerant and are at risk of responding aggressively to other dogs. Also, ask how often your pet will get potty breaks and when feeding times are.

Ask About Medical Care

If your dog has special needs like regular medication or treatments, be sure to discuss these with the facility. Ask how they ensure your dog gets necessary care at the right time and who will be administering medications.

Even if your pet isn’t on any medication, ask about the facility’s emergency procedures. Is there a protocol in place? How are staff trained to handle emergencies? Your ideal facility should have a strong relationship with a 24-hour veterinary hospital so your pet will get care as quickly as possible.

Ask About Staffing

When you travel, you don’t want to worry about whether your pet is in good hands. You want to know before you leave. One of the most important things a good facility can offer is a caring, well-trained staff.

Ideally, boarding or daycare staff will be made up of people from a variety of different pet care backgrounds with a wide range of expertise. At any time, you want great trainers, groomers, and belly-rubbers available to care for your dog.

No matter who is on the team, though, staff should be ever present. Make sure the facility has someone available and onsite 24 hours a day in case there are any emergencies. Also, ask about staffing for group play activities. There should always be a human presence whenever multiple dogs are interacting to prevent and deescalate any disagreements. 

Tour the Facility

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Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few candidates, it’s important to tour the facility. Get an idea of whether your dog will be comfortable there and look for things like kennel conditions, the presence of cleaning supplies and protocols, and potential hazards in play spaces.

And while you’re at it, talk with some of the staff. Do they seem happy? Do they understand the personalities of their guests? This will give you the best idea of what kind of care your dog can expect.

Every dog has unique needs, so make sure you find the right facility for yours. Don’t be afraid to go with a gut feeling on this, because ultimately you know your dog better than anyone. And check out you’re your local Pooch Hotel. We think we’re the best dog boarding facility, but come take a tour and find out