FRESNO, Calif. - The summer vacationing months are finally here, which means a trip away is in the cards. Depending on where you go, however, Fido may not be able to come along for the ride.
Unless your dog is smart enough to feed and take care of himself, you’ll have to rely on someone to watch over your precious pooch while you’re away.
Depending on your dog’s social skills and temperament, a boarding facility may be the best option. Not only will someone be watching over your dog—easing your stress level—but he’ll be able to run around and play with other pooches—which can help ease his stress level.
Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties offers up the following tips when boarding Fido this summer.
Ask for recommendations
Ask friends and family members who own animals for recommendations on where they take their pets when they’re away. Do your research and even ask your veterinarian what boarding facilities they would recommend—or advise against.
Always remember to check out the boarding or daycare facility with BBB. You can view their accreditation status, length of business and past customer reviews.
Drop by the facility
Rather than scheduling an appointment to tour the facility, opt to just drop in. If you drop in unannounced they won’t have time to “prepare” for you, and you can really get a chance to see how the boarding facility operates.
While you’re there, ask questions and take note of the cleanliness of the facility (inside and outside), temperature and condition of the kennel and cages, the security of the building and the surrounding fence, if someone will be on the premises overnight, how the staff members interact with other pets, and if the kennel is properly licensed.
Remember, most reputable kennels allow you to drop by unannounced. If the boarding facility you’re interested in will only accommodate you via an appointment, proceed with caution.
Ask about animal interactions
Will Fido be able to have open play with the other dogs? Some kennels let animals play together, while others keep them separate at all times. Ask about what would happen should your dog and another dog get into a fight.
Make sure all dogs that enter the facility are up-to-date on their vaccinations according to state regulations, and that your dog is vaccinated well in advance before entering the facility. They must have current Rabies, DHLP and Bordetella vaccines prior to boarding.
Also, inquire about their policy regarding Flea and Tick control.
Make reservations early
During the summer months, boarding facilities may be overbooked for overnight boarding, or even daycare for a few hours. As soon as you make plans, it’s wise to call the boarding facility and make a reservation, that way Fido will for sure have a place to lay his head.
Prepare yourself, and your pup
Before you board Fido for the weekend, make sure you’re fully prepared and don’t leave anything behind. Depending on your pet’s needs, you may need to bring their medication, special dog food and treats, their favorite toy, dog bed, and a t-shirt or blanket with your scent on it. You will also need their veterinarian’s phone number and emergency contact information. If your pet has specific needs be sure to address them prior to boarding.
It would be best to bring your pet to the boarding facility prior to tour the facility, or to do a trial run before leaving him for a long trip. Your dog will recognize the smells of the facility and remember them, making the stay easier on him.
Whether you have time to bring him prior to tour the facility or not, this can still be a very stressful day for not only you, but for your “fur child” as well.
If you’re stressed out over leaving Fido for the weekend (or even during the day) try not to show it, as dogs can pick up on your emotions and react to your energy. As hard as it may be to leave your pup behind, don’t make your departure dramatic. A short, cheerful goodbye is best when you leave, that way they won’t stress out the entire time you’re gone and they can enjoy playing with other dogs.
Thoroughly read over the boarding agreement
Prior to signing any agreement and dropping Fido off for the day (or weekend), be sure to read over the contract thoroughly. Verify the contract includes the full cost, exercise and feeding schedule, pick up and drop off hours, what happens if you are late picking him up, who to call in the instance of an emergency, and anything else that was verbally agreed upon.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties which was founded in 1950 and serves Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Tulare, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.