10 Questions to Ask When Boarding Your Dog

October 7th, 2015

Here is a checklist of 10 important steps to consider before selecting somewhere to board your dog. Taking into account each of these items will help you and your dog to have a good boarding experience.

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1. Interview
Before dropping your dog off, make sure you get a chance to know the facility, and they get a chance to know your dog. Take a tour of the place if you can. Good questions to ask: are the dogs walked, how much time do they spend in a kennel, do they get to play with other dogs?

2. Recommendations
Ask for recommendations from your friends, look on Yelp, or ask people at the dog park where they’ve had a good experience. Chances are if someone has had a good boarding experience with their dog, they’ll want to talk about it.

3. Staff
You’ll want to see what the ratio is of staff to dogs. 1:10 or under is a good number. You’ll also want to know if they have staff present 24/7 in case anything goes wrong in the middle of the night.

4. Dog’s Needs
How amenable is the staff to your dog’s needs? You’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable feeding your dog on his schedule, providing medicine, letting them keep favorite blankets or toys. When boarding, it’s best to change as little of your dog’s routine as possible.

5. Dog’s Schedule
Good questions to ask are how often dogs will go out, are they walked, will they interact with other dogs, can you upgrade to greater levels of attention, longer walks, alone time, etc. Think about the things your dog needs and loves at home and see if that’s a possibility where you’d like to board.

6. Emergency Instructions
The boarding facility should be be open to receiving clear instructions for emergency situations. Ask them if there’s a place they keep special instructions for dogs, like vet information, family members that can be called in case of emergency, and other important information. The facility should also have its own established set of emergency instructions, in case anything should go wrong on site.

7. Immunizations
It’s important to ask what type of immunizations the facility requires your dog to have. The core vaccines for dogs are rabies, distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus. Some facilities require Bordetella and canine influenza, as well as flea and heart worm medication.

happy hound food prep8. Special Care
If your dog has a disability or medical problem, be up front about that with the staff and see if they’re able to accommodate your situation. Keep in mind, some medical conditions require more care than a standard facility can provide.

9. Location Condition
Check out the facility: is it clean, does it smell, are there jagged edges in the fences or loose wiring? Make sure the facility is a safe place to leave your dog.

10. Other Dogs
When you go, check out the temperament of the other dogs. Do they seem to be enjoying themselves, or are they anxious? A good way to evaluate is by checking out how the other dogs are responding to their stay there.

For information about boarding your dog at Happy Hound, a facility that offers 24/7 on-site staff, and lots of play time with other dogs, click here.