Taking care of your pet can be a hassle, but it's the one that we’ll happily endure. Probably the hassle pet parents miss doing whenever they cannot, especially when they have to take those work trips, fulfill a commitment, or take a much-needed vacation away from home without their furry best friend. But during these times, worrying about your cat or dog should be the last thing you need to do. Well, boarding centers exist for this sole reason: to be your pet’s ‘home away from home’ in your absence. Getting a pet sitter for your pet and home is also an option, but we don’t vote for it, as we don’t like the idea of strangers in the house.
We understand that trusting a new place with strangers might be scary for you, but you and we both know it will best benefit all the parties involved(you, your pet, and the family member you would’ve awkwardly left your pet with otherwise). To lessen your stress, read our blog: ‘Exploring the Benefits of Pet Daycare’. Don’t get confused between daycare and boarding, as most daycares do boarding and vice versa, and their benefits are one or the same.
Did you complete reading it? Now, let us help you out with ways you can choose the right boarding home for your pet.
Instead of waiting for the situation to arise, we suggest you prepare beforehand, as it will, sooner or later(better to be safe than sorry). It will save you money, time, and worry in the long run. We suggest you start your preparation by asking your fellow pet parents(as you’ll trust their advice more than the strangers online) about recommendations about boarding homes they like and even the ones they don’t(it’ll lessen your research). If not, open your browser and start browsing about boarding facilities that are best suited for your pet. To know about the unfiltered strengths and weaknesses of the facility, read its reviews!
Visit the Facility
Once you’ve narrowed down the ‘homes’, give them a quick call and schedule an appointment to visit, as there’s only so much you can know from pictures and reviews. You can go for a surprise visit, but think about doing so for the second visit, as you’ll have an idea of what and where to look for. Look around for a clean and safe environment with proper ventilation. A few accidental poop and pees are okay, but the smell of the lingering stink is a sign of bad hygiene. They should have access to designated play areas or supervised playgrounds with a set of games needed for mental stimulation.
Look for a friendly, knowledgeable, experienced staff and a good staff-to-pet ratio, which should be at least one hooman to five to ten fur balls. Check the surroundings; a nearby park and greenery is a far better choice than the one with a nearby road. If allowed, meet the boarded friends, as these friends being friendly is a great sign. This visit will help you with peace of mind, and if possible, take your pet for it too, as their opinion is of topmost priority.
Do not hesitate to ask any questions during the visit. Ask them about the qualifications and experience of their staff. What is the boarding procedure? About the safety measures they take daily as well as in any emergency? Protocols during any health emergency or injury? Connections to nearby veterinarians, especially in case of medical emergencies? What kind of activities can your pet get involved in? Additional in-house services they might provide? How will they keep you updated? Don’t forget to ask for the price and any discounts offered.
If your pet has any special needs, either medical or anything else, inform and inquire about them right away, as it is vital to safeguard the boarding. Ask if they can offer pick-up and drop, in situations where you cannot.
Routine, Exercise & Socialization
A structured routine with loads of mental and physical exercise and socialization is essential for every pet. So, when you visit the boarding homes (that you might keep your furry friend in), ask about the nap, feeding, walk, exercise, and poop-pee schedule.
Additionally, ask about the type of food they might feed your pet if you cannot or are unable to give your pet their regular food. If it’s Purepet or Royal Canin food with Dogsee chew or Meo creamy treats, be carefree. Talk to them about the process of food transitioning your pet is familiar with.
Trust your Instincts
If everything checks out in a boarding home, but something still doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and take your search to another boarding facility that might feel right. You, along with your pet, should feel comfortable with the facility. Trust your instincts to make the right decision for you and your beloved.
If your pet has never been in a daycare before, let alone boarded, you should do a trial run by keeping them in the ‘home’ of your choice for a couple of hours now and then. Keep them for a night or two occasionally to ensure they are ready to be comfortably boarded for longer when a situation arises.
Now that you’ve reached the end, we hope that you feel ready to select your pet's ‘home away from home’. But wait a second; let us help you cut these hassles in half with our daycare and boarding homes. Check out our affiliated boarding and daycare partners who will love to have your pet with them and provide the best care.