Boarding Your Dog Part 2

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Boarding Your Dog Part 2

by Phil Miller

So now you're convinced that boarding can be a pawsitive experience. Now, you need to find the right place but you're not sure what questions to ask. We've provided you with a list that covers the basics. If they pass this test, then stop worrying and go on vacation already!!

1. What size are the dog runs? This is very important. You'll often see businesses that will simply put some dog cages in a room and call it a "kennel." There is no need to put your dog through this. Cages are fine for short periods of time throughout the day. However, if your dog will be staying somewhere for any length of time, they need a dog run. Legitimate kennels will usually have an area approximately 15 - 25 sq ft for the interior portion of the dog run. The outside part of the run is usually even bigger giving the dog opportunity to stretch his legs.

2. Do you provide Indoor/outdoor runs? Indoor/outdoor runs allow for your dog to go inside or outside within their own private enclosed area. Larger kennels will usually offer this as an option. And, this is usually the best option for most dogs. However, for certain temperaments, indoor-only runs may be the best option. Once again, make sure it is a sizeable run. Your pooch needs to easily move throughout the dog run. And, at least 3 exercise times/day are imperative for dogs in indoor-only runs.

3. Do the dog runs have isolation panels? Often times, dog runs will be separated with chain link fence. This allows for a higher degree of interaction between dogs in neighboring runs. However, this may lead to fence fighting or excessive barking. For this reason, isolation panels or walls can be very nice for your pet's peace of mind while boarding. Even if the exterior portion of the dog run is chain link, your dog needs to be able to retreat inside to an area where he won't be harassed and can feel safe.

Are the dog runs concrete? Concrete dog runs are a must for sanitary reasons. Disease can easily be spread through the paws. Concrete can easily be hosed off and disinfected. Other surfaces are nearly impossible to keep sanitary.

How are your dog runs climate controlled? Climate controlled can mean a variety of things. So, you need to ask specifically what kind of climate control system there is in place. It should not only keep the dogs at a comfortable temperature but also circulate and purify the air.

Exercise and playtime? Get the details. Every boarding kennel is different in this regard. Sometimes it's included in the price. Sometimes it's not.

Can I see the place where my dog will be staying? This is very important. If they won't show you their dog runs, they may have something to hide! And, you can't take that risk. There are plenty of kennels who WILL show you their dog runs. Stick with them.

Finally and most importantly, they should require that pets are up to date on their shots! If they don't require proof of this, they are not a legitimate boarding kennel and it is unsafe to board your pet there! They should require shot records for bordetella, distemper, and rabies.

Now... go on vacation and enjoy those margaritas!

Phil Miller
(352) 628-7388

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