Begin the process of boarding kennel research by making a list of your dog’s needs. At the very least they need a warm place to hang out and sleep, fresh water and food, exercise, bathroom breaks, and a nurturing soul to keep an eye on them for signs of distress.
Your dog may also require a strict feeding schedule, medication, lots exercise, and grooming while you’re away. Maybe your dog has to have a certain toy with them before they will go to bed. Note down if they prefer pats on the shoulders but not the head. Add in details about socialization e.g. “Mojo gets on well with small dogs but not with larger dogs.” Does your dog have a sensitive stomach, arthritis, or an allergy? Will he or she only defecate while on a walk or is the yard just as appealing? What kind of behaviour do they exhibit when they’re bored or hungry versus angry or stressed? The boarding kennel staff will be grateful for all of the details you can provide.
Identifying the best facility for your dog means developing a successful partnership. Your foundations must be focused on clear expectations and trust on all sides. Ensure that your facility of choice follows your city Boarding Kennel Bylaws. You can find the City of Cambridge animal bylaws here. Among the items on the list, please note that boarding kennels must be licensed and meet specific criteria regarding size, construction materials, and hygienic conditions of pens. Likewise, be sure to thoroughly read and understand the policies and procedures of the boarding kennel before you book your spot.
Respect the fact that when you bring your dog to board, your dog will be a guest in someone else’s house, even if it’s designed for dog care and humans don’t live there. Your dog will require updated vaccinations, and may have to be spayed or neutered to attend. Read reviews, ask friends and family for recommendations, and tour the facility. Try out daycare to see how your dog settles in. If you’re going away for an extended period, try boarding your dog overnight in advance as a test run.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Ensure that the boarding facility has detailed contact information in case they need to get a hold of you – it’s not a bad idea to include your hotel’s phone number as well as your personal contact information. Be diligent to check in at least daily with whatever means of communication you provide, whether it’s your cell phone or email address. You will likely have to provide an emergency contact person; choose someone your dog is familiar with, and who is close by. When packing your dog’s bag, include something that has your scent on it, like a throw blanket or unwashed socks or t-shirt to provide comfort if your dog becomes homesick.
Many dogs love being boarded because facilities today are run by dog lovers who have created a retreat. It’s a vacation for your dog, too! By working well in advance of your away dates, you can find just the right location to board your dog with full confidence.
New Approach Canine will begin boarding dogs in March 2019! To get more information or to book your spot call us at (519) 208-5559.