To travel, you may be forced to leave your dog with someone else. This is not an easy decision to make, but if it is necessary, ensure your dog stays in an environment that is both comfortable and safe. Hire a dog sitter to come to your home during the duration or put your dog in a dog kennel for dog boarding.
Before You Leave
If you choose the option of dog boarding, ask other dog owners if they can recommend a few good dog kennels. Then make phone calls or visits to determine the best one for your dog. Ask each dog kennel questions about their care and policies before making your choice. Make sure you get answers before putting your precious dog in a dog kennel.
What is Needed
Different dog kennels have different requirements. You may be asked to provide the following items to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort while you’re gone:
- A dog crate or bed
- Dog toys
- Dog food
- Your dog’s medical history
- Your contact information
Visit a Few Dog Kennels
Inspect a prospective dog kennel before boarding your dog. Ask to tour the kennel. You want to ensure that it is clean, comfortable, and safe for your pet. Look at the dog runs and cages. Some dogs are okay with staying in cages, but others may not be accustomed to being in them.
Take this into consideration when choosing a dog boarding environment for your pet. In addition, if you have an older dog with a medical condition such as arthritis, he may require a larger living space. If you don’t like the idea of your dog staying in a cage while you’re gone, consider putting your pet in an upscale dog boarding environment such as a “pet hotel.”
A pet hotel provides individual small rooms complete with dog beds and toys. Your dog will be in a home environment. This is better for dogs that are not trained to live in crates.
Consider Your Dog’s Exercise Options
Some Coquitlam dog daycare companies only take dogs out twice each day for a few minutes at a time. If this accommodates your dog’s usual schedule, this type of kennel may be a good fit for your dog. However, if your dog requires more exercise and time out, look for a dog kennel that takes dogs out three or even four times a day.
Ensure the kennel has a fenced area for dogs to run around for a few minutes every day. At a minimum, ask if the dog sitters can walk your dog for a few minutes when it’s time for him to relieve himself. This gives your dog time to exercise before going back into the cage.
Consider the Feeding Options
Even if your dog has been boarded before, dog boarding is still probably stressful for him. This type of experience is a change that can have a negative effect on eating that results in vomiting and diarrhea. Avoid this as much as possible by supplying the kennel with your dog’s regular dog food. However, understand you may be charged an extra fee if your dog needs a special diet.
Unfortunately, some dogs will not eat well while in a dog boarding situation. So, add a few special treats in order to make mealtime even better for your dog. Don’t forget to give the dog kennel staff specific feeding instructions for your dog.
Some dog kennels allow its guests to play with other occupants. This may be a fun thing for your dog, but it may also be problematic. Even if your dog is well behaved and accustomed to socializing with other dogs, too much stimulation in a group environment could lead to fights with other dogs.
If the dog kennel allows socialization, ask if the attendants monitor such dog play. Ask how the dogs are matched in terms of playtime. Are same sized dogs matched with each other, or are all the dogs put into an open space together? In addition, ask what happens if and when a dog is injured.
Dog Injuries or Illnesses
Although you don’t want it to happen, your dog could get sick or become insured while you are away. Good and reputable dog kennels should monitor its guest’s daily habits. This includes keeping logs of urination, food and water intake, defecation, sicknesses, and injuries. Some will monitor closely to ensure nothing changes physically day by day.
If your dog isn’t boarded at a vet’s office, ask what happens if your dog gets sick. Where will he be taken? Request that he is taken to your dog’s personal vet if and when he gets sick.
There are regular dog kennels, but if your dog has a special medical condition, you may want to put him in a veterinarian boarding environment. Most veterinarians provide dog boarding options. This is probably your best option if your dog is sick, and you still need to travel.
Budget for Your Chosen Kennel
People plan for their vacations all of the time, but for dog owners, this also involves making plans for their dogs as well. Shop around for the best dog kennels and get the best accommodations for your money. Determine if there are hidden costs or add-ons.
Keep in mind; some dog kennels charge a fee if they have to give your dog a special diet or medications. They also charge if they have to provide extra exercise for your dog. Get all of these special fees in writing before going on vacation.
If you perform your due diligence and determine that dog boarding is not right for your situation, there are alternatives. Get a professional pet sitter or leave your dog with friends or relatives. You could also plan to take your dog with you.
Problems could arise while you are away. This is why it is important that the dog kennel has your emergency contact information before you leave. Give them your information and that of a local friend or relative who can respond on your behalf, if something happens to your dog while you are away. Make sure this proxy information is in writing and enforceable if you cannot be reached.