Monday, June 22, 2015

Tips For Finding A Pet Sitter And Boarding Facility You Can Trust

A few years ago (almost), when we adopted our Coco bug, Lisa and I made a life-changing decision. We would never board Coco. This decision stemmed from a few factors. The nightmare Coco was rescued from. Our experience searching for a boarding facility when our sweet Remmy was alive. More horrifically, an incident we witnessed at the location we had boarded Remmy. Other factors trickled in as time went on, but those were the big 3.

Our decision altered our life quite bit. Lisa and I had talked about booking a cruise in the near future and other various travel plans. Those came to a halt. No regrets at all. Coco did accompany us on a few day trips. However, we learned quickly overnight stays were limited. When the words, "You and Lisa are more than welcomed to stay for a night or two, but no dogs" were spoken, we cancelled plans. If Coco wasn't welcomed, we didn't pack an overnight bag.

As our family grew, we erased a lot from our bucket list. Eventually, we crumpled it. A monumental moment. Our life is full. Complete. Very rarely a dull moment. No cruises or week-long vacations needed.

Our decision to never board our fur-kids, hire a pet sitter, or leave for extended periods of time is one shared by some pet parents. Other "hoomans" make the decision to board or hire a pet sitter. It's a personal choice. There are a lot of excellent and reputable people out there who provide quality care for pets. Lisa and I are called upon by a few friend's to care for their pups when vacationing. They know us. They trust us. And, we take care of their fur-kids as if they're our own.

Finding a boarding facility for your pet, or trusted pet sitter, while away can be stressful, time consuming and involves a slew of emotions. Fear. Doubt. Guilt. Anxiety. Frustration. Confusion. Worry. To be expected. You're leaving town for a week and you need to find a safe place to board your fur-kid/s. You've got a lengthy list of questions and concerns. Every horror story you've ever read surfaces. Of course you're going to be a nervous wreck.

Where do you begin? 

The owner over at All Bright Canines posted some helpful advice a couple of months ago on their Facebook Page and we think it's worth sharing.

"I am regularly asked for boarding recommendations for clients and friend's dogs. I will always suggest a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter first because your pet is always most comfortable in their own home. However, if that is not possible, here are a few questions you should ask, and things you should look for, when considering a boarding facility.

Where are the dogs kept that end up sick during their stay (quarantine area)? Where does that ventilation unit dump out? Is it into a play yard that your dog could be playing in? In which case, your dog will be exposed to any air-born viruses. 

Where are the drains located in the kennel? Are they in the front or back where your pet will walk across? Many parasites can enter through paw pads or if your pet licks their paws at anytime.

When you walk through the kennel, are the kennels wet? Are there dogs in the kennels when wet? If so, than your pet is exposed to cleaning agents that can be harmful to their eyes and/or skin. 

Does your pet's kennel border the play yards? If the answer is yes, not only can your dog be exposed to all of the dogs in that kennel, but it can experience stress from the dogs that it sees, and can't join, or be stressed from those that are less than sociable. 

Are the dogs left alone in the evenings? Are there cameras that live stream to a home or somewhere the dogs can be monitored for distress? If not, ask when the dogs are locked up and when are they let out in the morning? Can your dog go that long? 

When you go for a tour, are you allowed to go right in and look or do they announce a tour through the facility? 

Not everyone will treat your pets as family, but they should. Look for kennels where your dog isn't a number, but a treasured guest. Always observe your dog closely after bringing them home. Make sure you don't expose them to other dogs for 7-10 days and drop off a stool sample at your vet to be sure they didn't bring anything home. 

Remember, you have a right to ask questions and to be sure your pet has the best possible care."

That's just the tip of the iceberg. For more information on finding a qualified, professional and trusted pet sitter and/or boarding facility, check out the information below.

Top Ten Tips On Finding A Qualified And Professional Pet Sitter - PetMD

Choosing A Pet Sitter - Humane Society

How To Find A Qualified Pet Sitter - Fur Everywhere

National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters - Petsitters

Tips For Hiring A Qualified Pet Sitter - Angie's List

5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Dog Kennel - Go Pet Friendly

Choosing The Right Dog Boarding Home - Paradise Pet Resorts

How To Choose A Boarding Kennel For Your Pet - Humane Society

Boarding Your Dog - AKC

Tips For Finding Safe Boarding Facilities - Furlocity

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