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Want to go on Vacation? Worried about who will take of your pet? How do you find someone just as compassionate about your fur baby as you are? Just a few questions that many pet owners ask of themselves when they start to plan for time away from home. You can’t always bring your pets with you on every trip. So what do you do? You start on a search for the best home away from home you can for your four-legged family member.

Many times pet owners don’t even know what to ask to get the right answers for a facility or center as a mini-vacation for their pets themselves. There are the obvious how to you structure your days here at the center. And more obviously, can I come for a visit? A tour can show you much of the daily routine and how the dogs are acting as well. This can give you a sense of peace for your pup or a moment of panic and need to continue looking at other boarding locations. Here are a few deeper questions to ask when you think you’ve found “the one”.

How much interaction will my pet receive while here?

Often times, dogs can suffer from separation anxiety. This is especially the case for pets who are used to getting plenty of affection from their family. This is why it’s really important to ask the boarding facility about how your pet’s personal attention will be handled. You may want to ask about the ratio between staff members to pets, and how the staff will be interacting with your pet throughout the day. Ask about the frequency of walks, bathroom visits, and playtime. You’ll want to look for evidence that the boarding facility thinks a lot about how to minimize stress throughout the experience.

Can you customize my pet’s experience?

Dogs and cats are all unique – they all have their own “personalities” and preferences. It’s important to find a boarding facility that doesn’t offer a “one size fits all” approach. You will want to ask about how they determine what’s right for a pet, and what kind of flexibility they offer in customizing a pet’s experience. This can mean the difference between an enjoyable visit and a visit filled with stress.

What is your climate control procedure?

In older or poorly equipped boarding facilities, the living areas may not be climate controlled. This can be very uncomfortable for a pet, and can even be dangerous in certain situations. You’ll want to make sure that the boarding facility has equipped the runs/kennels with central air conditioning and heating, and has taken steps to ensure the comfort of your pet during their stay.

How is an emergency handled?

Nobody ever expects an emergency, but if one occurs, your boarding facility needs to have a good plan in place. One large advantage would be a boarding facility that is run in tandem with a veterinary hospital. This way, if something happens, they can receive immediate access to veterinary care. This can make a big difference in an emergency.

What are the hours and how are they structured?

You’ll want to make sure the boarding facility has pick up/drop off hours that work well with your trip plans. For example, often times boarding facilities don’t allow Sunday pick ups or drop offs, which can be an unpleasant surprise for pet owners. You’ll also want to ask about what supervision hours the staff maintains for pets. A good sign is when the boarding facility maintains a full work day of boarding hours.

In the end, it is a vacation for your pet as well as for yourself. They are a part of your family and should enjoy their time away too. So looking for sure signs that the center is going to “pamper” your pet is the go ahead to let them spend time there. Your pet’s happiness is the key!