Tip 1: Select a high quality boarding service
Does the professional boarding service provide the quality of accommodation & services that you expect for your pet? The facility should feature a variety of secure & comfortable accommodation with indoor & outdoor exercise spaces for dogs.
Tip 2: Are the location, opening hours and services convenient for you?
Is the facility conveniently located and do they have opening hours that suit you? Do they offer a pick up & drop off service for your pet? Will you be able to collect your pet easily when you return from holidays? If you have multiple pets boarding, are they able to board together, or will they be separate? If you need to change your holidays dates, is there a fee to do so?
Tip 3: Review previous customer experiences
Research a recommendation from your local vet or friends & family. Or ask for a guided tour of the facilities – most boarding facilities would be more than happy to show you around and answer any questions you may have.
Tip 4: Consider trialling the facility for a night
If your pet has not been in a boarding environment previously and you are going away for a long holiday it can be a good idea to consider trialling a short stay. This will allow you to gain feedback from the staff on how your pet settled in and give you peace of mind that your pet feels comfortable in this environment.
Tip 5: Book well in advance, especially during school holidays
Ensure that you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment as boarding facilities can fill up fast, especially during busy holiday periods. Most boarding facilities can be full around 2-3 months prior to Christmas! Additional charges may be incurred over holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas and public holidays.
Tip 6: Provide secondary contact information
You may not be contactable when you are on holiday so provide the details of a family member or friend who can be reached if there are any queries about your pet.
Tip 7: Notify facility of any special requirements for pet
Each pet is unique and has their own individual needs. It is important to notify the boarding facility of any special requirements for your pet including specific dietary feeding, medications & other special care instructions. Most facilities can usually cater to special feeding requirements. Some medical treatments may not be able to be administered so it’s worth discussing this at time of booking. Organise any food or medications that is required to be provided to your pet during their stay and label this clearly with specific instructions. Some pets will be a little fussy due to a change in environment, so taking a treat that they enjoy, may help encourage them to eat whilst boarding. Ensure that you have enough of your pet’s medication to last the entire stay.
Tip 8: Ensure your pet has access to services that provide exercise & stimulation
Ensuring your pet has access to regular stimulating activities will give them plenty of exercise and stop them getting bored. This can include organising activities such as walks, playtimes with other dogs, grooming or even dog training. It is important to inform the barding facility staff if you have any concerns with your pets socialising with others.
Tip 9: Ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date
Check your pet’s vaccination status with your local vet. Vaccinations are required to be up to date at least 7 -14 days prior to arrival at most boarding facilities. It is worth confirming the boarding facilities policy regarding this well before your pets stay. Ask your vet to provide you with an up to date vaccination certificate or record to present to the boarding facility on arrival. Some boarding facilities do require your pet to be on a preventative health schedule such as regular flea and tick prevention so it’s worth checking your pet is covered for these parasites before arriving.
Tip 10: Ensure you leave your veterinarians details in case of an emergency
Ensure full contact details are given for the veterinary hospital responsible for looking after your pets. It is also a good idea to contact your veterinary hospital to inform them of your holiday plans and any specific instructions you may wish to provide in an emergency.
You may also wish to place these instructions in writing and leave with your veterinarian in case decisions are required to be made on your behalf, in the best interests of the patient.