Finding suitable pet care while on vacation can be a stressful event. After all, our pets are like family and we hate to think of them as being out of their comfort zone while we’re having a whale of a time.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of excellent pet boarding businesses available to take care of your pet while you’re away. The pet services industry in the USA is the largest worldwide and growing at a rate of over 5% every year.
Here’s your guide to finding the best place to leave your pet while you enjoy your well-deserved break
What is Boarding for Pets?
A pet boarding service works in much the same way as a daycare for kiddies, except it’s for more than one day.
These facilities provide expert care, proper care for pets and are totally responsible for their wellbeing. The best pet boarding services ensure pets feel right at home and receive equal or better care than they do while with their owners.
Local dog boarding and cat boarding facilities must care for, groom, feed, and exercise each of their charges every day.
Some feature high-end amenities, private lodgings, optimized menus, and personalized care around the clock. Others offer only basic care.
So, if you want to make sure your pet gets the care it’s accustomed to when you go on vacation you got some sleuthing to do. Here’s what to look for.
Are the Employees Committed to their Animal Guests?
One of the most important aspects of finding the best pet boarding is to ensure that the staff has a genuine love for animals. A true affinity for creatures great and small isn’t something you can fake.
So, make sure you visit the facility before the time so you can see the animal carers interacting with their charges. You’ll soon get an idea of whether they have a real regard for animals.
Pay attention to their tone of voice when dealing with pets. Are they softly-spoken or loud and brash? Domineering handlers can cause untold trauma to sensitive pets.
Are they gentle with the animals, or rough and off-hand? Do the pets in their care happy to see them, or do they shrink into the corner when the handlers approach?
All these things will help you determine your pet’s treatment while in the care of these strangers.
Ask Lots of Questions
Always ask for an interview before you commit to a pet care center and insist on visiting the premises. Before you leave to meet with them, compile a list of everything you want to know.
One way to cover all the bases is by making notes as you go through daily routines with your pets. These are some of the things you should ask:
- What are the sleeping facilities like?
- Are the pets exercised every day?
- What type of exercise do they do?
- Will they interact with other pets outside their family group?
- Will pets from the same home stay together?
- What time do they eat and who feeds them?
- Is there 24-hour supervision?
You should also ask to see the meals that the pets eat and enquire if you can supply your own food if preferred.
One of the most important things to enquire about is what happens if your pet falls ill or injures itself. If there isn’t a veterinarian onsite, you should request that they get in touch with your veterinarian at once, without trying to track you down first.
Ask About Health Requirements for Pet Care While on Vacation
One way to ensure that your pet stays healthy during your time away is to ask if they need any vaccinations before entering the pet care center.
The proprietor should insist that all your dog’s jabs are up-to-date and that you have an approved parasite control program in place. Diseases and pests spread rapidly when pets stay at close quarters.
If the pet care center insists that your dog has a clean bill of health, you can rest assured that they’ll do the same for everyone else.
Check whether the facility has a veterinarian on call to see your pet in the event something goes wrong. Nowadays, the larger pet care facilities may even have an in-house vet.
Check the Amenities
Websites, brochures, and even the manager of the facility themselves will paint a glowing picture of all the high-end amenities available onsite.
Ask for a guided tour so you can see for yourself. Do the play areas, sleeping areas, and exercise grounds look safe and well maintained? Are the animals in their care happy and relaxed?
People and paperwork will play down any bad and highlight the good, animals can’t lie.
Always trust your gut instinct when it comes to a pet boarding facility. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your pet there, rather continue your search for something better.
Warning Signs to Look Out For
Apart from rough, offhand pet handling practices, there are a few other tell-tale signs of mismanagement to look out for.
Take note of how clean the kennels are, whether the water bowls are full of freshwater, and if the kitchen looks hygienic with procedures in place for thoroughly cleaning pet bowls.
A tense, noisy atmosphere is a red flag and often a sign of unhappy pets and a lackadaisical attitude.
Only the Best Will Do For Your Pet
Hopefully, you feel a little more confident and at ease about finding the best pet care while on vacation after reading this.
If you can’t take your dog or cat along with you on vacation, pet care services are by far the best option for them. When you hire a private pet sitter, you never know if they have the experience to deal with an incident, or whether they’ll give your pet the attention they’re used to.
When you opt for reputable pet care services, you know your pet’s in loving, capable hands while you’re away. So, you can relax and enjoy yourself guilt- and worry-free.
For more information on everything to do with your pet’s health and wellbeing, browse some more of our blog articles.