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What to Look For in a Pet Boarding Facility

Checklists for pet owners

3.8.2022

If you’re planning to place your pet in a boarding facility (while you’re away on holiday, for example), then you should check out and compare several facilities in advance before making your choice. Even if a facility has been recommended to you by other pet owners, go and see for yourself. Check whether it is run properly and that it puts the well-being and protection of the animals staying there first. If you’re not sure exactly what to look out for, use the checklists below.

Checklist – Pet Boarding Facility

The accommodation should…

  • be clean both indoors and outdoors
  • be free of bad odours
  • offer spacious, bright and well air-conditioned rooms
  • offer intact furniture
  • not have unpleasantly high noise levels
  • be transparent in the way the animals are managed and handled
  • be able to perform essential tasks (e.g. giving medication)
  • be commercially registered, have liability insurance and be inspected by the veterinary office (depending on the laws that apply in the region/country)
  • not offer accommodation in kennels, unheated rooms, etc.
     

Staff

  • there are sufficient staff for the number of animals staying there
  • staff have appropriate expertise
  • there isn’t a constant turnover of staff
  • staff respond openly to all your questions
  • they ask you to provide all the necessary documentation (proof of vaccination, animal liability insurance, etc.)
  • they ask you about any special requirements your dog may have (food, care, rituals)
  • they ask you about your dog’s compatibility with other dogs

Dogs in Pet Boarding Facilities

How dogs are kept in a well-run facility

  • the dogs aren’t kept on their own – they have contact with humans
  • comfortable baskets are available
  • an exercise area is available and kept secure (protected by fences)
  • bitches in heat are not accepted
  • you are expected to have your dog fully vaccinated, dewormed and treated for fleas shortly before arrival
  • you are asked to bring food with you so your dog will get their usual food
  • fresh water is always available to the dogs everywhere (indoors and outdoors)

How dogs are handled

  • dogs are treated with care and affection by the staff
  • dogs are walked 2–3 times a day (with additional free running in the outdoor area)
  • no use of punishment
  • dogs aren’t allowed to walk off the leash
  • dogs are only put together in compatible groups
Cat

Cats in pet boarding facilities

For cats, the principles are broadly similar, but there are differences in how they should be kept:

  • cats should be offered their own individual rooms
  • preferably there should be the option of a room with a view outside
  • climbing and scratching facilities must be available

test period

If you find a pet boarding facility that seems right for your dog or cat, start bleaving your pet there for a short test period (i.e., a few days) and see whether they feel comfortable. If your pet seems happy to go back there for a second staythen youve found the right accommodation.

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