Sunday, June 17, 2012

Be Careful Where You Board Your Dog!

Summer often means traveling. While many people would love to take their dogs with them on vacation, it doesn't always work out that way. In some cases you can luck out and have a trusted friend or relative watch your pooch, but most of us need to board our pet for the duration of our trip.

Large dogs can be difficult to accommodate, but one of the benefits of having a small breed is the fact that their size isn't an issue to many boarding kennels. The tricky part isn't finding one, but rather finding a good one. Whatever kennel you choose will be your dog's home for the next few days - you need to be absolutely sure that they will take good care of your companion while you're gone.

Before you entrust your dog to a boarding kennel, make an appointment to visit it. Check that the facility is clean and offers comfortable accommodations for your dog. Don't be shy when it comes to asking the staff about their procedures and routines—are they bonded with insurance policies in place? How frequently are the dogs fed, exercised, and socialized? Are dogs grouped by personality or are they all in one room together? How many dogs does each kennel employee have to supervise? While you're there, take a look at how secure the facility is and look for any ways that your small dog might be able to sneak out.

A few weeks before you're planning to go on vacation, check with your selected kennel to make sure that your dog has everything they need to be allowed to board there. Almost all kennels require that dogs (except for puppies and show dogs) be spayed and neutered, as well as remain up-to-date on their vaccinations. This is to protect other dogs as well as your own. Never board your dog in a facility that doesn't require any vaccinations. Your dog could come home with a life-threatening illness if a sick dog enters the kennel at the same time.

Some boarding facilities don't allow people to visit the actual boarding area where dogs are kenneled. This is normal, and in itself should not raise any red flags. However, there should always be a way to view the boarding area, whether through a window or via another method such as webcam. Don't leave your dog with the kennel unless you can see the area your dog will actually be staying in.

Many kennels offer more than just boarding. Some kennels have a vet on staff for any health concerns (emergency veterinary care should also be available). Still other kennels are more like pet spas than simply a place for playing and sleeping. These facilities offer dog grooming, bathing, and even training. Find out what services your kennel of choice offers before your dog arrives; this could be a nice opportunity to pamper your pooch and give them a vacation of their own. 

If you're not going on vacation, I don't recommend boarding your dog. There are other ways to pamper him at home! One great and easy way to make your dog feel like royalty today is feeding him Cesar's small dog cuisine and treats. Cesar's canned food and treats have all the nutrition that little dogs need - each meal is packed full of energy , and they come in a large variety of delicious flavors. Cesar's offers dog owners a way to spoil their dogs in a healthy way.

If you absolutely must leave your dog with a kennel, do your research and make sure it's a good experience for the both of you.

Have a great week and safe travels,

Dr. Jon

1 comment :

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