When going on vacation, the time leading up to the escape from real life can be very stressful. One frequent question that might be asked is, what to do with our furry friends? When trying to decide where to place your trust with a boarding facility there are a few things to keep in mind.
Touring the facility is a wonderful option to see the lay out of where your pet will be residing while you are away. If they are welcoming and allow a tour this is always a good sign that they are transparent and honest about their care of the facilities. During this tour, feel free to ask any questions that come to mind. Staff willingness to answer questions will also help to ensure you are leaving your pets in good hands. While touring, it is a good idea to check and make sure the area is clean. Are the dog bowls full of clean water? Is there a lingering odor? Where the pets are kept, are their any messes that have not been cleaned yet?
When you first enter the facility be sure to be aware of the staff and their attitudes in the environment. If the employees are unhappy this can be a sign that management has something bigger going on. Happier staff is a good sign that there is equal amount of work per person as well. If there are too many dogs for the amount of caretakers then this can lead to the workers cutting corners to get everything done faster, or on time. You want them to be able to spend the time your pet needs and have their wants met.
An outlet to release energy is a good thing to have for the facility as well. This can include playing time with other dogs, or even one on one with a worker. Having a way to release this energy will help with mental stimulation and help prevent your pet from becoming bored. A bored pet is more inclined to try to find an outlet elsewhere which can create unwanted behaviors. If there is a group play time, be sure this would actually be enjoyable for your pet before signing them up for something that could make them even more stressed, or uncomfortable. Not all dogs enjoy being in groups with others.
If the facility you bring your pet too does not ask for records, I would continue the search for a good boarding facility. Without any proof of records being obtained, this means vaccine status for the other pets were also not obtained. This can lead to break outs of infectious diseases that can get out of hand quickly. When coming home from vacation the last thing you want to worry about is that now your pet is sick. Also, what is their plan in case of injury while at their facility, what is their plan to help? Is there a clinic nearby that is aware of the facility and help pets when able.
Make sure the facility has the right certifications and licenses to be an appropriate boarding situation that is understanding of the law. Iowa does require an Animal Welfare License for any establishment for pets. Be sure to read the policies and agreements on these legal documents before agreeing.
Finally, can the facility be made comfier for your pet? Would you be able to bring a bed, blankets, or a favorite toy? Maybe even an article of clothing could be kept with your pet to help comfort them.