Pet Boarding Made Easy
No matter how much we love our pets, there will come a time when we have to leave our pets behind. And for many pet owners, that’s one of the most difficult things to do! Whether it is for a holiday or work related trips, figuring out how your pet can be taken care of is a major headache. If this is you, consider dog boarding!
There are generally two options; pet sitting or pet boarding. If you are unsure of their differences, click here to learn more about them! If pet sitting may be too expensive for you, consider pet boarding. The cheaper option from the two.
What is Pet Boarding?
Pet boarding is when you send your pet to a designated house or facility where your pet will be taken care of by professionals. Unlike pet sitting, do expect other pets to be in the same facility as yours. Usually, pet boarding is done for dogs and cats. And both the dogs and cats will be living under the same facility or house. Depending on the owner, there are two kinds of pet boarding; facility boarding and house boarding.
Facility boarding is usually the cheapest options as it is not exactly a personal service. You don’t get to ask for specific details given to your pet’s routine unless you pay extra. In facility boarding, all pets are to follow a set schedule to ensure that all pets are treated equally. Unless additional money is paid, your pet will be joining the other pets in the facility.
With facility boarding, you are paying for the affordable option. An ease of mind would also be that the staffs are most probably professionally trained with experience. The schedule is also predictable thanks to the fixed routine the facility has set for all pets. With other pets around, you also won’t need to worry about your pet getting bored. There will be plenty of socialization given for your pet with the other pets.
Of course, your pet will be able to socialize with other pets which is part of the benefits. But there is no specified attention or care given to your pet. This means that the risks of any mishaps happening to your dog will increase. From catching diseases or getting attacked by other pets to unforeseen death in worst cases, these are some examples of what could happen. And they have happened! Sometimes, it’s not even due to the staff’s lack of experience or attention. Animals can be unpredictable. With an increase of animals kept under the same roof, it’s not exactly a surprise when accidents do happen. Taking care of one pet can already be a handful sometimes, imagine a facility packed with them. This is the reason why there is a fixed schedule. To ensure that every dog is given equal attention to minimize any risks of accidents.
House boarding is usually the safer option as compared to facility boarding. House boarding functions the same as facility boarding does. The only difference is that house boarding comes from one specific owner in his or her house.
With this said, your pet will receive more attention as compared to facility boarding. Due to it being a small scale business, house boarding owners usually only take in a few pets at a time. The scope of attention will be more focused. Of course, you would have to pay slightly more. But considering the risks, house boarding is definitely the safer option.
Communication is made much easier as well since the owner has more space to operate and is less rigid. Your pet will also be able to socialize with other pets while in this safe environment. And unlike facility boarding, you are most probably be able to make specific requests for your pet.
Overall, house boarding is definitely the better option for your pet. The only downside to it is that it can be more expensive than facility boarding. When it comes to the price, it comes down to whether or not you think it’s worth to pay the extra. Some think it is unnecessary while many think it is worth way more than facility boarding. So do your research beforehand!
How To Choose?
With this said, choosing the best option can be quite the hassle sometimes. But since when has owning a pet ever been easy? It comes with its various challenges and responsibilities. If you are ever too overwhelmed in having to make the best decision, here are some steps you can take to close down the options!
1. Know What You Want
The first step is to always know what you are looking for. Are you looking for the cheaper or the safer option? Are you looking for a quick solution or comfort? It all boils down to what you see fit for your pet. Getting the option that is best for your pet should be the ideal thought process in determining which option you should get.
Before making your decision, make sure that you have carried out proper research. Websites like PetBacker.com/blog/ offers a lot of information needed for you to weight out the pros and cons. Even if you have no idea what you want, figure out what you don’t want. In this case, even if you don’t know what to look for, you’ll at least know what to not look for!
2. Know The Organization
Once you are able to pinpoint your wants, have a list of organizations under your radar. Since you are placing your pet under your care, it is important to know the organization. Make sure that they are reliable, well-established and is certified. One of the ways to check the reliability of the organization is their online reviews. Positive reviews are always a good sign.
Another way is to look up their websites and read through their profiles. Knowing the staffs, their qualifications and years of experience can help you gauge if they are reliable. An organization with more well-equipped staffs and longer years of experience is always better than the lesser ones. Get a list of organizations and compare them with each other until you eventually find out that you are comfortable with.
3. Services Specification
Once you are in contact with the owner, ask for their specific services. Get to know what they offer. If you have any additional requests, let them know and weight out the prices. Knowing what services they offer can help you gauge if this boarding place suits your pet. Some boarding places are specific to cats or dogs. And their services are focused on providing for the specific species. You definitely don’t want to send your pet cat to a boarding place that is specific for pet dogs.
If your pet breed has specific requests, you would have to let the owner know. Ask if your request can be fulfilled and what are the additional charges for it. Facility Boarding especially, will not ask if your breed has specific needs. So it’s absolutely crucial that you let know your request.
4. Visit The Facility/House
Once you have decided on where you are sending your dog, request for a visit beforehand. You might want to make two visits; one with your pet and one without.
Visiting gives you the chance to look at the place for yourself. Every organization will always paint a bright picture. Visiting allows you to see for yourself if that is truly the case. Have a list of things to look out for and be on the look out for them. Observe the living conditions of the pets, the space and facilities provided and the owner’s and staffs’ interactions with the pets.
Look out for signs of stress and aggression among the pets. Pets don’t lie. If they are in poor living conditions, it’ll show in their temperament and interactions. Healthy, active and happy pets are always a green light!
Other things to look out for are cleanliness and the space provided for the pets to sleep. It’s the number one indicator of whether the pets are well taken care of. An unclean place obviously makes for an uneasy stay. It is also an indicator for negligence. Same goes with the space. If the place provided is too small or is too packed with other pets, it is probably not a good idea to send your pet in. Would you be comfortable living in a tight space with multiple people?
Once you have paid your visit and is at ease with their living conditions, you can arrange for another visit with your pet. Visiting the place with your pet allows your pet to feel more at ease with its new surroundings. Sending your pet to a new place to stay can be incredibly stress inducing for them. Visiting the place with them allows them to familiarize themselves with the place. It will also be less stressful since you are there with them. Get the owner or staff to interact with your pet as well. This will help your pet get used to the people and the other pets. It can also let you see the way that they interact with your pet.
Having a look at the place yourself is always the best move in ensuring that you are getting what you are paying for. Not only can you check if the living conditions are telly with what you are told, it can also offer you a peace of mind when you send your dog.
5. Access To Vet
Another crucial information is if they have a 24/7 access to a veterinarian. Having access to the vet ensures that there is someone qualified enough to help your pet in cases of emergencies. If the boarding place doesn’t have access to any vets, it is generally not recommended sending your pet in. As said, animals can be unpredictable. Many unforeseen circumstances can come in the time of your pet’s stay. In urgent cases, having a pet around definitely gives you a peace of mind while you are away. Otherwise, who will be able to provide the necessary treatment for your pet in times of need? While the staff and owner can be trained in taking care of pets, treating wounds or diagnosing illnesses are entirely different. Better be safe than sorry! Ask if they have access to the nearest vet, if they do, then it is a green light.
When it comes to facility boarding, communication can be a problem sometimes. Due to the amount of pets they take in, it is near impossible to make communication for daily updates about your pet. Even if there is, it might be consistent due to the staff having to take care of the other pets.
With this said, another benefit to house boarding is that communication is not only possible, but easy! Due to the fact that the owner would not take in many pets, communication can easily be established since it is less rigid. You can definitely expect faster replies as well with house boarding.
When it comes to communication, make known your specific requests. What are you expecting when it comes to communication? Let the owners know so that they can gauge what to update on, how frequent and when. If you want to video call with your pet during the stay, let them know and as if it can be done. With house boarding, it most probably can. In any case, set up a clear expectation between you and the owner. Managing the expectations rightly can make communication easier for both you and the owner.
Last but not least, ask what a typical day would look like for the pets inside. Getting to know the daily routines can give you a peace of mind. It can give you an idea of what your pet is doing at what time. If you decide on facility boarding, the daily routines are extremely crucial since they follow it rigidly. It’ll help you to know when you should call or when you shouldn’t if you plan to have a video call check up on your pet.
Knowing just the green flags might not be enough to ensure that your pet will have a good stay. You should always watch out for any red flags too! Noticing just one of these red flags should get you to reconsider sending your pet in. A well-maintained boarding place, facility or house, should not exhibit any red flag signs. Not only can the stay be uncomfortable for your pet, it will also place your pet in greater risks of health or life-threatening circumstances. So here are the red flags you should be watching out for!
When visiting the place, look out for stench. Stench is always a sign that the place is not properly clean and maintained. While there will be a sort of smell emitting from the pets, there should never have any sort of stench. Would you be willing to sleep in a room that has a foul stench?
Another cause for stench could also be limited space or too large a number of pets. A place that is too packed with pets make it incredibly difficult for the staffs to maintain both the environment and the pets themselves. If you notice any lingering stench, it is definitely a sign to run!
Always observe the staff’s interactions with the pets. If the staffs are happy and passionate in their interactions, chances are, they’ll take good care of the pets! Staff’s who love animals will always give an ease of mind. However, if the staff seems negligent or neglectful, it’s definitely a red flag. Would you be willing to place your pet under the care of someone that seems neglectful?
With this said, house boarding offers the upper benefit as most house boarding owners do it out of passion. There are higher chances that your dog will be well taken care of by someone that adores animals if you choose to send your dog into house boarding instead of facility boarding. Click here to sign up for one now!
3. Condition Of The Pets
One of the best ways to tell if the place is legit is to look at the condition of the Pets. Dogs, for instance, if they are constantly pacing and barking, it is usually a sign that they are under stress. Even if they aren’t, placing your pet among a group of aggressive dogs aren’t exactly a good idea. Interact with some dogs. If they seem aggressive, scared or are whimpering, it is definitely a sign that something is up behind the closed doors.
Another sign is to observe if the place asks for vaccinations of your pet. If they don’t, chances are, there are pets in the place that are not vaccinated as well. This will put your pet in high risk of contracting diseases. Vaccinations are always necessary to ensure that all pets are kept safe and healthy. If they aren’t even bothered to ask for your vaccination certificates, how should are you that the pets inside are well and healthy from diseases?
5. Online Reviews
Probably the quickest way to check for their reliability is through online reviews. What better ways to look for assurance other than reviews from people who have sent their pets in previously. If the place has a high rate of negative reviews, then obviously it is not a place that you would want to send your pet to. Ensure that the place has a high positive rate of reviews, given that there will always be unsatisfactory customers.
With these said, boarding your pet can be stressful but once you know the steps, it can be as easy as a breeze! If you are still unsure, why not download the PetBacker app? PetBacker is dedicated to services such as this. Not only that, these services are made so easy to access! Download the app now to save your time and energy from all the researching.