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Dog Boarding Checklist: What to Bring When Boarding Your Dog

If you're looking for a boarding facility for your pet, you should research and compare several options ahead of time. Examine whether the facility is run correctly and prioritizes the well-being and protection of the animals. If you're unsure what to look for, our Brookhaven vets can guide you.

Use these checklists to help you decide what to bring when boarding your dog and where to find the safest place for them.

Pet Boarding: What to Look For

All pet boarding facilities should, at a minimum:

  • Be clean both inside and outside. Be odor-free offer spacious, bright, and well-air-conditioned rooms offer intact furniture
  • Not have uncomfortably loud noise levels
  • Be open about how the animals are managed and handled. Be capable of performing essential tasks (e.g., giving medication)
  • Be commercially registered, have liability insurance, and be inspected by the veterinary office (depending on regional/national laws)

Further, the staff at boarding facilities should:

  • There is enough staff to accommodate the number of animals staying there
  • Staff have appropriate expertise; there isn't a constant turnover of staff, and staff answer all of your questions openly
  • They request that you provide all necessary documentation (proof of vaccination, animal liability insurance, etc.)
  • They inquire about any special needs your dog may have (food, care, rituals)
  • They inquire about the compatibility of your pet with other pets

Dogs in Pet Boarding Facilities

Boarding facilities should offer specific dog amenities in addition to the general requirements mentioned above.

How Dogs Should Be Kept

  • The dogs are not kept alone; they interact with humans
  • There are comfortable baskets available
  • There is a secure exercise area available (protected by fences)
  • Female dogs in heat are not permitted
  • You are expected to have your dog fully vaccinated, dewormed, and flea-treated before their arrival
  • There is always fresh water available for the dogs everywhere (indoors and outdoors)

How Dogs Should Be Handled

  • The staff treats the dogs with love and care
  • Dogs are walked twice a day (with additional free running in the outdoor area)
  • There is no use for punishment
  • Dogs are not permitted to walk off-leash
  • Dogs are only placed in compatible groups

Cats in Pet Boarding Facilities

The rules for cats are broadly similar to those for dogs listed above. There are, however, some differences in how they should be kept:

  • Cats should have separate rooms
  • Ideally, there should be the option of a room with a view of the outside
  • Facilities for climbing and scratching must be available

Questions to Ask Boarding Facilities

Ask the right questions before boarding your pet to ensure that your furry friend gets the best care possible. To choose the right boarding option for your dog, search online for pet boarding facilities in your area and read reviews from other pet owners. Once you have narrowed down your options, contact the facility to ask questions. Before calling, prepare a list of general and specific questions related to your pet's needs.

Some questions can include:

  • What pet care background, certifications, education, and expertise does the facility or individual have? 
  • What is the ratio of the dog or cat per staff?
  • What is their screening process for identifying pets with behavioral issues?   
  • How many animals do they put in a playgroup?
  • How much playtime and exercise will they get?
  • How are animals grouped together? (by size, age, temperament, etc.) 
  • How often are the facilities cleaned?

It can also be beneficial to take a tour of a potential pet boarding facility. Make careful observations during your visit to determine if this is the right dog boarding service for your pet.

Book a Test Period

If you come across a pet boarding facility that seems suitable for your dog or cat, it's advisable to leave your pet there for a short trial period (a few days) to see if they feel comfortable. If your pet appears content to return for a second stay, then you have likely found the right place.

Are you curious about the boarding facility at Brookhaven Animal Hospital? Contact our animal hospital today, and we'll happily answer any questions you may have.

New Patients Welcome

Brookhaven Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Brookhaven companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Book Online (601) 833-1223