Selecting Care for Your Pet

Selecting Care for Your Pet

There are thousands of boarding kennels and pet sitters but how can you know which you can trust with your pet? Here's how to make your selection process easier.

General
Kennels
Pet Sitters

General

Get recommendations from your friends and vet.
Check the Better Business Bureau listings
Make certain to call to discuss your pet's specific needs.

Kennels

Contact the facility.
Confirm that sick patients are kept separate from general population.
Inquire about veterinary services used at the facility.
Make sure vaccination requirements are enforced.
Ask about any required medication administration.
Inquire about bedding arrangements. It is important that pets have somewhere else to sleep besides a concrete floor.
Ask about exercise options.
Learn the hours of operation, including pickup and drop-off.
Inquire as to after-hours checks and staffing.
Make inspection visit.
Note the general appearance of the facility and whether the pets there seem well cared for.
Verify size of run is appropriate.
Note security of runs and play areas.
Check safety of barrier between run and neighboring runs.
Check sanitation procedures – no dirt, feces, odors, or parasites.
Confirm that there is a schedule for cleaning.
Individual water containers should be available to all pets and checked and changed frequently.
Outside play areas should be free of odors.
Make sure staff is competent to monitor your pet to recognize signs of illness and distress.
Make sure climate control is adequate and runs are protected from the elements.
Check lighting and ventilation to ensure they are maintained at a comfortable level.
If the kennel offers daycare or group play:
Ask about temperament testing and segregation.
Make sure pets have shade and water available to them.
Ensure staffing levels are adequate.
Verify the play area is not overcrowded.
If possible, observe the dogs playing and make sure they get along.
Confirm that introductions are done properly.
Make sure that pets are not allowed to wear metal choke chains or prong collars.

Pet Sitters

Make sure calls are returned promptly. Any sign of irresponsibility, such as returning phone calls tardily is a bad sign.
Have a face-to-face meeting with the potential sitter.
If the pet sitter is an agency, inquire as the background checks performed on prospective employees.
Ask what type of experience the sitter has with your type of pet.
Ask how much time will be spent with your pet and whether medication administration needs can be met.
Get at least three references.
Ask if the sitter is insured and/or bonded.
Try a one or two day trial run before leaving on a longer trip.
Once you do have one hired, put the terms of the sitter's engagement in writing.
Before you leave:
Leave detailed instructions with locations of pet's supplies, medication and other needs, phone number of vet and animal emergency hospital, and your contact information.
Make sure your home is set up securely as your pet may try to escape from those it does not know.

 

Incorrect or missing information? Please contact us and let us know.

 

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