Selecting a Boarding Facility
There are many things people should consider when evaluating a boarding facility:
- Start looking well in advance of when you will need to use a facility, especially during peak times such as school vacation, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some years we will be booked for Christmas in October.
- To locate a facility, ask your veterinarian and other pet guardians for recommendations. You can also check the yellow pages or the internet however remember that the best way to evaluate a facility is to visit it.
- Call facilities to inquire about their services, but don't make a decision until you actually visit a facility to see what it's really like. If possible, bring your dog with you when you visit so you can see how the staff responds to your pet, but also understand that you will most likely have to leave your dog in the car during any tour. (We do not recommend this for cats as car rides are often stressful for our feline friends.) During the visit, make note of the following:
- Is the staff courteous and friendly to both you and your pet?
- Do they seem to truly enjoy your pet and appropriately respond to your pet’s emotional needs?
- Is the facility clean?
- Are the staff PCSA Certified Pet Care Technicians?
- Is the kennel a member of the PCSA?
- Does the facility have the proper licenses? (Anyone boarding pets for a fee must have a Maine kennel license.)
- Does the facility have a formal disinfection protocol?
- What are the vaccination requirements? Will they accept titers?
- How are dogs grouped for playtime? What is the staff to dog ratio for playtimes? .
- What are the facilities feeding procedures? Can you bring your own food?
- What are procedures and policies for dealing with pets requiring medications?
- What does the facility do if your pet requires veterinary care?
- Does someone live on-site? If not, who checks the pets at night?
- Does the facility have a protocol for dealing with parasites like fleas?
- Can you bring your pet’s toys?
- Does the facility require a boarding contract to protect you and the facility from any misunderstandings?
- Lastly, try to determine if it is a "Pet Friendly" facility by asking how they handle excessive barking or excessively exuberant behavior or shy behavior?