'Tis the season to travel! The holidays are full of visits to family and friends. While you're planning your vacation, don't forget an important member of your family: your dog. Some pet owners can take their dogs with them on long trips, but for many people, this simply isn't an option. Traveling can be stressful for dogs and cost-prohibitory for some pet owners. There are destinations where Fido can't tag along—whether it's because Grandma's allergic to pet dander or because you'll be hitting the slopes all day. Whatever your reason for leaving your furry friend home, you'll want to be sure he or she is comfortable, safe, and getting plenty of love. Do you have a pet lodge you trust to take care of your pet over the holidays? Don’t wait until the last minute to choose a place for your dog to stay; if you’re not careful, the best places will be booked solid for the final months of the year. Here are some tips to help you choose the right pet lodging facility.
Choosing a Pet Lodge
When you're looking into a holiday home for your pet, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. It's important that your mind is at ease about your pet's care and safety while you're away. We recommend requesting a tour of any facilities you're considering ahead of time and shopping around to find the best fit. Here's what you should be looking for and asking about on your tours.
1. Trust Your Instincts
Your first impression of a dog kennel may be your best indicator. Is the company hesitant or happy to give you a tour? Does the facility seem clean and orderly? Is it a comfortable temperature? Are the kennels comfortable and well-kept? Are staff friendly and ready to answer questions? All of these first impressions could tell you early on whether you’ve found a location you’re willing to consider.
2. Look at the Layout
There are a few things that good dog care facilities will offer, including an open play area that’s safe and comfortable and the option of a separate sleeping area for each dog. If your dog is nervous around other animals, open sleep arrangements may not be the best option, so be sure she’ll have her own crate to catch some Zs. The best pet lodges offer options that fit your dog’s personality.
3. Pay Attention to What They Ask
All responsible dog boarding facilities will ask you about your dog’s vaccinations, and probably require proof of shots. They may also ask about your dog’s comfort level with other canines, health history, and any medications. Be sure to note that they’re asking you the right questions along the way and that you feel confident that your pet will be well treated.
Before you commit for an extended stay while you’re potentially hundreds or thousands of miles away, it’s a good idea to do a dry run. Have your dog stay for a night or two at your chosen facility and see how they do. This can work out any kinks in the plan as well as familiarize your dog with the location, which can significantly lower her stress level while you’re away. Consider leaving your dog with a familiar item such as his dog bed, a favorite chew toy, or even an unwashed t-shirt of yours. You may also consider scheduling any routine check-ups before you leaving or while you’re away, such as dental cleaning or an annual exam.
Traveling for the holidays should be fun, and you shouldn’t have to worry about Rover while you’re gone. It’s normal to miss your pet, and even normal for your pet to have some separation anxiety—these are all signs of a healthy pet/owner relationship. But when you’re confident in the care your dog will be receiving you can enjoy your holidays guilt-free.
For more information about our pet lodge, contact us today.