Everything you need under one woof - how to find the perfect dog boarder for your pup this summer
Making the decision to leave your four-legged friend behind when going on holiday can be difficult -that goes without saying. You may be going to a luxury hotel that doesn’t allow your furry friend to stay, or you may even feel your pup isn’t quite ready for an exotic holiday with long days on a crowded beach. No matter the reason, a loving owner still wants their dog to have the best care possible. With the growth in pet-care services since the pandemic, there are plenty of choices available for bespoke dog boarding services. But, with so many options on the market, finding the right one for you and your canine companion isn’t always a straightforward decision. With this in mind, Kevin Thackrah, Director of pet-care specialists Petpals, offers his expertise on finding a pawsome dog boarder for you and your dog this summer.
What’s on the website?
The first thing I would check is to see what information the boarding service has listed on their website. I would expect an ethical pet-care professional to have been DBS checked, have full insurance to cover all aspects of pet-care, pet first aid training and have a valid license and identification. This not only ensures the safety of your pet, but also stops you from running into any issues down the line. If any of this isn’t guaranteed on the website, I would make a note of it, and raise it with the dog boarder before you use their services.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
It’s important to question the training and experience of the dog boarder to ensure they have the required skills to look after your dog – but this doesn’t have to be a confrontational conversation. Instead, it should be a calm chat, focused on providing the best care possible for your furry friend. As stated before, check the providers website for what training and insurance they have and ask about anything that is missing.
I would find out how many walks your dog will go on in a day and how many dogs they walk at once, and particularly how long they might be left on their own, as it’s really important that your dog exercises in a safe and secure environment. Please make sure you ask - otherwise, you’re leaving your dog’s vital care up to chance.
View the reviews
Take time to look online. If a dog boarder is established, they should have plenty of positive reviews about their service from happy owners. This is obvious, but many people skip this step when they are rushing to find a dog boarder. Also, concentrate on the most recent reviews as service quality can change over time. If multiple reviews have come in recently stating a bad experience with the business, it may be because the dog boarder is overwhelmed with demand. In these situations, I would recommend looking elsewhere. Going with a proven national provider also has its advantages, as the pet-care quality should be consistent throughout all of their locations.
Meet in person
Meet your dog boarding professional in person before you go away. If the dog boarder doesn’t seem enthusiastic about looking after your dog, then don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. All dogs are different, and it’s important that a dog boarder takes advice from an owner before they start caring for the pet. If you feel they’re not taking your recommendations on board, you should definitely use someone else. As owners, we are the best judge of character when it comes to finding the right fit for our pets, so if you feel something is off, it probably is.
Watch out for these red flags
If the dog boarder is evasive about any of your questions, or even aggressive, I would automatically move on to another provider. Also, if they’re unwilling to show you where your dog will be staying, or prove how many other dogs will be with them, I would also be concerned. I think good communication in pet-care is really important and should be demonstrated throughout the service. If the dog boarder isn’t communicating with you before you make your booking, that communication breakdown is bound to continue when your beloved pet is actually in their care.
There are plenty of incredible pet-care providers on the market. If you take your time, plan in advance and don’t rush into a decision, you’ll find a brilliant place for your dog to have a summer staycation. At Petpals, we love having dogs stay over, and our UK network of 150+ locations can’t wait to meet plenty of new furry friends this summer!
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