Are you packing your bags for a summer vacation? Not sure what to do with your four-legged friend?
Professor Lee Niel, companion animal welfare and behaviour expert at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, shares tips on what pet owners should look for when selecting a boarding or daycare facility for their pet. Niel notes that most facilities offer tours to set owners’ minds at ease. If you plan to board your pet this summer here are a few things you should consider:
1. Pets should be carefully monitored throughout their stay. Ensure that someone is always on site, or there is appropriate equipment and alarms for remote monitoring of temperature, ventilation quality and animal health.
2. When boarding, incorporate elements from home. Sending a supply of your pet’s regular food or favorite blanket can help reduce stress while it is away.
3. Today's boarding kennels offer a number of different features that might make your pet's stay more enjoyable. If your dog is sociable and enjoys the company of other dogs, you might want to look for daytime play sessions with other dogs, or overnight group housing rather than single kennels. It is important to ask how participating dogs are screened for good behaviour, and confirm that groups are closely monitored by a staff member at all times to keep everyone safe. Proper grouping by size and activity level is also important.
4. If you feel nervous about leaving your pet, choose a facility with webcam access so that you can check in on your pet while you are away.
5. Not all pets are well-suited to boarding facilities. If your pet is anxious in new environments, consider hiring a pet-sitter to take care of them in the comfort of their own home.