What to Look for in a Pet Boarding Facility in Raleigh, NC
If you need to board your pet, you want to find a pet boarding facility you can trust. There are many options out there and it can be overwhelming to find the best fit for your pet. Here are 10 questions you can ask to find a good pet boarding facility and how you can spot red flags that you will want to avoid.
Is the facility licensed?
One of the first questions to ask is whether they are a licensed and certified facility. The facility should be able to show you legal documents proving they are licensed. Most facilities should have a business license. Are they members of a professional organization? They should also be able to show you certifications for pet training and first-aid training.
Will your pet be with pets their size?
If the pet boarding facility always puts all the dogs together, this should be a red flag. This type of setup can lead to bad behavior that’s dangerous. A good facility will understand dog behavior enough to divide the dogs into groups with several staff members in each group.
What kind of experience does the staff have?
Observe how the staff interacts with the pets. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you watch their interactions.
- Is the staff engaging with the pets, or are they talking amongst themselves the entire time?
- Are they attentive to the dog’s body language and interactions with the other dogs?
- Are they professional towards you? Do they answer your questions happily or begrudgingly?
- How many dogs will they take care of at one time?
- What type of education or training do they get for this job?
It’s also good to ask about staff training and experience. A large number of facilities hired seasonal staff. These are often high school or college students who may need to gain experience or training with animals. They may love them, but there’s a difference between that and understanding animals with a trained eye. It could be a red flag if the facility you’re visiting has more student staff than senior, trained staff.
Is the facility clean and safe for your pet?
Check the level of cleanliness in the facility. What are their cleaning routines? Is the facility ventilated well? Do they keep it cool enough in the summer and warm in the winter? Look at the flooring, the toys, and the outdoor areas. Other things to check include:
- Does the facility look sanitary and secure?
- Are there good sleeping areas with non-slip surfaces?
- Can you visit all the areas where your dog will be?
- Are there any chemical smells?
If you see old, torn-up flooring, unclean surfaces, and generally poorly cared for areas, it’s best to walk away from this facility.
Are there both outdoor and indoor places for the dogs to play and run?
The pet boarding facility should have indoor and outdoor areas for the dogs to play. Cats should have catios to play in. Are the outdoor fences well-maintained and safe? Do they provide easy access to drinking water for the animals?
What happens if your pet gets sick?
Be sure to ask the pet boarding staff about their protocol when a pet gets sick. Do they have access to a veterinarian 24/7? Will they call you immediately to let you know? Never assume anything; ask this important question if your pet gets sick while being boarded
What is the pet boarding facility’s policy about pet vaccinations?
A well-run pet boarding facility will have certain vaccination requirements for pets. No doubt, they house a lot of pets, so there need to be ways to prevent the spreading of germs that cause viruses and infections. If the facility seems unclear or they have nothing in writing, don’t choose this place to board your pet.
Does the facility offer trial days?
Trial days are usually half-day stays for your dog at the facility. During these half-days, the staff gets to know your dog to see if they’re a good fit. A good facility provides trial days for your pet and uses the time to devise a plan for it during its boarding period. The facility’s assessment should take into consideration your pet’s
- If your pet gets along well with other dogs
- If your pets get anxious or scared of other animals
How much will the pet boarding cost?
The cost of a pet boarding facility will vary depending on where you live and what services you want for your pet. Most facilities have added fees for special things, such as
- Extra walks
- Dog training
- Agility training
The average cost to board a dog is $40 per night, but the night rates range from $25 to $85. Daycare can cost around $25 a day for regular care, but luxury care costs $75 or more. Ask the pet boarding facility staff for a complete list of costs and what these costs cover.
Do they have cameras so you can check on your pet?
Many facilities provide camera access for dog parents to see their pets. They may send you pictures of your dog playing outside or napping. It could be a red flag if the facility doesn’t have this. Pet boarding facilities with camera contact shows they’re transparent and open to pet parents prying eyes.
Check online reviews
Even if the pet boarding facility looks amazing, go one step further and check their online reviews. People are very honest about what they like and don’t like. You may get information from these reviews you couldn’t have gotten otherwise.
Your pet is like family, so you want the best care possible. These ten questions for you to ask a facility will help you choose a pet boarding facility that’s a good fit for you and your pet.
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About Companion Animal Hospital of Wakefield
At Companion Animal Hospital of Wakefield, our veterinarians in Raleigh, NC, provide better care for your pets. As members of your family, cats and dogs deserve the highest level of medicine with the most compassion. That’s why we put a strong emphasis on personalized care for your pet and client education for you. We believe that when we take the time to help you thoroughly understand your pet’s health, we’re able to make the best decisions for their care together.