Considering Daycare? What Dog Owners Should Know

Sure, people in the dog-care business love dogs. That’s the easy part. But safety, cleanliness, and staff continuity can vary dramatically from one kennel to the next. Here, some questions to consider when you’re shopping for a dog-care facility.

How long have staff members worked there? Your dog is happiest when greeted by familiar faces. A high employee turnover rate suggests behind-the-scenes problems at a facility. Does the facility provide healthcare and a retirement plan? Solid employee benefits policies attract high-quality staff members who are dedicated to the job–and to your dog.

Can dogs enjoy a variety of play areas? A single open space may look appealing, but too many dogs in a single play yard can be a recipe for trouble if dog-personalities clash. At DogServices, we provide multiple play areas that allow us to place dogs in smaller play groups and rotate your dog’s play companions based on activity levels and temperament.

What kind of care checklists are in place? What’s the procedure when dogs enter and exit play areas? When shifts change, how do staff members know if your dog’s been fed, received medication, or enjoyed an outdoor play session? Our 3-point checklist assures our staff members maintain detailed updates for each dog in our care.

How does the facility handle emergencies? Are employees certified by the American Red Cross in pet first aid? Do they keep emergency contact numbers on file? Does the facility reserve the right to contact your veterinarian–or an emergency vet, if necessary?

How often are toys, bedding, and play spaces cleaned? What about dogs? If they get muddy or dirty, can the boarding facility clean them up? DogServices offers a power-rinse when dogs need a quick clean-up for $5.

How do they handle medications? Will your dog get his medication while boarding? Is there an extra charge for this service? (Not with us.) How is medication stored, labeled, and noted in the dog’s daily records? What safety-policies are in place to prevent double-dosing or medication mix-ups?

How are my dog’s belongings identified and stored? If I bring in my leash or my dog’s food, how will you know it’s hers?

For new dog-boarders, does the facility require an orientation visit? If not, be wary. Your dog will be much better prepared for a vacation stay when he’s had a day to get familiar with the facility and staff before you travel.