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Dog Boarding - Everything You Need To Know When Boarding Your Dog

What should I consider when boarding my dog?

There are a lot of things to consider. When you are getting ready to board your dog, you want to make that experience as comfortable and as stress-free for them as possible. So we will go into some detailed questions to try to help answer that.

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

What are the different dog boarding options offered at Animal Hospital of Statesville?

We offer four different types of boarding facilities for dogs within our boarding kennel. They are of different sizes and also offer different perks along with those sizes. We offer additional playtimes where your pet can go out more than just the scheduled three walks during the day. In our luxury suites, they also get TV time, and play times are built into those suites. With those luxury suites, you can watch your dog on the camera. You can check in on them at any time of day or night as long as there's light enough to see.

Will my dog get active and social time?

With our playtimes, they are able to go out. We do a little pre-exam to make sure they get along with others. They have to be spayed or neutered to be allowed to socialize with others on our time. If they aren't approved to go with others, they can interact with the staff who takes them out for playtime.

We have toys, and in the summer or warmer months, we have a little pool and all sorts of stuff for them.

What questions should I ask about boarding at a veterinarian's office?

We offer boarding here, but our kennel is separate from our hospital. I think that's one thing that you may want to ask, how do they do their boarding? Is it with the general population of the hospitalized pets? Because that could be a concern. Is it a separate facility like ours? Then you may want to ask what the availability of the veterinarian is and if there is a concern for your pet. Our staff watches, and if they have any concerns about a pet, they bring it to the veterinarian's attention, which is one of the perks of boarding at the veterinarians'.

What questions should I ask at the dog boarding facility or kennel?

If it's not connected to a veterinary hospital, you may want to ask what happens in the case of an emergency. There are a lot of questions in general that you might want to ask. What is their feeding schedule? What is their availability of time with the pets? Do they stay overnight with them? What kind of communication will you get while you leave your pet? Do they send emails? Do they send daily updates, or how do you get in touch with them if you need to contact them?

What do dog boarding facilities need to know about my dog?

If you're leaving and entrusting your pet with someone else, they need to know, in general, how does your pet act? Is this the first time they boarded? Are they regular boarders, or do they get nervous? Do they have any medical concerns? That's a big one that we try to ask because if there are any medical concerns, are they on medication? How often do they get it? Do they eat their own food, and do they get a lot of variety? You could offer to bring your own food or, sometimes, they'll provide food to eat at the facility.

It's kind of like dropping your kid off on their first day of nursery school or kindergarten. Sometimes it's relevant, and they will act the same as they do at home, and sometimes they'll tell you something that the dog does, and he has no problem when they're at the vet. So it's nice to know about it, though.

Kind of like your kids. Sometimes they do things with you that they don't do with anyone else, for better or for worse.

What do veterinarians generally recommend for safe dog boarding?

We do climate control. We want to keep them at the right temperature, whether it's wintertime or summertime. We may limit playtimes during the heat of the day. And then there are certain breeds that we would want to keep safer when they're out with the breathing issue if it's really hot, or our smaller dogs if it's really cold. Those would be some of the concerns there.

What should I bring, and how should I prepare when boarding my dog?

This depends on your personality and your preference for your pet. We get the two extremes. If they like a favorite bed or blanket and aren't chewers, meaning they're not going to chew it up and try to eat it while they're here, that's always good because that's a scent or a smell that they can remember you by while you're gone. And then if there's certain food, if there's a certain diet that they need to be on, some people will go as far as putting it in daily allotments. So they'll actually bag it individually. This is Monday's food; this says Tuesday's food. That can be very helpful. And then medications. Medications with instruction on when you give this and how often you give it, and does your dog take it in a treat, or do they have to be coaxed to take the medication?

And, of course, they'll check your medication schedule to make sure they have it right. But it's always nice to have that knowledge ahead of time.

I'm a checklist person. So I like to have a checklist and things written down so that even if you're verbally telling someone, you can hand them that list. We love it when owners write out something because it reinforces what they want and what they expect. And depending on who cares for the pet, dad may drop the pet off but never takes care of the pet at home very much. So mom could send that list or vice versa. Sorry, dad, but that happens.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Boarding FAQs

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

What is the difference between a doggy daycare and an onboarding facility?

They could be one and the same and just offer two different options. But of course, the daycare would be like if you have children and you drop them off in the morning, go to work, and then pick them up. The same thing is offered for daycare for pets when you're not able to be with them. So they stay during the day. Boarding would be overnight. We do offer both. We have boarding and doggy daycare, and we have little packages for the doggy daycare of, I think, five and ten days or something like that. So if you're going to be a frequent flyer here, you can get those packages and save a little bit.

What is my dog's day like when they're boarding?

It is lots of fun. They have a blast, and sometimes they don't even want to go back home with you. No, they're always happy to see. They're always excited to see you. But at our daycare facility, they can be fed depending on if you fed them before they come. We have playtimes. We have an enclosed play yard where we have toys. Depending on the weather, we may have access to a little baby pool, puppy pool, and interaction with the staff so they can play with them as well. And they can be leashed, or they can be off-leash to get additional exercise.

How do I know if a dog boarding facility is reputable?

I think word of mouth is great. So if you have a friend referral or recommendation, that's what we love. We love it when clients recommend our clinic and refer us to their friends because word of mouth is the best. You can also look online. We're in an online world. So you can go on and look on the Google reviews, or any reviews or ratings that tell you what the clinic is like, or what the boarding facilities are like, and then even stop by and do a pre-interview before. I don't know that you would just go drop your children off somewhere with people you've never met or a facility you've never walked through. We offer you to come and walk through and look at our facility at a scheduled time. I think that would be great so that you get a feel for how things are set up and what's offered. I think the tour is a great idea. You get to meet the staff, see who's taking care of your pets, see where they're going to live, and maybe choose the right suite for them.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Boarding FAQs 2

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

What are some reasons why I wouldn't board my dog or couldn't be able to board my dogs?

Our boarding facility requires a certain set of vaccines, and the whole purpose behind that is to best protect your pet that is going to come and be around other animals. So if your pet didn't have the required vaccinations, they might not be able to board at a facility or our facility. The reason you may choose not to board at a facility depends on your pet's stress level. Maybe you felt that your pet was better at home, and you could get a pet sitter to come into the home. Maybe it would eat better, and there could be other health reasons that make you want to do that. But that can be facilitated well at a boarding facility like ours, where we can offer special care for those patients or boarders with special needs.

Will my dog be sad when I board them?

Sometimes they can be sad. Doing things ahead of time to kind of prep them for the boarding helps, whether that is getting their favorite toy or treat or something that you can bring with them that they enjoy that could also be offered here like that it is at home. I think you can judge by observing their anxiety level when you leave them at home. If they're anxious when you leave them at home, you might want to rethink how you plan to have someone keep them when you're gone.

What do I do about dog boarding if my dog has anxiety?

We encourage you to do different things, like maybe going forward with some training and seeking some training to try to overcome anxiety. Just like Kyle mentioned, it's not only about leaving them for boarding, but maybe it's day-to-day separation anxiety, like if you go to work. Many people now work from home, and the pets are used to them being at home. So when you're not with them as much or could be certain things that we could talk about one-on-one that could be done. We also offer some natural calming recommendations, pheromone therapy, and things that can help when separation occurs. And then, of course, as a veterinarian, we can prescribe medication if needed during certain situations when their anxiety might be higher.

What will the boarding facility do in the case of an emergency?

I can speak for the Animal Hospital of Statesville. Because the veterinary clinic is attached to the boarding facility, our kennel staff can contact us if there's an emergency. We can contact you and authorize what medical treatment might be needed. We, of course, ask on the front end, are there any medical concerns that you have for your pet, and in the case of an emergency, what are your wishes? You may think, well, of course, I would treat them, but there might be situations where your pet is older or sick or something where you would want them to be comfortable. We will contact you and let you know about that. And we all always ask for an alternative contact or someone that we can actually get hold of if you're out on a Caribbean cruise and can't be contacted. We'll contact someone who can make that decision for you that you trust to make that decision. It's always good to have that second contact to authorize treatment. Make sure they know that you're putting them down. Hey, you know, I'm going out of town, and you're my backup for my boarding pet.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

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