What to look for in a dog accommodation facility

Dog accommodation options vary, and it’s important to find the place that fulfils your dog’s needs, and also offers a practical solution for you. We’ve put together a list of factors to consider when choosing a dog boarding service. Find a service that ticks the boxes that are important to you.

Factors to consider when selecting a dog boarding service

Here is a list of things you should look out for when choosing a dog accommodation for your pet. Note, this list is not exhaustive and is not in order of importance. All factors matter!

Proximity to home or holiday

When a dog boarding facility is far away, you might use your entire day getting your dog to and from the location. Or your dog may not like to be in the car for too long, in which case finding a dog boarding facility close by would be ideal. On the other hand, it might suit you to find a location close to your holiday destination or the airport, so you can deliver and collect on your way through.

Open areas for exercise

Dogs thrive on having open spaces to run around in, so it’s optimal if the dog accommodation has grounds on which your dog can run and play. Importantly, this area needs to be secure, with proper fencing that keeps your dog confined within the facility. Generally speaking, most dog boarding facilities with open space are on the outskirts of the city, or even farther afield.

(Inner city dog boarding facilities generally don’t offer much outdoor space on their premises for exercise, instead offering smaller indoor play areas, or on-lead walks where they may encounter non-resident dogs, which can lead to behaviour challenges).

In addition to open areas for running, it’s great if the dog facility has other options for activity, such as water play facilities (plunge pools), or simple climbing equipment. These added extras provide stimulation for your dog, keeping them entertained during their stay. It is also important to ask how much activity your dog will be given every day.

Areas for rest

Aside from where your dog sleeps, the dog kennels you choose should have areas where your dog can comfortably rest during the day. After all, they can’t run and play 24/7! Shady, grassed areas, or comfortable indoor zones with dog beds or cushions are ideal for your dog to have a nap during the day.

Comfortable sleeping quarters

To be certain that the dog kennels have good sleeping quarters for your dog, ask to see them! A dog boarding facility should have no issue with you inspecting the sleeping areas before you book your dog in to stay.

The dog accommodation you choose should firstly be clean. Debris should be absent from floors and the floors should be washed down and dried before your dog enters. Fresh bedding should be provided for your dog, unless you’re permitted to bring your own (often you aren’t). Water bowls and dog toys should be washed and sanitised between dogs.

If your dog is sharing quarters with another dog, there should be ample space for both, with separate sleeping mats or dog beds. The sleeping zone should stay warm during the cold months, and cool in hot weather.

Staff trained in handling and caring for dogs

The experience of the staff who will look after your dog is of utmost importance. They must not only love dogs, but should have a decent amount of experience working with dogs and providing for their needs. As part of this, they should understand how to handle behavioural issues, how to ensure dogs are appropriately fed, be able to do basic grooming, and know what to look out for in regards to health issues.

You may need the staff at the facility to administer medications and ointments to your dog. They should take the time to understand your dog’s health needs, and to find out exactly when medication needs to be given.

Lastly, and very importantly, your dog needs plenty of affection while you are away, so the staff at the facility need to offer lots of hugs and pats for your dog.

Health checks

Your dog’s health should be a top priority at any dog accommodation service. Look out for dog kennels that do daily health checks, and those that have access to a vet visiting onsite. Also, if your dog has any health conditions, the accommodation staff should be comfortable administering required medications to your dog while you are away.

Vaccinations Required

Any reputable dog boarding service will require your dog to have the appropriate vaccinations, namely, the annual C5 level of cover, which includes hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza and bordetella bronchiseptica (these last two comprising ‘KENNEL COUGH’ or Canine Respiratory Infection – CRI). If your dog has not been vaccinated accordingly, you may be refused accommodation, so confirm those jabs at the vet before booking.

If a kennel allows your dog to stay without vaccinations, it may be a sign they aren’t sufficiently concerned for the health of the dogs that stay with them. Best steer clear.

Matching with similar dogs

The dog accommodation facility you choose should understand that different dogs have different temperaments, and varying energy levels. This means that they should make provision to give your dog sleeping accommodation and exercise with dogs of a similar size and temperament. To save stress for your dog, be sure to ask if they facilitate this.

Positive reviews

Check the reviews of any dog accommodation you’re considering. Look for positive testimonials on their website and on Google and Facebook reviews etc. Also be sure to ask other dog owners in your area for recommendations on dog boarding services they’ve used. There’s nothing like a word-of-mouth recommendation!

Transparent communication

We love our dogs, and sometimes when we’re away, we miss them terribly. It’s always comforting when a dog accommodation service gives updates on your dog’s stay when you request it. You might not get a phone call with your furry friend, but you should be able to ask for details on how they are going. The facility should also be prompt to contact you if your dog has any health issues during their stay.

A Fire Plan

This might be the last thing that enters your mind, but it’s important to know how your dog accommodation would handle a fire situation. Make a point of asking what plans they have in place.

In Summary…

Leaving your dog in someone else’s care can be daunting, but with the right dog accommodation facility, you can enjoy your time away knowing your pet is in good hands. Remember to prioritise factors that are important to you like proximity to home, staff expertise, cleanliness, and communication when selecting a facility. By doing so, you  ensure convenience for you, whilst providing for your dog’s happiness, comfort, and safety in your absence.

Next time you need to leave town, consider Dogdayz Country Clubs. Our dog boarding services are second to none. With three locations around Melbourne, you can be certain to find dog accommodation within an easy drive of your home. Don’t forget to book ahead, as we often book out during holiday periods.