Boarding Your Dog for The First Time? – 8 Tips for Choosing The Right Kennel
Choosing a dog boarding facility for your sweet fur child doesn’t have to be a stressful event. If you’re getting to enjoy some time away, there’s no reason your dog can’t enjoy his or her own vacation, too!
You can find the perfect place for your pup after conducting a little bit of research, asking the right questions and getting to know where your precious pooch will be staying for a few nights.
In fact, Hounds Lounge was created after the owners, Justin and Mandy, could not find a place that met their needs and expectations for an ideal dog boarding facility. So, they created Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa to make sure that everything they wanted was also available for our proud dog mommas and dads.
Here’s a comprehensive list of what to look for in an ideal dog boarding experience:
#1: Read Their Reviews First
Reading online reviews can be a great first paw forward in your journey to finding your pup’s home away from home. Look for other customers’ boarding feedback and see what their experience was like. These can help you narrow down your list faster.
#2: Visit the Facility
Your senses will tell you a lot of what you need to know when it comes to boarding your dog for the first time. Does the facility smell and look clean? Is the staff exceptionally friendly? Are the pack members being supervised, or are they running around unattended? It might be a good idea to bring your dog along for the visit, but make sure to check for recommended visiting hours. That way, the sounds and smells won’t be so unfamiliar should you decide to stay. Pay attention to how the staff interacts with your furbabe. First impressions are key!
Also, be sure to keep an eye out for any harmful chemicals or objects that a curious pup may sniff out. A clean facility is great, but we don’t want Lassie burping up bubbles, do we?
At Hounds Lounge, you can tour our facilities at any time during open lobby hours. We’ll happily show you our play yards, overnight boarding suites and all of the places a woof might be.
#3: Take Time to Talk to the Staff
Talking to the staff will be sure to give you a good grasp of the overall atmosphere of the facility. Are hoomans greeted by name at drop-off/pick-up, or do they just grab puppers and go? You should be able to tell how much the staff cares about their guests when you tour the facility and when you talk to them about their daily routine. If they seem less than enthusiastic, listen to your instincts!
#4: Ask About Health Requirements
Health and safety should be a major sticking point when deciding where to board your pooch. If your dog is on medication, be sure to ask if the staff is comfortable and capable of administering the medication. Ask what the requirements are for staying and playing at the facility. You’ll want to be sure that all guests are up-to-date on their immunizations. Check out our FAQ page to find out which vaccines are required at Hounds Lounge and how to send the records over.
At Hounds Lounge, we put the health and safety of our fur babes above all else. Exceptional care and high safety standards are the foundation that the Lounge was built on! You should be able to drop off your dog and know they are in the most caring hooman hands possible.
#5: Ask About Safety and Emergency Protocols
Any established dog boarding facility should have safety guidelines that the staff follows at all times. When you tour the facility, be sure to ask if the staff has dog handling and behavior training. This will help you get a grasp of whether the facility is properly qualified to safely watch your dog while you’re away.
Similarly, it is also important to ask about their emergency protocols. What happens if there is an accident? You may want to leave your preferred vets information on file, for incidents that can’t be handled at the facility. These are the types of questions that will help put your mind at ease when boarding your dog for the first time.
#6: Make Sure the Facility is Staffed 24/7
You likely wouldn’t want your pooch to go without supervision at night when you are out of town, so be sure your dog boarding facility is staffed 24/7. You deserve the best care for your dollars when you choose a facility to board your dog, so make sure your beloved furry friend will have access to a hooman 24/7.
Hounds Lounge has staff on-site 24/7. Be rest assured that whether your pup is counting squeaky sheep or lounging poolside, a friendly face is always nearby.
#7: Confirm That There Are a Variety of Play Options Available
Most boarding and dog kenneling facilities do not provide open play options. Usually, your dog is kept in a kennel and then let out for leashed walks for a set number of times per day. In addition to this, many dog boarding facilities that do provide more play options don’t provide a temperament test or grouping per size for your sweet pup.
If it’s your dog’s first time at a boarding facility It can be very stressful on your furbabe to go from you being home all day, every day to you being gone for days or even weeks. It will greatly reduce your dog’s anxiety if they can get out and safely play at doggy daycare while you’re away. Ask about whether this is an option and be sure to find out if the facility charges extra for this. (Hounds Lounge offers cage-free play to our overnight guests at no additional charge.)
Perhaps your fur baby can’t be bothered by the other pups. They’ll be best suited for our private retreat option at Hounds Lounge, which is perfect for dogs who don’t do well in social settings.
When it’s time for you to pick up your fur baby, we’ll give you a full report that includes a temperament evaluation and who they best played with during their stay.
#8: Check Out the Spa Packages
You can also find out if the facility offers any extra services such as spa treatments or exit baths so you can have a squeaker-toy clean pooch upon pickup! Yes, your dog can have a spa vacation, too.
Doing your homework when you’re boarding your dog for the first time will help you feel confident that you have made the right choice; especially when it’s time to leave your fur baby in someone else’s care.
Hounds Lounge checks all of these boxes and is proud to serve our central Arkansas and northwest Arkansas communities. Please stop by and tour our facilities if you are looking for a home-away-from-home for your four-legged family members. Our staff is highly trained and ready to help your pooch have a great experience while you’re away.
For more information about Hounds Lounge policies, please visit our FAQs page!
Going out of town? Book your puppers’ staycation at Hounds Lounge now!