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For many of us, our dogs are like our kids, so selecting a place to care for them while we travel is a big decision. A clean, bright, temperature-controlled, well-ventilated space with friendly and knowledgeable staff is just the beginning. There are many important factors to consider. Here, the experts at Top Dog Country Club offer a few key suggestions for dog owners in the process of selecting a new boarding facility for their furry friend.

Photography provided by Top Dog Country Club

When researching a new home-away-from-home for your dog, always ask for the staff to provide a tour. If the answer is no, walk away; a company should be proud to show off its digs. That being said, if you show up during busy arrival and departure hours, you may need to wait a bit for a tour. A quality facility always puts the animals first and will get clients checked in and out and on their way.

The team’s favorite question from prospective clients is “how will my dog spend their day?” In response, they provide as much detail as possible. A play-by-play is key. Oftentimes during initial visits, owners will inquire about the amount of exercise that their pooch will get during their stay. Next to air, food and water, this is arguably the most important physical need for a dog. They suggest that owners choose a facility with both indoor and outdoor play areas that are safely fenced in and large enough for dogs to burn off energy. A couple of 15-minute sessions is not enough for most furry friends, and crowded play spaces can create a stressful environment.

A few additional considerations you should be sure to inquire about:
– Group play
– Allotment of outdoor time during inclement weather
– Feeding and bathroom schedules
– How young puppies vs. senior dogs are handled
– If intact dogs are accepted
– A plan for if your pet becomes sick or injured
– How special diet and medical needs are supported
– Access to water
– Vaccination requirements
– Bringing food, toys or bedding from home
– How misbehaving dogs are handled
– Staffing qualifications and training
– Protocol for facility-wide emergencies

Learn more about selecting the right boarding facility on Top Dog Country Club’s blog.

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