Common Dog Boarding Mistakes

Some people regularly use boarding services, while for others, it can be a very new and foreign experience. When you've got an urban dog, it's good to be familiar with the whole boarding process even if you're not a big traveller. You never know when you'll leave for a destination wedding, natural disaster evacuation, that unexpected family funeral, or better yet, your trip of a lifetime. You'll have a more enjoyable boarding experience by avoiding these common mistakes.

Not researching your options

Every kennel is very different -- from the qualifications of the people caring for your dogs, to the type of suite and facility your dog stays in, to their health and safety standards, and costs. It's good to do your research early by going online, getting referrals from friends and family, and visiting facilities. This way, when a trip pops up, you'll know your options. You wouldn't leave your kids with just anyone - you shouldn't leave your dog with just anyone either.

Booking too late

We are often full. If your holiday coincides with peak travel times, plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Other times, calling today for tomorrow's booking is just fine. In general, if kids are out of school, we're busy. But if you're flexible, we keep a wait list, so there's always a chance someone will cancel - life happens.

Booking less time than is needed

Your dog's holiday is usually a little longer than your own. For example, if you fly out on the 4th and return the 8th. Your dog's vacation is likely the 3rd to the 9th.

Booking more time than is needed

Some people book extra time "just in case". In reality, flights are generally on time, and, most people on a flexible holiday schedule come back earlier rather than later. When you reserve space you're not planning to use, other families are turned away. You book your hotels only for the nights you plan to use and pay for - please do the same for your kennel. 

Having expired vaccinations

Some people think their vaccinations are current, when they're not. The error typically happens:

  • with new dog owners who don't realize that their dog is not fully vaccinated. It may have received a first set of vaccinations at the shelter/rescue or through their breeder, but is missing the final boosters or rabies shot. Or they don't realize they should visit their veterinarian annually for follow-up.

  • when a dog receives medical treatment for something - an ear infection, surgery or other issue - the owner incorrectly assumes that vaccinations are updated while at the clinic, when they're not - often because they're not yet due, but come due prior to boarding.
  • when a dog goes to multiple veterinary clinics - no one clinic has the full profile, and things get weird.

You've heard that you don't have to go every year for vaccinations, so you don't. That's not good enough. Different veterinary clinics have different vaccination protocols. Some vaccinate for "everything" every year, some do three-year vaccinations on "everything", and others stagger the vaccines (parvo one year, distemper the next, then rabies in the last year - then start all over). Talk with your veterinarian about what's best for your dog, then be certain that your dog is current. The best way to be 100 percent sure is to keep copies of your vaccination certificates/receipts with clearly documented expiry dates. There are times where your veterinarian will choose to delay or not vaccinate at all, but that's their call, not yours. If your veterinarian says your dog isn't current, they won't be boarding with us.

Vaccinating within the two week period prior to boarding

For your pet's safety and for the safety of all our guests, titers or vaccinations for serious communicable diseases must be current, with no vaccinations being given in the two weeks prior to boarding. If you choose to let your dog's vaccinations expire, or get any vaccination done within two weeks of your dog's visit, your reservation will be cancelled.

Sending an inappropriate amount of food

If your dog is out for a weekend, please don't send a 40 pound bag of food. Likewise, don't scrimp either. Because your dog is more active at the kennel than they are at home, we feed slightly more food than you would at home.

Creating unnecessary stress for your dog

Dogs like being dogs, and hanging around with dogs. It's a healthy way of being for them. It's also normal for you to miss your dog - but please don't transfer your own anxieties to them by being overly dramatic when saying goodbye. It might just be you rather than your dog who has separation anxiety :)

Worrying while you're away

We know you'll miss your dog, but please don't worry about them. We'll take good care of your dog. Please enjoy your well-deserved break!