You may be asking yourself how this impacts the boarding topic. The answer is not a clear one. Make a few calls to local boarding and daycare facilities, and you'll see what I mean. You'll find everything from the equivalent of a vet boarding stay, to the all-inclusive outdoor play place that dogs' off-leash dreams are made of.
Last weekend I addressed The Pros and Cons of Veterinary Boarding. Today, let's venture into your options at other facilities.
You're probably sneering but I'm completely serious. And there's more. When you find that off-leash, free-play dream "park", the differences can continue to mount, meaning you still have more questions to ask:
- Hours and days of operations?
- On a sunny day, how much indoor naptime will my dog take as a part of the routine?
- What is the size of the outdoor play area, and are there more than one?
- Is there an area for extensive, long distance running?
- What supervision is provided?
- Are there toys, and if so, what kind? How are they monitored for safety, and resource guarding?
- Is there an indoor or covered play area for extremely hot, wet, or cold days?
- Are there shade areas or covered play areas for rain and protection from hot sun?
- Is there night monitoring? What kind? What happens in case of fire?
- Are the staff experienced with and trained to handle dog fights, first aid and other complications of group dog play?
- How are the dogs' kennels cleaned and soiled bedding handled?
- What is the cost of a night's stay and what is included in this fee? Are there any ala carte items I should know about? Is there anything I can do to get a discount?
- What extras might I have to pay, and are there perks that I can purchase separately?
- Is there water play available and how is its use structured for the enjoyment and safety of all?
After you do your research and the math, you'll generally find one facility that suits your budget and your Fido just perfectly. What it all comes down to is safety and appropriate daily activity for YOUR dog, whatever his needs may be.