If we ever have to leave home, it would be ideal to take all members of our family with us. However, there is always the chance that they will need to wait for us to return. If we can’t take them with us, we want what is best for our four-legged family members, our best friends even on our lowest days. That’s where pet resorts, and other boarding facilities, come into the picture.
A pet resort is a luxury kennel service that provides top-of-the-line care for your furry family members until we can take them home with us again. There are so many considerations to keep in mind when choosing a pet resort for your pet. Daily Mom has all the information you will need to make an informed decision so that you and your pet will have the best experience ever.
Know Your Options
There are so many different ways to board your pet. Before you decide which route to take, you must evaluate your needs for your pet. Do they need medication? Are they aggressive, or even food aggressive? Are they social? Have they been socialized? If your dog is elder, do they need special modifications to their care schedule or diet? Any boarding facility you reach out to will have their own questions to ask, but it is best to write out your requirements (or even your own questions) before you pick up the phone.
If you haven’t made a firm decision regarding a pet resort quite yet, there is always the option of having a pet sitter. Finding a trusted friend or relative with whom your pet is already familiar will make the separation easier and keep your peace of mind. Think of it this way: If we were leaving one of our human family members with someone we know and love, wouldn’t that make us feel more comfortable?
Of course, that is not always an option, and then we must find an alternative. Searching online for pet sitters can ensure that they have qualifications, references, and perhaps even training. On the other hand, your pet sitter may need access to your home, your pet may be exposed to other pets who are not properly socialized or trained, and you may not meet them until the day you need to drop off your pet.
Like any decision, the best results are often borne of a well-laid plan. However, this does mean that a proper amount of research and time must go into finding the perfect sitter that you trust with your pet and your home.
So, what is a pet resort? In a nutshell, it offers the most sought-after care for your pet for a price with quality, top-of-the-line care. Pet resorts are a concept that stemmed from love and care of animals, and there are many different services that a pet resort can provide. Whether your pet attends a pet resort for socialization, grooming, an overnight stay, or extended boarding, there are several options at countless pet resorts across the country.
Common Misconceptions About Pet Resorts
When the idea of a pet resort comes to mind, you may imagine your sweet pup sipping Bahama Mamas on a beach somewhere. While many facilities may offer luxury board and activities, it’s not necessarily the human-version of a resort stay. A pet resort cares for all aspects of your pet’s health and well-being. Depending on the facility, your pet will be boarded in an appropriate area for their breed. This can range from a simple kennel stay to private rooms with toys and TVs!
Pets are offered socialization, grooming, and exercise appropriate to their breed. Every aspect of your pet’s health is nurtured at a pet resort.
Boarding requirements differ from facility to facility, but the basic requirements for any pet owner considering a pet resort can include:
- Up-to-date shot records
- Proof of flea/tick prevention
- Some resorts may require spay/neuter, or have exclusive play times for intact pets.
- Negative heartworm test/prevention treatment
- Age requirements (many facilities will not accept puppies or kittens less than 12 weeks old due to their weakened immune systems)
Since these requirements can change depending on your pet resort choice, or even the service you seek for your pet, it is important to ask the appropriate questions when researching your preferred pet resort.
Different Types of Pet Boarding
We have explored the idea of finding a personal pet sitter and a pet resort, but your options are not limited to these two! Many veterinary offices offer boarding for a daily rate, and the best part is that they are close to medical care if necessary. There are dog kennels, which will include fewer “perks” than a pet resort, kitty kennels, in which cats will be placed into their own individual care area, and even private boarders. Private boarders may require differing requirements, so make sure you do your homework before you book.
Exotic Pet Resorts
Not all pets are the same, and when it comes time to board your family iguana or your hedgehog, boarding them at a kennel is not going to be possible. However, there are options for families that need this type of service. A simple online search will provide pet owners with lists of exotic pet facilities that have resources to care for your pet. It will also provide information for private boarders, listing credentials, references, and lists of requirements.
Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. When it comes to pet resorts, a little bit of research goes a long way!
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Pets That Cannot Be Boarded
When exploring requirements for boarding at pet resorts or other boarding facilities, we mentioned that some facilities may not be able to care for certain pets. However, as far as all boarding facilities go, there are going to be pets that cannot be boarded. Pets that are violent or un-trained, newborn, unmedicated or unvaccinated cannot be boarded for the safety of other animals. Private boarding facilities may have different requirements, but if your pet has special needs or requirements for care, a personal inquiry and interview with a caregiver will need to take place before they can be considered.
Certifications For Pet Care
It’s a relief when qualifications are posted at a facility that will care for your loved one, and the same goes for pet resorts! The facility operator should be certified as Certified Professional Animal Care Operator (CPACO). This certification shows your clients, staff, colleagues, and community that your professional qualifications and body of knowledge have met the highest pet care standards established by industry experts and have been certified by an independent testing body.
Any employee that manages the day-to-day happenings of the office should be certified, as well. This certification is known as Certified Professional Animal Care Manager (CPACM). One who has received their CPACM has received their high school diploma and 2 years (or 2,000 hours) of animal care. Finally, those who will be working with your pet need to be a Certified Professional Animal Care Provider (CPACP). Again, this will show the community and clientele that the boarders that are caring for your pet have received quality training and met high expectations to work with animals.
What To Expect When You Leave Your Pet
Leaving your pet for any amount of time can create separation anxiety, but leaving them in a new place with loud noises and other animals can be very stressful for them, especially if it is something they are not used to. It can be hard on owners, too! When you leave your pet at the boarding facility or pet resort, make sure you ask about the pet’s schedule. Ask if the animals are left alone overnight (especially if your pet has anxiety over darkness, loud noises, or storms), and learn what will happen in case of emergencies or fire. These are things that we never expect to happen, but it’s always best to have a plan and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Some pet resorts or boarders have live cameras that owners can tune into in order to check on their pet! If this is something that would bring you peace of mind, make sure you add that to your list of questions to ask.
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What To Bring To The Pet Resort
Pet resorts won’t provide everything your pet needs, so it is important to add this to your list of questions. Most boarding facilities will ask you to bring the following:
- A reminder of home (their favorite toy).
- A leash.
- 2 types of food that your pet enjoys, and enough of it to last their entire stay (or more).
- Documentation of shots, records of treatments and negative tests, and any other required documentation by the facility.
- Medication or treatments and a detailed plan for the caregiver.
Behavioral Changes In Animals
When you leave your pet, they may become anxious and upset, withdrawn and depressed, or playful and happy. Behavioral changes in your pet, especially after a separation and introduction to other animals, is completely normal. However, if behavior becomes abnormal and a danger to their health and well-being, the caregiver needs to let you know as soon as possible. If a pet will not eat, will not socialize, or becomes aggressive with the boarders or other animals, this is considered extremely dangerous and harmful. If your pet has exhibited this behavior in the past, you will need to let the caregiver know as soon as possible so that you can come up with a plan if this occurs again.
Websites You Need To Know About
Other than word-of-mouth, the internet is the best place to find great information on boarders. These websites are a wonderful way to start:
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We all want the best for our pets. They are our best friends and love us even when we are feeling our most unlovable. While we hate the idea of leaving them, it’s comforting to know we have made a plan and researched the best options for them until they can be back in our arms and home. When you have to leave your buddy, use Daily Mom to create your plan of care, whether it is at a pet resort or another boarding option.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ADOPTING A PET.