Dog boarding in Costa Mesa, CA keeps your best friend safe
Conscientious dog owners do their best to be sure their pets receive good care and plenty of love daily. Yet we can’t always be with our pets. Dog boarding is sometimes the only (or the best) option when you cannot be together at home. Dr. Rand Spongberg of All Creatures Care Cottage Veterinary Hospital in Costa Mesa, CA shares this helpful information on finding a qualified boarding facility.
Advice from friends
There is no substitute for first-hand information. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, groomer, or acquaintances from the dog park where they have boarded and how they felt about the experience. Gather a few business names, and check reviews on consumer sites like Yelp, Google+, and Facebook.
Today there is a broad range of options in dog boarding cost and amenities. If you will only be away for a few nights, a simple cage with run might be fine. If you are taking an extended leave and have a big budget, there are luxury pet suites with the highest level of pampering. However, most people and pets are comfortable with something in between – clean accommodations, gentle care, attention to special needs, and exercise.
What to watch out for
Before entrusting your dog to anyone, you should pay a visit to the boarding facility, inspect the premises, talk with employees, and hopefully have the chance to observe some clients and their owners. Be on the lookout for these red flags:
- Staff that seem to avoid close interaction with the animals, or don’t appear to be enjoying the work.
- Stressed out dogs who pace and bark continually. While some anxiousness is normal for newcomers, with qualified care, most settle quickly and are found relaxed or sleeping.
- Zonked out dogs. While anti-stress medications can help a pet adapt to boarding, only mild sedative should be needed, and they should prescribed and administered by a qualified veterinary team.
- No supervised outdoor play areas or designated walkers.
- No beds or toys inside enclosures.
- Bad odor on premises.
- Dirty pens.
- Soiled dogs.
- Pens that are too small for their occupants. Dogs should have room to stand and move around freely, and have multiple areas to lay down.
- No proof of vaccinations required.
- No escape precautions.
- No association with a veterinary hospital for emergencies.
- General disrepair of pet environments or premises.
- Any kennel that is unwilling to give you a tour.
New Patients: (949) 430-7576, Existing Patients: (949) 642-7151
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Special needs pets
When you have a dog with special dietary or medical needs, or behavior issues, boarding is a big concern. Take as much time as necessary talking with the staff to feel confident that medications will be given on schedule, your dog will not be placed with others if aggressive or very shy, an elevated bed or food and water bowls will be provided – whatever keeps your dog well and comfortable while you are away. If you sense any hesitation, or if the facility does not have the level of veterinary qualification your pet requires, keep looking.
What about extras?
Preparing for a trip and traveling can be exhausting. Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a few less obligations? Look for a boarding facility that offers extra services (while your pet is there anyway), such as:
- Medicated baths for itchy, smelly skin conditions, allergies, or dandruff.
- Parasite control – topical or oral treatment for fleas, ticks, and worms.
- Dental care. With professional teeth cleaning, you will enjoy your pet’s sloppy welcome home kisses!
Helping Fido feel at home
Once you have located a boarding kennel you feel comfortable with, it is time to prepare for the stay. Most dogs find solace in their own blanket, bed, and a few toys. Familiar foods are important too, so pack regular rations and favorite treats. Make sure vaccinations are up to date. Prepare a health history, unless you will be boarding with your veterinarian who already knows those details. Provide extra medications, in case they are dropped, spilled, or a dose isn’t taken. All medications should be clearly labeled with your pet’s name, your name, and instructions. Be sure to provide your vet’s contact information. Reputable boarding kennels typically have a routine. However, feel free to share information that they can use to make your dog more comfortable. Double check drop-off and pick-up times.
All Creatures Care Cottage Veterinary Hospital makes dog boarding in Costa Mesa, CA low stress for you and your pet. Call (949) 430-7576.