Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to Find A Great Pet Boarding Facility

If you’re planning on leaving town and have less than three pets that you can’t really take along with you – a dog resort may be right up your alley. Today we’re going to be looking at Tailwinds Pet Resort in Phoenix, Arizona to give you an idea of what we look for in a pet resort. 
Comfort & Cleanliness
First and foremost, we like clean, comfortable locations that have lots of places to run. Spacious kennels for freedom of movement, and a clean facility to ensure my pet doesn’t come home with any type of parasite (our personal worst nightmare). When you do a walk-thru of the pet resort, take a close look at your surroundings.
  • Does the facility smell badly? Remember, it’s filled with animals, so keep the smell thing relative.
  • Do the animals appear clean, happy and alert? You can tell what an unhappy dog looks like.
  • Do you notice any bugs? If you see bugs, ticks or fleas on the floor or worse, on the animals, make a run for the door and don’t look back.
  • What types of cleaners are used? Try to stay with facilities that use all-natural cleaners, but understand that with a lot of animals in their care, it may not always be possible to do that.
Tailwinds Pet Resort is a relatively new boarding facility run by two women who love pets as much as we do, and they are meticulous. Between the two partners, they have nearly fifty years of experience in the industry and that comes out to a lot of quality care. Some of the questions you want to ask are:
  • What kind of experience does your resort have? It should be extensive. 
  • Are they hiring minimum wage workers to care for your pet or are they paying their workers well? A well-paid employee is a happy employee. 
  • How involved are the owners? They should be an active part of the business.
The safety of your pet is of utmost importance. Ensure that no escape from the resort is possible and ask what types of precautions they have built in to the facility. Identify any possible risks that you can see and ask your tour guide about them. Find out if a veterinarian is on-call for the resort and who that vet is. Discuss what the procedure is in the event of a fire or other danger. Ensure that they require documentation that your pet is current on vaccinations, because if they’re asking you, they are asking all of their clients. Most importantly, try to work only with resorts that keep staff on the premises 24-hours a day.
The optimal situation for a pet resort is the ability to bring your own food in with your pet. TailWinds house food is organic CANIDAE, All Natural, Human Grade, Holistic Pet to all of their guests and this is a high-quality food that is recommended across the board. If you’re not bringing your own food in, ensure that your resort feeds something as high-quality as CANIDAE. 
This is a brief look at what you need to look for in a pet boarding facility. Of course, cost of stay, activities for pets, interaction between pets and people, and playtime with other pets should also be addressed, but seeing as how we’re out of space on this blog, we’ll be covering that in an upcoming article.

Photo Credit: Copyright TailWinds, 2008

Stacy Mantle

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