Pet boarding in Dubai is quite common, which is why it’s easy for pet owners to leave their furry friends while on vacation. There are a lot of boarding centers to choose from, but owners should be cautious about choosing one because not all provide the same type or quality of service.
If you’re going on a holiday and planning on leaving your pets at a boarding center, here are a few things you need to know, consider and follow:
THINGS TO KNOW
Not all facilities accept all kinds of pets. If you search for pet facilities near you, you’ll see that some only accept dogs while others only accept cats. The bigger ones will most probably accept all kinds of pets. You should look closely into this before booking your pet. This is because some facilities only have cages or kennels where dogs can sleep or some only have staff who are cat experts.
Cats require less attention compared to dogs. Cats feel comfortable when they’re resting at their homes. They just need food and water replenished at all times. And their litter box needs to get changed every time. If you’re leaving for just a few days, you could probably entrust them to a friend or a neighbor. A dog, on the other hand, requires more attention. They’ll need more TLC, which is why it’s best to get professional help.
Regular vs high-end facility. When looking for pet boarding facilities in Dubai, you’ll see that there are regular ones and there are high-end ones. The regular ones will have kennels available as well as play areas where pets can safely play during the day. High-end ones have couches, big beds, TVs, and webcams (if you want to see your pet while you’re away). They’re like hotels that will exceed your expectations.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Knowledge of staff. Every animal is different. They have different characteristics, they react differently to people, they have special needs, etc. You want to leave your pet to someone knowledgeable about taking care of an animal with a special need, or an animal that is timid or aggressive. A knowledgeable staff would be able to attend to your furry baby’s needs as soon as they need them.
Cleanliness and comfortability. You need to check the area and its condition before booking. Is it clean? Do you think it’s comfortable for your pet? Is it well-maintained? If the place is clean and comfortable, you’ll have peace of mind that your animal is feeling at home while you’re away.
Play area. Some facilities only have indoor play areas for safety reasons, while others have both indoor and outdoor areas. If you think your dog won’t have a problem staying indoors while you’re away, then it’s no big deal if the facility you’ve chosen doesn’t have an outdoor playground. But if your dog is the type that gets stressed out when kept at indoor spaces for so long, then you should look into facilities that offer both.
Policies. Once you board your pets into facilities, they’ll experience a lot of changes and these might stress them out more. You can help by providing familiar things to them if the facility will allow it. So, find out if you’re allowed to bring your furry baby’s food and belongings.
Safety. One thing to check to know if your pet will be safe is the fencing. Are they using cyclone or welded wire fencing? Cyclone fences are unwinded and chewed by dogs so they’re not advisable. Gates – how many are there and are they manned at all times? The number of playmates – it would be good to know how many dogs are allowed to play together. Dog fights are hard to stop, especially if there’s too much of them. Air sanitation system – they should have a reliable cooling and heating system to avoid air-borne diseases.
Extra services offered. Apart from boarding, check out the other services offered by the facility. Some of the common ones you’ll encounter are cuddling time, grooming services, bath before heading home, extra walks, special treats, and additional playtime.
Get recommendations. One of the best ways to find a reputable facility is by word of mouth. Ask for recommendations from your family, friends, neighbors, groomers, or vet. Create a list and do your research.
Research. See what other owners have to say about the facility. What has been their experiences, what they love about it, what they hate about it, how friendly are the staff, etc? You can narrow down your list to three after doing your research.
Schedule an on-site visit. During your visit, ask for a tour so you’ll see how clean the place is or how ventilated it is. Talk to the staff and find out how they’re going to take care of your pet, or how they handle medical emergencies or ask anything you want that would give you peace of mind.
Prepare. There are a few things you need to prepare before sending your pet to the facility. Firstly, vaccination papers. Most kennels require these for safety purposes. Secondly, medications. Pack any medication your dog needs along with instructions and complete labels. Thirdly, special items such as treats, bedding, blankets, toys, and calming chews or collars. And lastly, prepare your pet. Make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Visit the facility before the actual stay to help them get familiar with the place.
Happy but quick goodbyes. When it’s time to leave, keep your goodbyes quick but make sure you’re leaving your pet happy. If you’re anxious or nervous, they’ll feel it too, and it can make your departure harder than you thought. So, stay calm, be excited, and hand them over quickly.
Check-in. If you feel the need to check-in with the staff once you’re away, then do so. Just a quick chat to make sure your pet is doing great and everything is running smoothly.
Come home refreshed. To make your pet’s stay worthwhile, you should have achieved your goal before coming home. You should have relaxed and enjoyed your vacation before coming home so that once you reunite, you’re all full of energy and ready to take back the reins once again.
Finding a reliable pet boarding facility could be challenging, but once you’ve found the right one for your furry friend, you both will enjoy your vacation even when you are home away from home.