Choosing to board your dog while you are on vacation can be stressful for dog owners, so it's important to find the best boarding facility possible for your pet. Older dogs require special care and deserve a boarding home that caters to their needs. Here's what to look for in a dog boarding facility to find the best match for your older dog.
Comfortable Bedding for Older Bones
Dogs lose muscle as they age, which makes it easier for them to acquire pressure sores from bedding that's too firm. Make sure that the dog boarding home that you select for your senior dog has soft beds available that won't cause pressure sores. If you have a special orthopedic bed for your dog, ask if your dog can use it at the boarding home instead of their own bedding – this is the best option, as having a familiar bed will help your dog feel more relaxed in the boarding home.
Frequent Walks for Older Dogs Prone to Bathroom Accidents
It's common for older dogs to develop incontinence – they may have to go outside to use the bathroom more often or become prone to having accidents inside your home. Ask the staff at the dog boarding home how often your senior dog will be taken for walks in order to allow him or her to use the bathroom. A good boarding home will make special allowances for older dogs and take them out more often than other dogs they are boarding.
You should also provide washable sheets and bedding just in case your senior dog has an accident while in the boarding center. Even when the staff takes your dog out as often as he or she needs, the unfamiliar environment can lead to increased accidents inside. The dog boarding center will use washing machines and dryers to clean up after any accidents, so make sure that your bedding will fit into a standard-sized washing machine.
A Level of Activity Suitable for Sedate Older Dogs
Dog boarding centers are great places for dogs to socialize and play with other dogs, but senior dogs often have little interest or energy to play with younger dogs. To prevent your dog from being stressed out during playtime, make sure the boarding center separates dogs by age or activity level – you want your senior dog to be active while he or she is boarded, but it's not a good idea to subject older dogs to roughhousing from dogs that are two or three years old.
While searching for the perfect dog boarding home for your older dog, keep these factors in mind to find the best fit. Take a tour of the facility shortly beforehand to see how it operates on a day-to-day basis. It's also a good idea to schedule a trial boarding run for your older dog before your vacation – just let your dog stay in the boarding home for a day or two shortly before your trip in order to help him or her prepare for the change and to ensure that the staff is experienced in caring for older dogs.
To learn more, contact a facility like Animal Care Center of Forest Park.