Back To School...Doggie School

Back to work or school after the long summer? What are you going to do with your pooch?

He’s been pampered all summer long with walks outside, playtime at the park, and frolicking at the beach. Don’t make him sit home alone all day. Look into boarding, day care, training school, or boot camps for your pup. He’ll get to play and learn all day while you’re at work or school and come home happy, rested, and ready for more the next day. Finding a place you trust to leave your dog can be nerve racking. We’ll give you a list of great places to send your pooch as well as what to look for in a doggie care facility.

First off, research more than one place. Ask around and turn to friends who can give you great reviews on your local options. And since this place will be taking care of your baby, you want to ask anything and everything you can think of. Bring a pen and paper to write your notes down and get a tour of the facility, check to see if they have the proper licensing, and make sure they can provide for your dog as you do … like administering medicine and special feedings.

Secondly, get all the details. Where will he sleep, play, eat? How do they accommodate shy, old, or sick dogs? How often will he be walked and how many dogs is he walked with? What is the cost? This seems like a ton of questions but you want to make sure your dog is safe and well cared for.

You can also do a test run of the facility to see how well your dog does away from you. Most places will give you a progress report and you can call to check up on him. Some boarding facilities also host play groups during the week. This is a great chance to meet the staff, trainers, and see how well your pooch interacts with other dogs in that environment.

Once you pick a place, you want to specify an emergency plan for your pooch. If he gets hurt, you want to know that he is getting the best care. Make sure they have all your phone numbers – home, cell, and a backup number like a friend, family member, or spouse.

There are a few types of places you can look into:

Day Care: This is a great option for people who work long hours. You drop your dog off before work and pick him up when you’re done. Your dog will get walked a few times during the day and get to play and socialize with other pups. Most places don’t feed our dog for day care so take that into consideration. This is the cheapest option at about $15 to $50 a day, but you can put your dog in day care for five days a week or as little as one to keep costs low

Boarding: Dog boarding is when you leave your dog overnight. These facilities will often feed and walk your dog and have play time throughout the day. The place can range from boarding dogs in cages to luxury dog hotels where your pup has his own room. Depending on the scene, boarding can range from $20 a night to $100. Make sure you’re aware of the cost up front.

Training Schools and Boot Camp: These places will not only care for your pup with walks, play time, and feedings but they will teach him basic commands and obedience for you. What’s better than coming home to a perfectly trained pooch? These classes are smaller and will be the most expensive option.

Don’t know where to start? Check out these national sites that’ll help you find the ideal situation for you and your pooch. But remember, ask around and check out the place first. Yelp, Find Pet Care, Petsit USA, and Best Friends Pet Care.