Choosing the Right Dog Boarding or Daycare facility for your pet: Part II of III

Choosing the Right Dog Boarding or Daycare facility for your pet:  Part II of III

8 things to look for when you tour a potential boarding facility or doggy daycare.

Malamutes in the Snow at Adventure Dog Ranch

Grace and Wrigley (Malamutes) Enjoy a Romp in the Snow at Adventure Dog Ranch

  • Odors:  Does it smell clean and fresh? Or does it smell like, well like a kennel? (Since a dog’s smell-er is roughly 10000 times more powerful than yours, we want the facility not to stink of urine and feces, but it shouldn’t stink like a hospital either.. although if the floors are mopped frequently, there may be detectable odors of disinfectant in the air.)
  • Is it clean?  Do you see piles of feces lying around the rooms or play area? (Area’s should be clean of piles & puddles and any new piles should be so fresh they have steam coming off of them!)
  • Do the employees act like they enjoy the company dogs? (Too much love isn’t always a good thing as pandering to a nervous dog can actually encourage nervous behavior. Look for solid leadership which means encouraging wanted behaviors and discouraging unwanted behaviors such as jumping up on people.)
  • How does your dog react to the employees after getting to know them? Do they act afraid of the employees? Or can your dog hardly contain his excitement?
  • How do they introduce your dog? Are they focused on your dogs comfort and taking their time to avoid conflicts or do they just toss them into the pack expecting them to “roll with it?”
  • Are the staff members observant and watchful of subtle body language cues? Do they intervene when a dog begins dominating or humping another?
  • Are there gates that can be closed to divide the play yard into multiple areas to accommodate different groups of dogs? (Sometimes it is necessary to divide the pack for safety reasons and/or control tempo and access. Size isn’t the only factor to consider when dividing the pack, it’s not an accurate barometer of behavior.
  • Are there toys laying everywhere or do the staff members control “ownership” of the toys? (This is very important if one or more dogs show resource guarding behavior.)

Next Time: Some questions to ask of your potential daycare or boarding facility.

Kerri –The Alpha Dogs’ Wife

Steve & Kerri Pinkston own and operate Adventure Dog Ranch.  A Free-Range, Boarding, Daycare and Training facility located in Marysville, WA.  For more information about their facility please visit


About adventuredogs

I'm the "Alpha Dog's" wife... Life Partner and Co-owner of Adventure Dog Ranch, The Vacation Destination for Dogs! A place where canines socialize, exercise and have fun. You don't have to feel guilty when you take a vacation, your dog can have his very own vacation with us!
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