For most families, there will come a time when you will need somebody to take care of your dogs. Whether you are going on holiday or a business trip, you will need to make sure that your furkids get the very best care until you are back home with them. Your furkid deserves only the best so before you make a decision about who will be looking after your precious family member, here are 8 things to consider:
- Take the time to visit the facility. Looking at a Facebook page or website is not enough. Make the time to drive out and see the facilities for yourself. If the facility is hesitant about booking your viewing, some red flags should pop up. Make sure to check all areas of the facility, including their kitchen and food preparation area. Check to see if all the areas are clean and that the water bowls are clean and contain fresh water. At Best Friend Pet Lodge, we welcome visits and take great pride in showing families the gardens and cabanas. We are open for viewings every day.
- Is the facility secure? Will your pets be safe? This is a very important item in the decision-making process. You need to be 100% sure that your dog will be safe inside the facility and that there is no way for him/her to get out. Have a look at the perimeter fencing. Are all the gates closed on arrival? Are the gates all secure and lockable? You need to be sure that when you leave your dog at the facility, he will be safe. When you arrive at Best Friends Pet Lodge you will notice our attention to detail in terms of security straight away. Once inside the office area, you go through 2 gates to get to the gardens and cabanas. All our fences and walls are at least 2.4m high. Each garden gate is lockable so you know your furkid is secure in their garden at all times.
- Will your dog have an adequately sized garden? It is important to make sure that your pet has enough space to move around comfortably and that he/she is not cooped up in a small area, even for a short period of time. The required garden size will depend on the age, size, breed and energy levels of your dog. The gardens at Best Friends Pet Lodge vary from 100m2 to 150m2 which is an ideal size for dogs of all shapes and sizes. An added benefit to the gardens at Best Friends Pet Lodge is that they are grassed gardens and each garden has a shaded area as well as a wooden house for the dog to enjoy. Each garden is equipped with comfy hound sleepers and soft, fleece blankets to make sure your dog is warm and comfortable at all times.
- Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring? This is another reason it is so important to visit the facility and meet the people who will be taking care of your dogs. Do they seem caring? Do they have attention to detail? Is the person who will be caring for your dog qualified and capable? We encourage families to ask questions, after all, your dogs deserve only the best so ask the manager if any of the staff are qualified handlers. You will also get a good gut-feeling after you have met the people who will be working with your dog, always trust your gut. Best Friends Pet Lodge is run by qualified Dogtown staff. Not only will your dog be in qualified, experienced hands at all times but there will always be an Internationally Accredited Behaviorist from Dogtown on site to assist should the need arise.
- How often will your dog be exercised? This is crucial especially if you are going away for a long period of time. Even though the garden might be sufficient in size, your dog needs the exercise and stimulation. High energy level dogs will need to be taken on regular, long walks to help them burn off some steam. It is very important to discuss the exercise regime with the facility that you are considering. Best Friends Pet Lodge is situated on a farm in the beautiful Hennops River and our walking trails are breathtakingly beautiful, especially the early morning walks. We have various walking trails available and the distance of each walk will depend on your dog’s capabilities and needs. Each dog’s needs gets discussed with the family and based on that, the daily exercise is scheduled.
- Are other services available such as grooming, training, bathing? Do they cater for special requests such as medication and special diets? Are they prepared to put on doggy jackets for your dog when it gets cold? Special requests are a regular occurrence at Best Friends Pet Lodge and because your dog’s wellbeing is important to us, we will do anything within our power to make sure your dog gets everything they need. As a rule, we feed 2 meals a day of Montego Classic to all dogs. However, if your dog has a special diet, you are welcome to bring their special food along and medication. We also offer basic grooming for dogs and all dogs are given a bath (if weather allows) before they go back home after their holiday at the lodge. All the furkids are tucked in at night and their jackets put on if needed, followed by a night-time biscuit and final check.
- Are pets required to be current on their vaccinations? Any reputable boarding facility will require vaccinations to be up to date and the manager will ask to see proof of the vaccination certificate. This is important to make sure that all dogs who visit the facility are healthy and protected against any diseases. At Best Friends Pet Lodge, it is a strict requirement that vaccinations are up to date. We also insist on a top spot to be applied to make sure that all dogs stay tick and flea free. Another requirement for Best Friends Pet lodge is that all dogs be sterilised unless a special arrangement has been made in advance. The health and safety of our dogs always come first so our vaccination policy is very strict.
- What sets this facility aside from others? What makes it stand out? Two things stand out which sets Best Friends Pet Lodge aside from other kenneling facilities. Firstly, our daily updates to the families is a big part of our day. We provide photo updates on a daily basis so you can rest assured knowing your furkid is happy and enjoying their time with us. The personal interaction the dogs receive from the staff on a daily basis is second to none. We are passionate about building personal relationships with the families and this just ads that extra personal touch. Another big plus is that Best Friends Pet Lodge donates a portion of its income to DogtownSA, so not only will you be booking your dog in at the best lodge in town, but you will be helping Dogtown look after the abused and abandoned furkids in their care. We also offer discounted rates to all dogs who have been adopted from a rescue organisation. We are passionate about adoption and we will always encourage people to adopt instead of buying pets from breeders or pet stores. We are proud to be associated with Dogtown and grateful that we are able to suppport them on a monthly basis.