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How to pick your furry friend’s summer vacation destination

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A dog with sunglasses is relaxing in an inflatable raft with a yellow duck.

You probably wouldn’t throw a dart at a map to choose your vacation spot. Why would you leave your best friend’s destination to chance?

If your pet doesn’t already have a favorite go-to home away from home, here are a few things to think about:

  1. Ask friends and co-workers if they can recommend accommodations in your area. Your vet is a great place to start, too.
  2. If you do online homework, follow up with a phone call to get a better sense of the place and its people.
  3. Ask questions: How large are the kennels? How much exercise will your dog get? How often are kennels cleaned? Can a friend come visit while you’re away?
  4. Take a “test drive,” leaving your pet for a couple of days before planning a longer vacation.
  5. When you visit, use all of your senses – hint: sniff, sniff – to judge whether the facility is clean, safe, roomy and well-ventilated.
  6. If your dog is an escape artist, look for areas where he could dig or chew to get out, and ask the manager if they pay special attention to this.
  7. Is there an outside play yard? Will your dog share it with others or have it to herself? Are steps taken to prevent doggie disagreements (or even fights)?
  8. Ask about the veterinary records and vaccinations required. If no written records from your vet are needed, keep looking. According to the American Kennel Club, “all responsible kennel owners and operators will ask about your dog’s vaccinations and will require proof of certain shots.”
  9. If your dog has special medical needs, discuss them ahead of time, and find out if there is an extra charge to give meds.
  10. Ask for references, and check them out.

When it’s time to check in, bring along your dog’s bed, favorite toy and a piece of clothing you’ve worn or blanket you’ve used. Staying in touch with your scent may help comfort and calm your dog. And when it’s time to be on your way , don’t linger too long. The AKC suggests you stay positive and upbeat, keeping “good-byes” short and sweet.

For more information about Tradewinds Pet Suites and dog boarding in Oahu, visit our Dog Boarding Suites page.

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