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How to choose a dog boarding facility that’s right for your furry friend

Ben Adams - Co-Owner - Waglands Dogs' Holiday Retreat

It can be really hard to get an insight behind the scenes of a boarding facility and very hard to choose a dog boarding facility. Online comment is a remarkable evolution, but reviews are from other people outside of the inner workings and priorities.

There is no substitute for a visit at a pre-arranged time that works for you and the dog boarding facility. But of all the thousands of thoughts and concerns you may have, what could you ask to find out what priorities a venue is driven by? How does your favourite furry friend fit in?

Over the years, we have conducted small group tours, and I have loved the insightful questions that some people have shared with their little group. Here are a few of them, and a few from me…!

About the DOGS – what are their needs, and how are they met

What is the daily routine, and how is this designed to meet the dog’s needs?

Dogs love routine. Is the routine predictable, and about them and their real needs, or creating simplicity in how to look after them?

How do you get the best out of their recreation time in terms of calmness, company, environmental enrichment?

    • Dogs are very capable of over-stimulating each other. How has this been managed in the dog boarding facility?
    • How are dogs combined to bring out their best and safest virtues?

How do you get the best out of their rest and recovery times?

Dogs love to sleep. Real rest is essential for their health, happiness and safety

What do you do if a dog doesn’t respond to the environment they are in?

Not all dogs will fit a single approach. What lengths would be taken in particular circumstances of need?

About the PEOPLE – the single most critical of so many important aspects

How do you get the best people to work alongside you, and keep them?

    • Recruiting, training, coaching, engaging, nurturing rewarding and disciplining. These are all specialist activities. Great teams do great work – how is this managed?
    • Higher turnover drains training time and resources from other aspects, and impacts the quality and consistency of service the team can maintain. A new team of students each season is totally different to a tight team of people who know and trust each other.

Do you have a permanent or casual contracts for your team?

    • Permanent people have huge advantages of individual dog recognition, skill, dedication and consistency, but have to be supported all year.
    • Casual contracts can be unpredictable and much less stable

About the Dog Boarding FACILITIES

How could your facilities be improved?

    • Every facility is a work in progress – from repairs and maintenance from the rigours of being around dogs, to large improvements to grounds, facilities and buildings. It never ends.
    • Most facilities have been designed and built prior to standards of operation becoming mandatory, and need upgrading

What are your top priorities and why?

How open is the facility to their Achilles heels? Are they working around it, or tackling it with a plan to bring their environments to and maybe beyond the minimum standards?

I have met and collaborated with so many incredibly hard working people within the Dog Boarding Industry, all of them passionate and unrelenting in their drive to improve their facilities for the benefit of their guests and team. These are the people you are looking for, and I hope these questions help you find just the right place, that has philosophies and motivations that sit nicely for you and your furry family.

Kind Regards Ben from Waglands Dogs’ Holiday Retreat https://www.waglands.co.nz

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At Waglands we have a ‘dogcentric’ approach to our care. Which means we put every dog’s needs front and centre. Over the years we’ve learned what dogs really need and love, and also what their owners want too. Because you are both super important to us.
It boils down to three simple but important elements – you want your dog to stay happy, stay healthy and stay safe. So these three elements drive our dogcentric ‘Stay’ philosophy

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