Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

 August 24, 2014

Choosing a pet daycare or boarding facility or dog walker may seem like an easy task in today’s online, Google-is-just-a-click-away world. But leaving your pet at a business or with a pet walker is also scary for many pet guardians, especially if the pet caretakers are complete unknowns.

“If someone is going to be looking after your pet, I suggest people treat it the same as they would when they’re looking for a babysitter for their child,” says Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “Do your due diligence – check out their qualifications or what courses they’ve taken, what certification they have, and if they have had pet first aid training.”

It’s also a good idea to search the business name online at the Better Business Bureau or similar sites, to see if there have been complaints and if so, how many there are and the nature of the complaints, Moriarty notes.

Asking questions about how the facility or person deals with behaviour management with the animals in their care is key, as well as how they introduce animals to each other, the number of animals in their care at any given time, and the animals’ sleeping arrangements, in the case of a daycare or boarding facility, Moriarty says.

Pet guardians should also be able to visit any pet-care related facility at any time, and know the routes taken by potential pet walkers.

“While there is no national college for pet care facilities, there are recognizable qualifications you can look into,” Moriarty says. “You can also ask for references from past clients.”

Questions to ask a potential pet caretaker include:

  • Can you visit all areas of the pet daycare or boarding facility?

  • What are the facility’s methods of training/behaviour management (i.e. rewarding good behaviour with praise or treats)?

  • What is the maximum number of animals the daycare or walker or boarding facility will take? What is the ratio of pets to caretakers?

  • Is there any certification? What kind of training does staff have?

  • What happens if my pet gets injured? Or if my pet injures another pet or human?

  • How much time off leash will my pet get? How much exercise?

  • With group play, how are pets introduced?

  • Is the facility or pet walker willing to provide references?

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

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