Have you ever wondered if your pet care provider has a wish list? Ok, probably not. That’s ok, we promise not to get our feelings hurt. 🙂 Ideally, we are here to serve you. If we’re doing things right, you shouldn’t worry about anything but having a great time yourselves or getting through your family emergency or business trip while your pets are having an out of this world time with us.
But, since we’re on the subject… 🙂 We actually, we have two lists.
MUST HAVE LIST
We must have you inform us if:
Your dog has been coughing or sneezing. (This can be symptomatic of Bordetella bronchiseptica m.) Depending on how long this has been happening, we may need to offer home care to your dog for a few days even if coughing has stopped so that it doesn’t spread to other guests in our care. Please note that if your dog commonly exhibits a stress cough (as opposed to a cough being treated with medication for another condition) we will also instigate home care, since it’s the best way to reduce the stress for your dog. It is commonly assumed that the Bordetella vaccine, nasal mist or oral medication makes dogs completely safe from contracting this condition. However, much like the human flu vaccines, it actually does every little. Your dog’s own immune system is usually quite adequate to fight the virus without it. But any dog with these symptoms should be closely monitored and taken to the vet if they worsen. Especially senior dogs and puppies may require an anti-biotic to recover.
Your dog has had mites, mange, worms, ticks or fleas. Dogs can contract many of these types of parasites, and many can be easily spread to other guests or our staff. If your dog has had any of these conditions in the last 30 days, we will require a note from your vet that they are safe to return to us for daycare or boarding.
Note: Dogs can pick up viruses and bacteria right in their own back yard without ever having attended a dog park or facility.
Your dog has other unusual symptoms. These might indicate something else contagious happening: vomiting, diarrhea or blood in the stool, scratching, hot spots, trouble breathing.
Your dog takes any medications and why they need them, as well as proper dosage instructions, times of day they need to be dispensed, and drug interactions/side effects to watch for.
Your dog has allergies, and to what.
There are any changes in feeding instructions—you’d be surprised how often it happens that people change what or how they’re feeding and don’t tell us. Please ask us to read to you what we have on file, so we can double check if it is correct.
There are any changes in contact info, vet info or to the list of people allowed to pick up your dog.
NICE TO HAVE LIST–WE WISH CLIENTS WOULD
We wish clients would tell us more about their dog’s home life—everything from what kinds of toys they like to play with to how much time they spend outside, in their crate, playing with dog friends, etc.
We wish clients would tell us if their dog has had a recent altercation with another dog, has been attacked by a dog, or has had any negative incident at another facility.
We wish clients would tell us if their dog has a high prey drive (they like to chase small animals).
We wish clients would tell us if their dog routinely jumps fences or digs to escape—we have a special no jump area and can easily supervise diggers, when known.
We wish clients would tell us if their dog gets along better with dogs than people—will their dog follow us when asked to go outside? Do they need some special treat?
We wish clients would tell us not only what commands their dog knows (sit, stay, down, off etc.) but what hand gestures they use with commands (these can be very different, client to client).
We wish clients would ask us things such as:
Why are facility staff certifications important?
How can I find the best pet food?
Can you send me pictures during my dog’s stay?
Where can I find the best trainer?
How can I choose the best home care for my pet?
Where can I find the best groomer?
Do you offer transport?
What are some holistic health options for my pet?
Should I get a puppy?
What’s the safest way to re-home my pet?
How do I choose the right breed of dog or cat for me?
What does it mean when my dog:
o Barks too much
o Snaps at other dogs on leash
o Sits on my foot or stands in front of me and puts his paw across my leg
o Wags his tail
If you ever wanted to ask something but thought we were too busy, it wasn’t important or it seemed silly, please know–we wish you would! Long before we were pet care providers we were pet parents, just like you. We love answering questions, pointing clients in the right direction on these subjects—and we love getting pics of your dogs when they’re at home, too.
In short, we value our relationship with both you and your pets. It’s a partnership! Thanks for giving us your trust, time after time.
Joy Jones, Publisher, is also the Vice President of Your Pet Space, a cage free dog boarding facility serving the greater Las Cruces, NM area. Her urban fiction book Indigo was recently published. When not working at Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as humor. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Your Pet Space on Facebook.