BBB helps pet owners find trustworthy pet care this summer - Laredo's Bargain Book: Consumer Alerts

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BBB helps pet owners find trustworthy pet care this summer

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Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 12:14 pm

For pet owners looking for a safe place to house their furry friend, locally kenneling or boarding your animal is a great option. Still, the thought of leaving your family pet with strangers can be worrisome. Before you head out on your summer vacation, Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin has advice for finding trustworthy pet care.

If you’re heading out for a long trip this summer, family, friends or neighbors may not have the experience or time to properly look after your pet, according to the U.S. Humane Society. It is recommended that you leave pet care to the professionals, such as a pet sitter or boarding kennel. However, it’s important to know what to look for when searching for trustworthy care.

In 2015, BBB received more than 350 complaints against pet day care, boarding, kenneling and sitting services nationwide. Complaints allege problems with billing, as well as concerns about the treatment of their pet. Some owners allege their pets were neglected and without access to food and water for several hours after staying with these facilities. A few even allege their pet became ill after their brief stay at certain kennels.

For those looking to board their pets this summer, BBB offers the following tips:

  • Ask for recommendations. Turn to friends and family members who own animals for recommendations on where they take their furry friend. Do your research, select a few kennels and confirm that there will be availability for your pet when you need it. Additionally, check out any recommendations at bbb.org to see their BBB rating and history of complaints.

  • Schedule a visit. Ask to tour the facilities and make sure the conditions are livable and in good condition. Check for cleanliness outside and inside and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages. If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel takes to make the facility secure.

  • Ask about interactions between animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times. Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization. Also, ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control.

  • Take notice of the staff. Ask about the background and experience of company staff and take a few moments to see how they interact with the other pets that are being boarded. Find out who will be feeding your pet and what they will be fed. Also, find out if staff members play with or take pets on daily walks, especially if you have a dog.

  • Thoroughly read the boarding agreement. Verify it includes the feeding and exercise schedule, as well as pick up and drop off hours. Some facilities offer bathing, nail trimming and immunization as additional services. Make sure these and any other additional fees, like medical emergencies or other care, are included in the agreement.

  • Be prepared. Before you board your pet, make sure that you have your pet’s medications and special food (if any), your veterinarian’s phone number and emergency contact numbers. If your pet has a specific meal plan or medications, make sure to write down the amount and schedule that is unique to your pet.
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