Are you going on vacation and need to leave your pet with a sitter or boarding facility? As a beloved member of your family, your pet doesn’t deserve just any boarding facility. But how do you compare different kennels, sitters, and boarders? Find out today as we tell you the most important questions to ask when choosing a pet sitter for your dog or cat.

Do You Follow the State/Territory Codes of Practice for Boarding Establishments?

All Australian states and territories have Codes of Practice that govern all businesses in the pet industry. These Codes of Practice are not always mandatory for businesses to follow, but they give you a good idea of which business cares enough about its pets to follow a set of codes.
To view the codes for New South Wales, click here. Those codes cover conditions for animals in pet shops, breeding dogs and cats, commercial pig production, pet boarding, and all other pet-related businesses. Familiarize yourself with them before visiting a boarding facility. Or, just ask if the boarding facility follows these codes.
The other state codes, by the way, can be found here:

South Australia
Northern Territory
(Western Australia has no relevant codes at this time)

Do You Have Insurance?

Many state codes require pet-related businesses to have at least $10 million in insurance. All reputable pet boarding facilities and sitters will have insurance.

What Kind of Training or Experience Do You Have?

The more experience a pet boarder or sitter has, the more likely your pet will be well looked after.

Do You Have Any References I Can Call?

Call past customers of the boarding facility to hear their experience. Ask what they loved about the facility and what they disliked. While you’re at it, look up online reviews for the boarding facility.

Can I Visit the Facility and Take a Look Around?

Most pet boarding companies are happy to let you come visit the facility to take a look at where your cat or dog will be living.
While you’re there, pay close attention to everything around you. Check what types of amenities they offer your pet – like group play time, twice-daily walks, bedding, etc. Look at the environment and assess whether it’s clean, safe, and sanitary. Does the facility smell good? Are the staff friendly towards you?

Do You Require Vaccinations?

New pet owners may be surprised to learn that a boarding facility requires certain vaccinations. If you can’t prove your dog has these vaccinations, then your dog may not be allowed to stay at the facility.

Can I Supply My Own Food? What Kind of Food Do You Use?

Most boarding facilities allow owners to bring their own food. Some even require owners to bring their own food for their dogs. Ask what the boarding facility’s policy is towards food. There may be certain restrictions on what you can bring.

What’s your Emergency Procedure?

Before giving your pet to a boarding facility, you’ll want to know their emergency procedure. What does the facility do when something goes wrong? Typically, an emergency plan involves getting your pet the immediate medical care it needs while alerting the owners as soon as possible.
By asking the above questions, you can ensure your cat or dog gets the best possible treatment during their next visit to a boarding facility.