VOLUME 6 EDITION 1 • JAN / FEB 2016
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE MAGAZINE
PROFILE OF SUCCESS: FUR AND FEATHERS PET RESORT
PRICING FOR SPECIAL CARE AND SERVICES LODGING THE SENIOR PET SEASONAL RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
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FROM THE EDITOR #128 Most of you have probably seen Facebook posts about “Death Row” dogs; usually in the bigger cities, the headline of the post will read something like “Needs out TONIGHT”, or “Scheduled to be PTS (Put to sleep) TODAY”. But have you ever Rebecca Shipman seen a post about a horse that reads “Ships Managing Editor to slaughter tomorrow”? Yes, people eat horses. Not in this country, but in many others. There’s a secret group of people who are referred to as “Kill Buyers”. These individuals go to auctions where horses are sold and buy the ones they know they can make a profit off of by selling them for food. I’m not going to go into the politics of it, but it is perfectly legal, as long as the horses are not actually killed on US soil. However, there is another secret group of people who like to refer to themselves as “Horse Warriors”. Some kill buyers will allow these saintly individuals to try and rehome these horses before they are in danger of being shipped - as long as they are making a profit. Most buyers don’t want to see these horses get shipped to their death, but business is business to them. These horses don’t have names, and for most of them, the history is unknown. They only have numbers. Some are old, some are lame, some are retired work horses, and a lot are perfectly trained riding horses with a lot of good years left on them. Being horse crazy since the day I can remember, I decided I was finally in a place – financially and geographically - where I could have my very own horse. So for my 29th birthday I decided to buy myself a very costly and large gift. One simple PayPal transaction, and #128 was marked “Safe”. The 12 yr. old Haflinger gelding was mine and I had no idea what to expect. Fast forward 4 months, #128 (now Rio) is currently away at “Boot Camp”. He was not exactly what most would refer to as “the perfect first horse”. It’s been a challenge and a learning experience, but when I am finally able to ride him, I think it will be that much more rewarding than if I was able to ride him the day he stepped off the trailer with that yellow sticker adhered to his hip, marked with #128.
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
STAFF PUBLISHER Barkleigh Productions, Inc. PRESIDENT Todd Shelly EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gwen Shelly MANAGING EDITOR Rebecca Shipman ART DIRECTOR Laura Pennington WEB DESIGNERS Lance Williams Luke Dumberth CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER Adam Lohr DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING James Severs CONTACT
General: (717) 691-3388 email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org (ext. 225) Advertising: email@example.com (ext. 224)
Copyright January 2016. Pet Boarding & Daycare is published bimonthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Pet Boarding & Daycare c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX (717) 691–3381 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE MAGAZINE
PROFILE OF SUCCESS: FUR & FEATHERS PET RESORT
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR 8
“Wait!”: A Simple Cue for Boarding and Daycare Dogs
Pricing for Special Care and Services
Prevent Potential Liabilities Before Boarding a Pet
Seasonal Resolutions for your Business
LODGING THE SENIOR PET
ANIMAL HEALTH 52
A Spoon Full of Sugar: Commonly Prescribed Medications
INDUSTRY NEWS 54
FACILITY DESIGN 42
DANGERS OF INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Working Together: Kennels, Floors, and Drains
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! t i a W
A Simple Cue for
Boarding & Daycare Dogs By Kama Brown
raining dogs to “wait” in a boarding and daycare setting can be a fun way to impress clients and keep employees entertained. While it may seem like a small task, training the wait cue is a great break in routine for many dogs and their daycare handlers. The wait cue features a unique safety aspect as well, since dogs are learning not to rush at employees. It’s relatively simple, but there are a few variances to keep in mind. Dogs can be trained to wait for the opening of a door or for the chance to have a toy or treat. “Wait For Food” When a dog is alone in their kennel, the easiest way to train “wait for food” is with their daily allowance of food. 8
While it may seem like a small task, training the
wait cue is a great break in routine for many dogs and their daycare handlers. The wait cue features a unique safety aspect as well, since dogs are learning not to rush at employees.
During the first session, set the dog’s food bowl outside the front of the kennel run. The dog will usually be excited and try to paw at the bowl through the kennel. When the dog realizes this is futile, he will stand, sit or lie down and stare at the bowl. When the dog does any of those behaviors, say, “wait” and then give the dog the bowl of food. If upon opening the kennel door, PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
the dog tries to shove through to the food, this behavior is a separate type of “wait” that needs to be trained in another session. If you try to train “wait for food” and “wait at opening of door” in one session you will usually see frustration behavior from the dog. Even though it is not ideal, if the dog has waited for the food by offering a sit, stand or down, open the door slightly and slide the bowl into the kennel past the
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During the fifth
session or so, place
the food bowl in the same spot, this time
when the dog offers the “wait for food”
behavior, open the dog’s kennel door.
shoving behavior until you can train “wait for door.” Alternatively, if the kennels are open on the top, throw some food towards the back of the kennel, then while the dog follows the food, open the door and slide the bowl inside. During the second session, set the dog’s food bowl outside of the kennel, this time waiting for a more purposeful, relaxed, or longer duration of sit, down, or stand. Slide the food bowl in again. Repeat this for 2-3 sessions. During the fifth session or so, place the food bowl in the same spot, this time when the dog offers the “wait for food” behavior, open the dog’s kennel door. Opening the door will usually elicit the dog to stop waiting. Standing still, with the door open only far enough so the dog cannot run past your body, say “wait” and stand still until the dog offers the “wait for food” behaviors they previously offered, whether that be sit, down, or stand.
After repeating this session a few times, the dog should wait while you lower the bowl to the ground. If at anytime while bending down, the dog leaves “wait for food” position, such as going from a sit to a stand, or from a stand still to a walk forward, stand back up and wait for the dog to resume the wait position again. Once the dog has mastered waiting while you lower the food to the floor, you can begin to say “okay! Get it!” as a cue that they may have their food.
TO RECAP Begin by teaching the dog that the kennel door opens and food arrives when they stop trying to get to their food bowl outside of the kennel. Then train the dog to wait for the food while you are holding the bowl while the kennel door is open. Finally, the dog will learn to wait even while you lower the food bowl to the floor.
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“Wait At Door” I’ve found the easiest way to train “wait at door” in a kennel setting is to close the door when the dog pushes forward and open the door when the dog is waiting. The key is to watch for slight movements. When four feet are still, that is the behavior you want and the dog should be rewarded by being allowed out of the door. During the first few sessions, being allowed out after just waiting for 4-5 seconds is ideal. Remind employees to only work up to about 10 seconds. In a boarding and daycare setting, employees shouldn’t be waiting all day for dogs to wait! A 10 second wait ensures the dog is not barging at the kennel door, which is the true safety goal. Sometimes this becomes a bit of a trial and error learning session but the dog usually picks up the idea quickly. A dog may act still and then lunge at the last second. Or they may not
care at all and refuse to come out of the door once it’s open. Slamming the door to purposely scare the dog is not recommended and could create aggression towards handlers. Calmly open the kennel door slightly and slowly while the dog is not moving forward towards it and close it slowly if the dog takes a step forward. Once the dog is still and not moving towards the door, quickly open the door and let them out. Groups of Dogs Training wait at the opening and exit door of the daycare yard is a fantastic and fun way to create a bit less chaos. Once the routine is established, new dogs usually catch on quickly. Using the same idea as the “wait at door” routine for a single dog in a kennel, watch for slight movements. With the group of dogs facing you at the entrance/exit, stand so your body is
blocking the door opening. Slowly open the door slightly and look for a dog whose four feet do not move. After only just a second or two, call that dog over and let them through the door. You can give a treat on the other side of the door, once they’ve gone through and are not around other dogs. If someone else is there, moving dogs into their kennels, continue giving a treat to each dog as they come through. If the dogs were doing a wait on one side, only to be grouped again on the other side, avoid the treats. Repeat the sequence again, only opening the door slightly, looking for a dog whose four feet do not move. Call that dog by name and allow them through the door. Continue this until all the dogs are out of the yard. After a few days, repeat dogs will understand quickly and begin to wait right away. The more excitable dogs will get the time they need to calm down while you
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Groups of dogs, taken from kennel
confinement, then huddled together, trying to get something they want (like into the yard of freedom) can create aggression between the dogs.
are letting the other dogs through, since it can take a few minutes to let the dogs through one at a time. The goal is not a prolonged wait since this would cut into employee work time but the dogs can easily learn to wait as long as you need for demonstration purposes. Just keep in mind how long you want them to wait and practice accordingly for a few days for that amount of time. Since arousal can be extremely high while dogs are being put into the daycare yard, I do not practice wait while entering. Groups of dogs, taken from kennel confinement, then huddled together, trying to get something they want (like into the yard of freedom) can
create aggression between the dogs. Fearful and Shy Dogs When training “wait” with a fearful or shy dog, it’s important first to get them walking towards employees with confidence. One way to achieve this is by throwing high value treats, such as boiled chicken cut into cubes, towards the back of their kennel run whenever approaching them. The pressure is off for them to run and hide because they now have a distraction to engage them. Once the dog has eaten, they now have the option of approaching or staying in the back of the run. Whenever they approach, even just a step or two, throw another small cube of chicken towards
the back of the kennel. After a few sessions, the dog will begin to approach confidently and will be ready for the regular “wait” protocol. Reactive and Aggressive Dogs Oddly enough, this same “preprotocol” that is used for shy dogs can be adapted easily to dogs displaying aggressive kennel behavior. The only difference is that instead of waiting for the dog to fully approach the front of the kennel, throw the food when the dog is still a few feet back. For example: Approach the kennel and throw the cubed chicken towards the back of the kennel, then when the dog begins to approach again, say “wait” or “stop” and throw the chicken behind the dog, so the dog must turn around and walk away again. This will give the kennel employee a 3-foot safety net to open the door and slide the food in. If the dog doesn’t notice the chicken, allow them to sniff the bowl of cubed chicken through the closed kennel door before throwing a piece of it. n
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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
& SERVICES By Laura Laaman
A N D D AY C
Services & Fees DATES:
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
If it costs more to deliver a valuable service, shouldn’t you charge more? Logic says yes.
ore often than not, pet care facility owners chose to get into this
business because they were thrilled with the idea of making a living taking care of pets. They imagine a setting where lots of happy dogs are romping around and playing. That image also implies healthy dogs, which is not always the case. In any large group of dogs or cats, there will undoubtedly be a noticeable percentage of those who require some level of extra care. For example, facility owners may be asked to care for: • Dogs that are immobile • Puppies • Extra-large dogs that require two people to lift when necessary • Dogs that require a special level of trained personnel to handle them • A pet that cannot express its bladder without assistance • Special diets • Diabetic dogs The logic and the math should be simple. The more labor and skills required or increased risk of injury to you or your staff, the more you should charge. By doing so, this allows you to afford the quality staff and the extra time that is needed to properly care for these pets. The problem with this formula is that most pet care facility owners tend to have a nurturing character that outweighs the business-savvy persona. Consequently, they are uncomfortable charging for these extra services. They believe that it’s their job to provide whatever level of care is needed, and for the same fee as a healthy,
low-maintenance pet. That’s not how it works for other sustainable, successful businesses. Here are a few examples where you have likely been the customer: You take your car in for what you think will be a typical oil change. The mechanic discovers you need a new tail light and fan belt. Would you expect that extra work to be done for the same amount of money as just the oil change? Of course not. When you get your hair cut by a master stylist who has more training or skill than the local barber, it’s normal that you pay more for that service, even though the amount of time spent with you is the same. So in our business, if a pet in your
care requires a special level of training and if you’re able and willing to provide these extra services, you certainly should charge more. Many facilities that charge a flat fee likely limit the level of care they deliver. To Charge or Not to Charge? Years ago, I was speaking on this topic to a group of pet care facility owners. One pet care facility owner asked if I felt that she should charge more for insulin injections. My first question was if she had someone (and ideally multiple people) on staff who could provide this life-saving service. It turns out, the facility owner was the only one who was adequately trained to administer the injection. “So let’s go through the logic”, I said. “Because insulin injections need to be refrigerated and given precisely based on the veterinarian’s recommended schedule, and you have
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Most pet parents are willing to pay for the appropriate care for their pet, but aren’t
willing to volunteer to pay more. Therefore, it’s the pet care facility’s responsibility to
explain these additional fees and educate the customer on extra charges.
gone through special training to be able to administer the injection, doesn’t it make sense you should charge for it?” The real issue she was having is how she could explain to the pet parent that she needed to charge extra for this very valuable service. Most pet parents are willing to pay for the appropriate care for their pet, but aren’t willing to volunteer to pay more. Therefore, it’s the pet
care facility’s responsibility to explain these additional fees and educate the customer on extra charges.
start charging a bit more for the (extra care she requires).” Then you’d explain what is needed and the amount.
What to Say? Consider this approach: “We love (Cocoa) and look forward to caring for her again. As you know, her care needs have changed a bit (recently). We feel comfortable that we are able to care for her current care needs, but do need to
How do you Determine What
to Charge? In the case above, check with a local veterinarian to see what they charge for the service. You would likely charge less than that each time you administer that service, since you don’t have the
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If you are offering additional services such as extra walks for elimination or mobility sessions, you would charge cost plus a mark-up percentage. same level of training or the amount of trained staff. If you are offering additional services such as extra walks for elimination or mobility sessions, you would charge cost plus a mark-up percentage. If you only charged the
actual cost, you will likely overlook a few items and therefore lose money on that petâ€™s stay. Providing amazing care will give your pet parents the desired peace of mind. Charging appropriately for the level of care you provide will give your
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Seasonal By Melanie Haber
unning a pet boarding and daycare facility can be absolutely exhausting,
especially around the holidays. Many November and December holidays are celebrated walking dogs, cleaning kennels and feeding four-legged friends. Following New Year’s Day, January can bring a slight relief to the rush and give you time to think about your resolutions for the new year ahead. It takes a true pet lover to dedicate their time and holidays to their boarding and daycare business. New Year’s resolutions are most people’s focus in January. All month long you hear people talk about losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking, making more money; however, only a small 20
By setting small seasonal goals that can be achieved easily will allow you to keep moving forward and get rewarded along the way; basically, Small Resolutions=Success. percentage of people will keep their
Understanding these trends allows
New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, after
us to look at our pet boarding & daycare
about one month most resolutions are
business resolutions in a different, more
completely forgotten. The most common
obtainable light. Rather than setting one
reason for participants failing in their
huge unsurpassable resolution that is
New Year’s Resolutions was setting
likely to fail, I recommend smaller, more
themselves up with unrealistic goals. Yet,
realistic seasonal resolutions. By setting
those that do seem to achieve their goals,
small seasonal goals that can be achieved
usually happens through goal setting (a
easily will allow you to keep moving
system where smaller goals/resolutions
forward and get rewarded along the way;
are being set).
basically, Small Resolutions=Success.
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January - Planning First of all, enjoy any rest you can get and use January as a simple planning month to sit down with a notebook and pen to make a few simple resolutions to add to your 2016 business plan. This plan can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, but I recommend simple. In fact, this plan can be simplified so that once you are in the habit of practicing your new business resolutions, you can potentially pass the responsibility to another co-worker or employee.
Running a business can be just like a relationship. It takes attention, cultivation, and nurturing. How long has it been since you looked at the needs of your boarding/ daycare business? re-evaluate any relationship, it will not
February - Fall in Love
grow. Remind yourself what made you
Winding down from winter, during
so happy in the beginning and use that
February, fall back into love with your
to get back in love.
business. Running a business can be just like a relationship. It takes attention, cultivation, and nurturing. How long has it been since you looked at the needs of your boarding/daycare business? Do you still go to work with the excitement you had the first day you opened? Make a list of the positives and negatives you feel about your business and make improvements. Unless you
Spring Cleaning and Social Media Moving from the grueling winter into spring is the perfect opportunity to “springboard” into cleaning and organizing before the Spring Breakers drop off their pets for vacation. Do a walkthrough of your facility, looking through the eyes of your clients. Are
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things organized, clean, and tidy? Do
each month to schedule out your social
the kennels need improvements? Do
media postings if you find checking
the drains smell or need to be flushed?
daily is too difficult.
Is there doggy playground equipment that is breaking down? Have you let your yard get spotty and thin? Would a coat of paint to the building go a long way? As you move through the spring cleaning and organizing season, make sure your marketing materials are current. Look over the printed materials and promotional items you use to see if they are up-to-date or need to be revised. Do you have a ready supply of brochures and business cards? Do they need a makeover? Do you need a new logo? Finally, do your uniforms or employees need a polish? The perception of value starts with the appearance of your staff and the facility the minute the client walks in the door. While you are still trapped indoors during the spring thaw, it is a great time to get your online presence organized. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to just be in your facility and printed materials; it needs to be reflected in your website, social medias, and online listings. Look over your website to make sure the information presented is accurate,
Market Your Summer Services Moving from spring into summer provides great opportunities to offer new services for the summer vacation boarders. Once you have worked out your online presence and promotions, be ready with a full arsenal of services that can make you more money each transaction. Rather than just the routine check-in for boarding, create a menu of services you can provide to give clients the ability to choose activities for their pets. It can be bathing and grooming, nail trims, extra playtime, walks, socialization classes, training classes, holiday parties, special treats, as well as texting pictures of the pets being cuddled, spoiled and playing. Allow clients to ease the guilt of leaving
Rather than just the routine check-in for boarding, create a menu of services you can provide to give clients the ability to choose activities for their pets.
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your picture gallery is updated, new employees are represented, and new services are updated. If you don’t have a website, now is the time to get one. According to the Internet World Stats, over 3 billion people use the internet worldwide. North America commanded over 315 million users alone in 2015. So, needless to say, businesses that can’t be found online won’t bring new business from internet users. This also is a good time to get your social media in order. There are over
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daily posts on social medias every day,
Learn something new or offer a big new service this season. It is always important to try and take your business to the next level. their pets by letting them choose the fun extras to reward their pet with a vacation too! Bring in more summertime fun by working on your client communications. Start collecting emails and smart phone numbers from every client. If you find your business slows down in the summer, text specials to clients on slow days. While a client may not need a full boarding service on the spur of the moment, they can certainly take advantage of special doggy daycare fun days. Texting offers of pool time, social mixers, and play hours during the slow days can generate missed income. Also, the clients can get into the habit of dropping off their pets while they go shopping or have their spa day. To use email addresses efficiently, try to send out a monthly communication promoting 1-2 new things you are doing that month. I don’t really recommend newsletters since I,
myself, really don’t read them, however,
away services or discounts. Get a pack of
I love email commutations that are only
thank-you notes and jot down a reason
1 or 2 lines that get the message across
why you love to care for a client’s pet.
quickly with a link to the website or
You can mention how important their
phone number for fast contact.
business is to you because it helps to not only keep your doors open, but it helps
Something New for Fall
your family as well. You could also find
Fall is back to school time! Learn
a few minutes at check-in or check-out
something new or offer a big new service
to speak with your clients and let them
this season. It is always important to try
know they are appreciated or tell a small
and take your business to the next level.
detail of why you look forward to their
What is the one big service you have
pet coming in. Any token of appreciation
dreamed of offering? Is it to install a new
can go a long way in strengthening your
indoor playground? What about a diving
dock, or perhaps a grooming spa or pet massage parlor? Some facilities thrive on
Season of Giving
technology and install streaming cameras
Holidays can also be a time to give.
of pets being boarded so clients can login
If you are financially able, you can give
with a password and see how their pets
each pet a small gift, however, if you
are doing from their smartphone. Poll
are unable to do that, this may be a
your clients and see what they would be
good time to invest in your community
interested in having for their pet, do the
presence by becoming a drop-site for
research and set a target start date.
rescue donations. During the month of
Fall is also a great time for marketing
December we ran a food drive for a local
your business with a fun event. While
rescue and collected almost 1,100lbs of
you may still be focusing on your new
food. This not only helped the rescue, it
big service you are planning, don’t forget
showed clients our compassionate side
to start the holidays off with a bang
and created a buzz about our business in
in October. Having an event is a great
relationship builder; it keeps you in
At the end of the year it is always
the client’s sights for the holidays. Plan
important to take time to reflect back on
something fun and easy. You can offer a
all the resolutions you have instituted.
simple get together or have a pet costume
Think about what worked, what didn’t,
contest with an open house. The sky is the
what could have been done better, or what
limit when it comes to celebrating fun for
should be repeated. By making small,
obtainable resolutions monthly, which also reward you at the same time will give
Give Thanks Finally moving from fall into winter
you the ability to keep moving forward into the next year with success. n
is a time for giving thanks. Resolve to build stronger relationships with your clients by expressing your thanks to them for trusting you with their beloved pet. Showing appreciation to your clients can strengthen the bond that will retain lasting relationships. There are several ways to show thanks without giving
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
LIABILITIES BEFORE BOARDING A PET By Jason and Steven Parker
Just because you’re
Things to keep in mind to avoid liability issues:
not the pet’s owner doesn’t mean you’re not responsible if something goes wrong. It’s important to think through
Overnight Security System
Lock All Areas of the Building
issues in order to
with access to the building, with either
avoid some unwanted consequences.
Employees should be the only ones keys or a pin-pad. This will stop clients and outside people from entering areas of the building that may be unsafe for them or for pets. Having areas blocked off will also control where pets can go. There should, of course, be multiple exits in case of an emergency.
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
with Motion Sensors
Security systems will help ensure all pets remain in private accommodation overnight. It will also alert police if there is a break-in. All Staff Should Be Thoroughly Trained Prior to Starting
It’s extremely important to make sure all procedures are being followed and pets are being taken care of efficiently and safely.
Non-refundable Deposit Use Quality Cleaning Products
to Spot Clean and Disinfect Building Ensure all cleaning products are pet safe! Maintaining a clean environment
Charging a deposit helps eliminate the rate of last minute cancelations and “no shows.” By doing so, accommodations will only be reserved
cuts down the risk of infection and
by people who really need them, and
disease being spread. It’s important to
spots won’t be left vacant last minute.
have very detailed cleaning procedures
In the event of a cancellation, consider
and schedules in place, as well as
issuing store credit, which increases
cleaning staff trained in proper use of all
profit and still allows clients to get their
products in the facility.
Company Policies Your policies should be clearly displayed on your website and given to clients during their first checkin. Policies will list out important information for clients including prices, required shots, the deposit, etc.
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instructions, and special diet
Fanwood, N.J. That business not only became a highly profitable enterprise that they sold for a six-figure sum in 2006, that revenue became the expansion fuel for their burgeoning K-9 Resorts business. The business, which is the only facility in New Jersey to have been rated number 1 by multiple major publications, is a luxury pet care franchise with locations throughout the East Coast of the U.S. K-9 Resorts has been featured on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. To learn more about K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel and potential franchise opportunities, visit the company’s website
Conﬁrm Pet’s Info Before
Signed Policy Sheet
the Client Leaves
A policy sheet should be signed prior to accepting a pet into the facility. This sheet should explain all the facility’s important policies and a waiver of liability to ensure you’re not responsible if anything does happen. Have the sheet written and reviewed by an attorney in your state.
To make everyone’s job easier, it’s important to double check all notes including the owner’s contact information, shot records, medication
This helps to eliminate legal issues in the future if any clients claim “they were never informed” about a certain policy.
K-9 Resorts was founded in 2005 by brothers Steven and Jason Parker in
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WWW.PBDEXPOWEST.COM PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
PROFILE OF SUCCESS
By Kathy Hosler
Photos by Sandy Allen Photography
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Pe t R e s o r t
Where Pets Vacation in Luxury
hen Darren and Sky Korito decided that they were going to open a luxury pet resort, they knew exactly the type of facility that they wanted. It had to be first class all the way – with lots of room for the animals to play and exercise, beautiful artwork and murals on the walls, and clean and cozy rooms. The entire facility would be designed and constructed with the animals’ safety, comfort, and enjoyment as its primary objective.
The Korito’s both grew up around animals and pets have always been a big part of their lives. Darren’s dad bred champion St. Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, and Mastiffs in Wisconsin. Darren grew up as a ‘kennel kid’. He would take care of the
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
dogs before and after school, and he used to help show the dogs. Both he and his wife are deeply involved in pet rescue. The Koritos opened the Fur and Feathers Pet Resort in Winter Garden, Florida (about ten miles from Orlando) in April of 2006. “We built the Fur and Feathers Pet Resort from the ground up,” says Darren Korito as he flashes a warm smile. “It’s a state of the art facility. The 10,000 sq. ft. resort is all indoor (except for the potty areas). Not only do we offer boarding for dogs and cats, we also have a grooming center. And, we have an aviary and we offer dog daycare and training services.” “We had over 170 dogs boarding with us on our first Thanksgiving,” said Darren. “In addition to our standard
The centerpiece of the atrium suites is a gorgeous bronze sculpture with a water fountain that was designed especially for the resort.
The resort has twenty five cat condos in a dog-free section of the facility.
lodging rooms, we have our atrium suites wing that has a regal, castle-like theme.” The centerpiece of the atrium suites is a gorgeous bronze sculpture with a water fountain that was designed especially for the resort. Stonework and art decorate the walls as the luxury suites take pampering to a whole new level. The atrium suites have color TVs, and are equipped with private webcams so that the owners can view their pets at any time. The resort has twenty five cat condos in a dog-free section of the facility. It includes a 300 gallon fully stocked salt water aquarium that provides endless entertainment for their feline guests. They also offer playtimes and other special services for the cats in their care.
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Fur and Feathers offers a fifty percent discount the first time a pet is boarded with them, when the pet parent chooses an activity package along with overnight boarding. “We have found that offering this discount is a real business builder, and it has worked well for us,” shares Mr. Korito. “And, we include other special services – like giving the owners a pet report card upon departure…they love it!” The resort also has a grooming center. They have two full time groomers. The majority of the people who board with them get some type of spa or grooming service – a bath, nail trim, or full groom. They also run special promotions, like the ‘scent of the month’. Another specialized service the
“Two of my own exotic birds live at the resort. When people see happy, healthy birds, they are more at ease having us care for their birds.” — Darren Korito (owner)
resort provides is bird boarding in their beautiful aviary. “Our demand for bird boarding has really grown in the last couple of years,” says Darren. “Often, people are extremely particular about leaving their birds in someone else’s care. Two of my own exotic birds live at the resort. When people see happy, healthy birds, they are more at ease having us care for their birds. The bird boarding took a while to grow, but now we get a lot of repeat business and referrals – and we are busy all the time.” Their doggie daycare program has become a very popular and important part of the Fur and Feathers business. “There are lots of young, professional people in our area who need some kind of daycare service for their pets while they are working,” says Darren. “A lot of our daycare dogs also use our boarding, training, and grooming services. Daycare has proven to be a good way to build a relationship with customers. We get them in the
building, have them experience and get comfortable with it, and soon they want to use our other services.”
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
They have two indoor dog parks – one for the large dogs, and the other for the small dogs. The parks are equipped
“In any business, your most important resource is your talent – the people who work for you. Our employees are extremely essential to the success of Fur and Feathers
Pet Resort.” — Darren Korito (owner)
with specially designed playground equipment and have a soft, rubberized floor for the pet’s comfort. “Of course, the dogs are continually supervised by our trained staff while they are at the resort,” Mr. Korito continues. “We have fun activities, like theme parties, several times a year for our daycare attendees. To introduce this service, we offer a free week of daycare to first time clients. Once they try it for a week, they see all the ways their pets benefit from the daycare experience.” Another service that has been very well received is their dog training program. “What we offer is basically a manners training program,” says Darren. “We provide different levels and also have a board and train program. Training is available seven days a week.” “We try to educate the client so that
they can continue to reinforce at home what their dog has learned at the resort,” Darren continues. “We include email and phone support for all of our clients during and also after the training.” Their website plays a big part in supplying information to all of the existing and potential Fur and Feathers clients. They publish an online newsletter every month that features stories about the pet guests and about all of the activities that are happening at the resort. They have a huge following on Facebook. All of the spectacular accommodations, amenities, features, and services of the Fur and Feathers Pet Resort make it one of the finest anywhere. They have won many awards and have been voted ‘Best’ Pet Boarding and ‘Best’ Doggy Daycare by the city
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
of Winter Garden for the last four years. But – the facility itself is only part of what makes Fur and Feathers so successful. “There are a lot of nice facilities out there,” says Darren. “But, what sets us apart is the service that we provide to our clients and to their pets. In any business, your most important resource is your talent – the people who work for you. Our employees are extremely essential to the success of Fur and Feathers Pet Resort. They go the extra mile to make sure our pet guests enjoy their vacation with us.” “Our business is predicated on taking care of each pet in our facility and making sure that they are safe and happy,” say proud owners, Darren and Sky Korito. “When the pets are happy, the owners are too!”’ n
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
THE DANGERS OF
AIR QUALITY By Annette Uda
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
aving a better
among animals by air include fungi,
animal care facility should be cleaned,
understanding of the
bacteria, and viruses.
disinfected, and washed, because larger
kind of animal diseases
The most ideal way of dealing with
airborne microbes tend to settle out of
that can be transmitted by air can
the indoor transmission of airborne
the air to mostly horizontal surfaces
help individuals effectively deal with
disease is through the implementation
such as furniture or the floor. Common
airborne disease transmission as well as
of a two-pronged approach that
cleaning procedures are adequate and will
in selecting the right decontamination
combines air cleaning and surface
normally include washing surfaces with
methods to be used. The most common
cleaning. Interior surfaces of an
disinfectants and detergents regularly.
animal diseases are known to be airborne or transmitted by air. These are not limited to but include Canine influenza,
Brand Names - Brand Quality
Bordetella, Feline Calicivirus, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Coronavirus, and
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Canine Distemper virus.
Interestingly, 98% percent of the particles, in typical indoor air, are 3 microns or smaller in size. Many zoonotic pathogens, including the ones in size. This is important because the
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is for germs and infection to spread throughout your facility. Many of these microorganisms can easily attach and circulate on dust particles. Many pathogens are transmitted by direct contact between animals or between animals and human-beings. Airborne respiratory infections can easily be inhaled or cause infection via the mouth, nose or eyes. Special attention should be emphasized when a flu virus sweeps through humans or infects staff members in animal care facilities, as such diseases may be transmitted to and from animals. Any outbreak thatâ€™s caused by airborne pathogens can be very explosive. Cleaning surfaces in animal
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care facilities will greatly reduce transmission rates of airborne diseases and improve indoor air quality. And anything done to provide clean air will mitigate airborne transmission. Major pathogens that can be transmitted
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Cleaning the air using air filters can also
help in the elimination of fungal spores, microbes and pollen which have the
potential to cause allergies from indoor air, given the appropriate filters are used.
Another popular, yet highly
effectively disinfect the air of bacteria
to mitigate the spread of air airborne
effective method of improving air
and viruses as well as help eliminate
diseases among animals, from humans
quality in animal care facilities is to use
mold inside ventilation areas.
to animals, from animals to humans,
properly sized Ultra Violet Germicidal
Cleaning the air using air filters can
and from the environment to animals.
Irradiation (UVGI). Using UVGI for
also help in the elimination of fungal
airborne disinfection has long been
spores, microbes and pollen which
important factor with the ability to have
used in hospitals, government agencies,
have the potential to cause allergies
an effect on the relationship between
and surgery rooms for over 50 years.
from indoor air, given the appropriate
the health of animal care facility staff
This kind of technology has proved
filters are used. The use of both UV air
and the airborne transmission of
very effective in animal care facilities,
disinfection and air filtration offers a
respiratory infections. Animal care
destroying over 99 percent of animal-
cost-effective way to clean ventilation
facilities are regarded as being of high
related pathogens. UV systems can be
air as well as reduce the transmission of
risk and are different from medical or
easily installed and will efficiently and
other human occupancy facilities
For pet boarding, daycare centers,
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Creating ventilation is another
Animal care facilities have similar
and indoor kennels, the use of UV
air quality issues with other institutions
lamps combined with air filtration can
like hospitals. They share concerns
greatly supplement existing cleaning
about airborne bacteria and pathogens,
procedures and offer the best means
particularly for animal patients just like
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cleaning chemicals. Air conditioners and central heaters have filters designed to trap pollutants and dust in the air. It is highly recommended to clean or change filters on a regular basis. When searching for an Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation air cleaning company, it is vital to ask how they size a facility as well as to ask to see their kill rates on zoonotic pathogens along with their test results. Surface disinfection and surface cleaning accompanied with air filtration and air disinfection can go great
Surface disinfection and surface cleaning accompanied with air filtration and air
disinfection can go great lengths to provide the cleanest air and healthiest possible facility for both animals and personnel working there.
hospitals for humans. However, animal care facilities also need to go further and control odor problems which can
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Animal care facilities generally
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and ventilation. Poor indoor air quality may cause animals to contract diseases in facilities. Unpleasant odors can make an animal care facility an their owners. tend to be more susceptible to air contaminants like dust and dander, airborne illnesses, and ammonia. Pets entering facilities for care are very vulnerable to such contaminants, but some will also be dangerous to personnel
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among those visiting or working in
allergic reactions and discomfort animal care facilities.Â Among the most common contaminants in animal care facilities are; airborne viruses and bacteria, unpleasant odors, dust, and
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
lengths to provide the cleanest air and healthiest possible facility for both animals and personnel working there. There are currently no established levels for indoor air quality, but more advanced and sophisticated air cleaners such as properly sized UV will provide higher levels of air cleanliness thatâ€™s sufficient to lower disease transmission rates to their lowest levels. n Annette is the founder of PetAirapy, LLC, an Illinois-based company manufacturing advanced commercialgrade Air and Surface disinfection units by means of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). Annette has a passion for promoting the health and well-being of all animals through raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. Through research and development along with a team of doctors and engineers, she has been able to identify and mitigate over 200 Animal specific micro-organisms that can spread illness throughout animal care facilities. PetAirapy products have been tested & proven to kill over 99.9% of viruses, bacterias and germs including K-9 cough, Distemper, Canine influenza, Feline calicivirus and more. PetAirapy units are widely used in many animal hospitals, shelters, boarding facilities and more.
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KENNELS, FLOORS, AND DRAINS By Greg Taylor
Photos provided by Mason Company
facility, not to mention all the related bad
flooring, and drains are
critical to ensuring a
can cause epoxy to bubble and chip and
Two of the most common
result in the kennels not fitting properly.
boarding facility looks its best while
integration issues that can cause
also maintaining proper sanitation.
significant problems for boarding
The reality is that kennels, floors, and
facilities are poor workmanship on the
drains are the most abused parts of
floors, and how to account for coving, as
integration issue seen in facilities. For
a boarding facility. These areas are
those not familiar with it, here is quick
constantly washed – often with highpressure hoses – and subjected to harsh chemicals, yet it can still be a challenge
Coving: Fit Counts Coving is another common
primer on coving: Workmanship: Quality Matters In general, there are three primary
Most floors join a wall at a 90-degree angle. Coving is when the
to ensure they are always thoroughly
areas of concern caused by poor
90-degree angle has been modified to
cleaned. They are also battered by
workmanship on a facility’s floor when
have a radius (sort of a half circle) at
equipment and scratched and clawed by
integrating the floor with kennels and
the juncture so the water can’t puddle
their four-legged guests.
at the joint. There is nothing wrong
It is worthwhile to invest the time
(a) Poorly poured floors, which
with coving; in fact, coving is a great
to integrate floors, drains, and kennels
can create waves or gaps beneath side
solution to make the water run away
so they work together effectively and
panels resulting in channels for cross
from the 90-degree angle. Coving will
efficiently for the long-term. Fluid and
contamination between runs. Silicone
create easier cleaning and less disease
contaminants migrating between kennel
is often used to fill these gaps but it will
because bacteria thrives in wet or damp
runs can lead to disease outbreaks.
degrade over time.
places – such as wall joints where there
Cross-contamination puts the health
(c) Poorly prepared floors, which
(b) Poorly cut or poured trench
of animals at risk and can result in the
drains that lead to drain and disease
need to shut down and disinfect the
is a 90-degree angle. Coving, however, creates challenges with fitting kennels tightly to the back
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
COVING: FIT COUNTS
FLUSH COVE Top Juncture Flush Finish
Floor System Cove Base
CANT COVE Floor System Cove Base Resinous Floor
FLUSH COVE W/ J OR L STRIP “J” or “L” Strip
Note there is no 90 degree angle at the wall and ﬂoor, the “cove” at the juncture lets water ﬂow
Wide Radius 1/8” to 1/4” Cove Base Resinous Floor
away so there is less chance of bateria build up.
wall. Coving forces the kennel isolation panel away from the wall by the width of the cove so there is not a tight fit to the back wall. Instead, there will be gaps that will require attention in order to prevent cross contamination. Silicone and/or metal angle can be used to fill the gap, but this isn’t an attractive solution. As previously mentioned, there is nothing wrong with coving. In fact, it is a great way – even the preferred way – to design a kennel room floor. There are also ways to modify the kennels or floor to have them integrate with the coving. The kennel manufacturer can cut the back of the isolation panel to match the cove, additional filler parts to account for the coving can be made and shipped
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Increase CUSTOMER LOYALTY save STAFF TIME Facilities with synthetic turf versus the ones that use pea gravel, mulch or grass/dirt experience no mud and no extra washings which means less work for your staff. Even dogs choose PetGrass® covered surfaces! MUD FREE • NON TOXIC • ODOR CONTROL
2-PIECE FLOOR SEAL SYSTEM Separate ﬂoor seal piece
is used that accepts the actual isolation panel.
Beneﬁts: - Wide base for more stability - More area to seal the ﬂoor
EA OR S
- Isolation panel can be adjusted to ﬂoor slope
with the order, and the epoxy can even
above the little valleys formed by
be chipped out to make a notch for the
the imperfections. These gaps or
isolation panel to fit in (although this
valleys will need to be filled in with
may void the epoxy warranty).
silicone, but the silicone will wear
The problem arises when the
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Facility staff may have the best
manufacturer if you plan to use coving
intentions to recaulk the silicone,
and discuss different solutions with
but the reality is that this routine
them so everything is integrated, fits,
maintenance rarely happens. In
and works together.
addition, if a floor slopes, the isolation panels need to adjust to the floor
Floor Seals: Prevent
Cross-Contamination Regarding the issue of bad floors,
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out and degrade over time, especially
kennel manufacturer is not aware there fit. Make sure to inform your kennel
slope or they will not be level at the top of the runs. There are several types of floor seals used today that try
any floors that are sloped are going
to combat these issues with varying
to be imperfect. The more slope
degrees of compromise and success.
directions, the more imperfect the floors will be – meaning the more gaps, small waves, and imperfections they
Types of ﬂoor seals include: • 2-Piece Systems – With a 2-piece
will contain and the more likely the
system, a separate floor seal piece is
isolation panels will not fit properly.
used that accepts the actual isolation
An isolation panel on a floor with a
panel. The biggest benefit to this
constant slope will fit properly, but
approach is that the floor seal itself
if the slope changes then the rigid
is typically around 3” wide, which is
metal bottom of the panel will lie
much wider than the panel itself, which
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
FLEXIBLE PLASTIC GASKET Flexible gasket grips ﬂoor to provide a superior cross contamination barrier.
1-PIECE FLOOR SEAL SYSTEM
is typically only ½” to 1” thick. This
there are some new floor seals that
wide base offers more stability and more
advance cross-contamination barriers.
area to seal to the floor. This approach
These new seals help prevent liquid
also allows the actual isolation panel
from flowing between two runs by
to be adjusted for the floor slope, as
using a 2-piece system that also has a
detailed in the 2-piece floor seal system
flexible plastic gasket underneath the
floor piece. This gasket gets pressed on by the weight of the isolation panel and
• 1-Piece System – In a 1-piece
conforms to and grips the floor’s surface
system there is no separate floor piece.
and imperfections as they develop
Instead, the panel itself sits on the
over time. It also prevents cross-
floor. The biggest advantage here is
contamination even when the primary
cost because there is no separate floor
bead of floor sealant has been breached
piece. However, there are disadvantages.
or where there are cracks, waves,
For example, because the panel itself
irregularities, or other imperfections in
is only about ½” to 1” thick, the actual
In a 1-piece system
floor seal is smaller and less stable
there is no separate
2-piece system. Additionally, because
than the larger ones available with a
Kennel Room Design: Impact on Floors
ﬂoor piece. Instead,
there is no separate floor piece, the
the panel itself sits
panel itself must be cut at an angle to fit
options to consider related to the
the slope of the floor. This means it is
kennel design. The choice of kennel
imperative that the floor slope changes
room layout can impact how floors and
be communicated to the manufacturer
kennels work together. For example,
in order to avoid issues with how it is
some layouts increase the chance of
installed on the floor.
needing spikes through the isolation
on the ﬂoor.
• New Floor Seals – Fortunately,
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
There are a variety of flooring
panel floor seal into the facility floor,
which can void the floor warranty and/ or create issues with radiant heated floors. Other layouts can create issues with drains and slopes and how the kennels and floors work together. Free Standing Runs These are runs where it is possible to walk completely around them; that is, they are not attached to any side wall or back wall at any juncture. The most common type of free standing runs are back-to-back configurations in the middle of a room. In this situation, there is not a solid anchor point (or better yet, two anchor points) where the kennels can attach and gain stability. This increases the chance they may rock or sway, and it may be necessary to pin the isolation panels to the floor by way of a rawl spike. This may void an epoxy floor warranty or create issues with radiant heated floors.
Glass and Bottom Frame Kennel gates can come with or without a bottom frame. No bottom frame can increase the need for spikes because they will not be as stable. On the other hand, it is harder to clean a run when the gate has a bottom frame because it serves as an obstacle to the hoses and mops. Glass gates also increase the need for spikes because they are particularly heavy and can lead to sagging. The best approach is to find a way to anchor into at least one side
wrong with this approach; in fact, it has a lot of benefits, but this floor layout does create issues when integrating the kennels. More specifically, the isolation panels need to slope two different directions: in this example, front-to-back and then back-to-front. The kennel manufacturer can adjust and account for this double slope but need to be informed of the situation so they can correctly design the runs. Otherwise, the kennels will not fit properly to the floor slope and cross
wall, or the back wall â€“ both if possible!
contamination can be a problem. The
Double Sloped Runs and Drain
many related to integration, is to over
Some kennel room designs employ a trench drain offset from the back wall by about 6â€?. When the run slopes from the front to the back drain and from the back wall to the drain, it is called a double slope. There is nothing
answer to this potential problem, like communicate with the team of service providers and kennel manufacturer. Kennel floors, drains, and housing are significant investments, and it pays to make certain they work together. The flooring and kennels are critical in designing and operating a clean, disease free facility, and mistakes can be a prescription for financial disaster. Think about how the different parts work together and enjoy the rewards. n Greg Taylor is the CEO of the Mason Company. Since 1892, Mason Company is the recognized leader in designing and manufacturing animal enclosures. Mason Company offers the broadest product line in the industry, including isolation panels and gates in a variety of materials, cat condos, cat towers, fiberglass cages, accessories, and more for any animal application. Visit www.MasonCo.com, contact info@MasonCo.com or call tollfree 800-543-5567.
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
ING T HE
By Outstanding Pet Care Learning Center
oday’s pets are living longer, due to advancements in veterinary care, preventative medicine, immunizations, quality food and care. As pets enter their “golden years,” their needs may change simply due to age or health conditions. You likely have pets that have been staying with you for years and have noticed that as they have aged, their needs have changed. It’s important as professional pet care providers to recognize this and offer appropriate services for their health and wellness. When is a Pet Considered “Senior” or “Geriatric”? Many veterinarians start to refer to dogs and cats as being “senior” or “geriatric” at or around age 7 or 8. This varies depending on species and breed. In general, cats and small dogs have a longer lifespan than large dogs. Consequently, a cat or small dog might not be considered “senior” until 10 or
You likely have pets that have been staying with you for years and have noticed that as
they have aged, their needs have changed. 12 years old, while a Great Dane might begin to show signs of aging by 5 years. General Health Conditions Associated with Senior Pets Reduced Hearing and Vision
In a pet care facility, it may take these pets additional time to become accustomed to their new surroundings. The pet may become disoriented because they are in an unfamiliar place. If a door to the outside area is provided, a pet may not know how to find and use it. Deaf pets, in particular, can become confused and intimidated by other pets and unfamiliar vibrations from equipment being used in the facility. Pets with reduced hearing may easily startle. If you know or sense an animal has hearing PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
difficulties, refrain from reaching in to wake up or leash a quiet pet. Approach the pet slowly and gently, and consider tapping the enclosure to alert the pet of your presence. For pets that are blind, take a moment to walk them around their area, play yard, or enclosure and let them find the boundaries. A few minutes in your company familiarizing themselves with the new surroundings can help relieve discomfort and anxiety. Introduce them to several staff members by allowing them to sniff hands (if this can be done safely) while speaking in soothing tones. Blind pets will use smell and hearing to identify their surroundings. Occasionally, you may accommodate pets that are both deaf
Sample Health Report Card ____________________________________â€™s Report Card Last Name ______________________________________ Examined By_______________________ Date: ________
VACCINATION PROGRAM ___ ALL OK ___ DUE q Distemper/Parvo
COAT & SKIN q No problems found q Dull/dry q Matted q Abnormal Lump
q Distemper q Leukemia
ABDOMEN q Excessive shedding/hair loss q Itchy q Parasites q Other: ________________
q No problems found q Abnormal lump q Tense/painful q Distended q Other: ______________________________
LUNGS EYES q No problems found q Cloudy lens: L ___ R ___ q Discharge q Other: ________________ q Inflamed q Eyelid Problem:_________________________________
EARS q No problems found q Inflamed q Itchy
q Abnormal lump: L ___ R ___ q Excessive wax/hair q Other: ________________
q No problems found q Breathing too rapidly q Coughing
q Breathing difficulty q Congestion q Other: ________________
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM q No problems found q Excessive gas q Vomiting q Eating disorder
q Abnormal feces (BM) q Diarrhea q Other: ________________
URINARY/REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM NOSE & THROAT q No problems found
q No problems found q Abnormal urinations q Breast lump(s) q Genital discharge q Anal gland problem q Abnormal testicles q Other: ________________
q Nasal discharge
MOUTH, TEETH, GUMS q No problems found q Broken teeth q Inflamed lips q Loose teeth q Ulcers q Bleeding gums q Abnormal lumps q Tartar buildup q Other: _____________________________
WEIGHT: _____ lbs q Normal range q Too heavy
q Too thin q Recommended weight: _______
INTESTINAL PARASITES/WORMS LEGS & PAWS q No problems found q Lameness/pain
q None seen q Seen during exam q Suspected q Joint/nail problem q Other: ________________
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Senior pets need
extra bedding to help
cushion old joints and pressure points like elbows and hips.
and blind. For these pets, it’s ideal to make them aware of your presence before reaching in the enclosure. Knock on the door, stomp your feet, or gently rattle the door to create vibrations they can feel. If the dog is up and about, hold out your hand so his sense of smell can announce your proximity. Difﬁculty Moving
Geriatric pets, like senior people, often
have arthritis or other musculoskeletal disorders. At home, the pet may normally sleep on carpeting, a chair or a bed. If your facility has concrete or hard-surfaced flooring, this environment may seem very cold and hard to them. Senior pets need extra bedding to help cushion old joints and pressure points like elbows and hips. Egg crate foam beds, orthopedic pet beds, extra blankets or towels will help to reduce stiffness.
Senior pets aﬄicted with arthritis or hip dysplasia may have difficulty rising. Give these pets extra time, encouragement, and assistance to rise. It’s important to keep these pets getting up and walking around frequently to prevent stiff joints from getting worse. It need not be a full-fledged walk outside; even a four or five-minute walk up and down the aisle of the facility several times a day will help keep joints limber. If the dog can’t walk on its own, a towel or sling under the caudal belly (immediately in front of the hips) can help give enough leverage to get the pet up and support the dog while it walks. If it’s unusual for the dog to walk on its own, follow the established procedures for contacting the owner and/ or veterinarian for advice. Cats also get arthritis. These cats should lodge in enclosures with extrasoft bedding and without shelving to avoid falls. Older pets also benefit from being
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Chronic Illnesses and Disorders Related to the Senior Pet Senior pets may come to your lodging facility with a variety of chronic illnesses. In general, these are not disorders that can be cured, but are lifelong disorders which can be managed
of the pet for troubling or abnormal behavior patterns. Offering pet services such as additional attention, special bedding, soft music, and an extra quiet location can help assure the best pet experience while providing peace of mind for their pet parents. n
Outstanding Pet Care Learning Center is dedicated to protecting and growing the Pet Care Industry through World-Class Pet Care Training and Education. OPC Learning Center’s curriculum: • Delivers necessary pet care training in the convenience of your facility • Saves training, time and energy of owners and managers • Provides convenient, technicallyadvanced format for immediate access • Oﬀers immediate on-line testing to give you assurance that the material was understood • Reduces potential injuries to your staﬀ and guests • Can increase health and happiness of the pets in your care • Protects you, your staﬀ, and your bottom line For more about our courses, visit: www.OPCLearningCenter.com
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uc in od
Feeding Senior Pets Older dogs and cats may have poor teeth. They may need softer diets or canned food in order to take in sufficient calories. Dry food may be too difficult to chew and may make their mouth hurt. Make appropriate special diet notes from the customer on the pet’s record. This will help you understand the best type of food to provide if the owner did not supply their own food. Monitor food and water intake carefully, and note anything unusual the client may need to know about. In a lodging situation, you may have a better chance of noticing a problem than the owner would at home (especially if the household has multiple pets). Older pets tend to lose weight more easily than younger pets. Often their bodies no longer store body fat that they can rely on for subsistence. If the pet is a poor eater, you can tempt it to eat by offering a high value food or by handfeeding if necessary. Ideally, a pet should be weighed upon entering the facility, and then every few days during lodging. Any gains or losses in weight while lodging (especially during long stays) should be noted and a veterinarian consulted if there is a concern. A change in body weight of 5% from the initial weight (e.g., one pound for a 20-lb pet or five pounds for a 100-lb pet) should trigger a call to the veterinarian.
and controlled with diet or medications. In general, senior pets with these chronic conditions are fine for lodging as long as they are being treated. A pet care facility that is able and willing to care for these pets can distinguish itself from competitors by catering to the special needs of senior pets. Ask the pet parents of these seniors if their pets have any chronic issues, and if so, what symptoms to watch for. Be sure to have current phone numbers for the pet’s veterinarian and owner’s emergency contact(s). In addition, it’s important to train staff to recognize the signs if a health condition worsens. Some of the more common health issues for senior pets: • Diabetes • Cushing’s Syndrome • Congestive Heart Failure • Chronic Kidney Disease • Hyperthyroidism • Dental Disease • Cognitive Dysfunction • Cancer • Urinary Incontinence Since pets are living longer than ever, you will undoubtedly encounter senior pets in the pet care facility. Accepting the senior pet can require additional staff training, care, and careful monitoring
held or cuddled, and if possible, taken out of the enclosure away from the hustle and bustle of the lodging environment. If your facility has a smaller environment or quiet area, it might be best to arrange for senior dogs to stay there.
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ful l o f
COMMONLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS By Dr. Lisa Aumiller
oarding pets on medication is commonplace. However, many animal caretakers
do not know what they’re giving and why. In vet school, we had one examination in which the teacher would give you a syringe and say “Give this subcutaneously”. If you didn’t ask “What is it?” before administering the liquid in the needle…you failed! You don’t need a medical degree to understand the basics of common medications. In fact, knowing what the medications are can give you an important clue as to what problems you should be looking out for to avoid a kennel disaster. Here are some
the basics of common medications. In fact,
knowing what the medications are can give you an important clue as to what problems you should be looking out for to avoid a kennel disaster.
Rimadyl/Dermaxx This is an Anti-inflammatory, commonly prescribed to pets with arthritis, joint problems, older dogs, or post operatively to help with arthritis pain/ inflammation. It can cause GI upset including anorexia, diarrhea, or melena (black feces from upper GI bleeding). If the pet is not eating or vomiting DO
common medications, what they mean,
NOT give this medicine and call a vet.
and what you should look out for to
If you notice any diarrhea or abnormal stool issues DO NOT give and call a vet.
avoid being liable.
You don’t need a medical degree to understand
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
Catching an early problem will alleviate some major catastrophes. Doxycycline/Clavamox These are common antibiotics used for respiratory conditions. If you have a pet come in on either one of these medications, make sure to clarify with the owner why pet is on the medication. If the pet has a contagious respiratory condition, you should recommend boarding at a hospital - NOT at your facility. NOTE: These antibiotics can also
be used for many other issues such as skin infections, urinary infections, dental infections, and tick borne diseases, just to name a few. Lasix This is a diuretic and is typically given to pets in heart failure or with heart conditions. I would recommend asking the owner if you can speak with their vet to know what signs to look for while the pet is boarding with you. In general, if the pet is coughing or having increased respiratory effort (abdominal breathing), notify the veterinarian ASAP. Dasaquin/Cosequin These are Nutraceutical supplements for joint support that include MSN and glucosamine. Dasaquin has added avocado extract for natural antiinflammatory action. Phenobarbitol/Zonisamide This is an Antiseizure medication. If pets board on these medications ask the owners how often the pet has seizures, what the seizures look like, and are there any triggers to the seizures you should look out for (eg loud noises, weather changes, stress, etc). Acepromazine This is a tranquilizer commonly used for pets that have anxiety. Acepromazine can cause depression and changes in the blood pressure. There are other options that are better for pets with anxiety that should be considered if this is given over a long period of time. If the pet is too sleepy on this medication, contact the veterinarian and let them know. n Do you have questions that you want the vet to answer? Send your questions to AskTheVet@HousePawsMobileVet.com Dr. Lisa Aumiller is a veterinarian that has been serving pets in NJ and PA for over 15 years. She is the founder and CEO of HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, the largest mobile veterinary service in North America.
PET BOARDING & DAYCARE
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