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Finding Pet Boarding for Your Special Needs Dog

You count your dog as a beloved member of your household. If you could, you'd take him anywhere you go, be it your bedroom or out of town for the annual family vacation.

But this time, it's different. Much as you'd like to take your furry little pal on a trip, you just can't. Maybe you are going away on business and you do not want to project an unprofessional image by having a pet with you. Or perhaps you are visiting a loved one who has been ill for quite some time, and you can't provide your pet with much-needed TLC.

If you can't bring your pet with you, your next best option is to find a pet boarding establishment that you can trust.

For his special needs

However, not just any pet boarding establishment will do for your pet. You must find one that can cater to his special needs.

But what does the term “special needs” mean when referring to pets, including your beloved pooch?

Special needs is an umbrella term that can refer to different conditions. Those special needs may arise out of a dog's age or medical or behavioral issues.

Unlike other dogs, yours may require additional care and attention. That, however, does not necessarily mean that special needs pets are harder to care for.


Due to your pooch's unique condition, you have developed a routine to ensure that those needs are met. You might have also made a few modifications in your home that allow you and your pet to work around his issues, medical or otherwise.

Not just any facility will do

Finding the right pet boarding facility in Dubai (or in any other city, for that matter) is a task that shouldn't be taken lightly. Apart from ensuring that your pup's basic needs are met, you need to make sure that those charged with caring for your pet can be trusted.

That task can be doubly hard when you have a special needs dog. For one, most pet boarding facilities have been built with normal dogs in mind. That means that these facilities can only meet the basic needs of their boarders. Some of these facilities might not have staff members who have the necessary experience and expertise in dealing with pets like yours.

Unlike other dogs, yours might have special requirements for boarding. For instance, he might need extended care and supervision due to a medical condition. Maybe your pet is partially immobile and needs someone who knows how to handle him correctly. Or perhaps his medical condition requires him to take medications or undergo a special diet.

If not just any pet boarding facility will do, how do you find the right one for Fido?

Choosing a boarding facility

In choosing a boarding facility, there are a few essential considerations that you need to bear in mind before making a final decision. Here are important things you need to look into, according to the experts at a trusted pet boarding facility in Ras Al Khaimah.

●   Staff

Ideally, there should be a veterinarian on site. This will ensure that your dog's medical needs are attended to promptly. If there is no vet on-site, ask how the facility will deal with medical emergencies and other related issues.

●   Features and facilities

If your pet has mobility issues, pay close attention to the flooring. Ideally, the pet boarding's facility should have non-skid flooring which will help prevent slips and injuries. Furthermore, this type of flooring can help alleviate stress in dogs who might be anxious about walking on slippery floors due to their conditions.

If possible, opt for a pet boarding facility that offers cageless boarding. This is the best option for special needs dogs who are not used to being in a different environment from your home.

Apart from these basic features, you might want to opt for extras like pet massage, orthopedic beds, and swimming pools which can help alleviate your pet's stress and anxiety.

●   Physical activities

Dogs with arthritis and related conditions need to move daily. Physical activities can help prevent side effects like muscle atrophy and stiff joints, especially during their stay at the facility.

On the converse side of the coin, the facility's staff should be careful about monitoring your pet's physical activities. Too much exercise can be harmful to many dogs.

●   Updates

To put your mind at ease, you would want to know how your pet is faring at the pet boarding facility while you are away. Some establishments send videos of their boarders while others can be reached through text or online chat.

Before committing to a facility, make sure that you pay a visit and inspect it thoroughly. Check out online reviews and factor these into your decision-making.

Prepping your dog

Finding the right pet boarding facility for your particular needs dog is just one part of a larger equation. Before leaving your dog at the facility, there are a few critical tasks that you need to perform.

●   Book in advance

Take note of the date you plan to board your dog. If you are planning on taking your trip during any of the peak seasons, you should inquire weeks in advance to ensure that your pooch secures a slot. Otherwise, you may have to settle for a different pet boarding facility.

●   Prepare your pet's things

Perhaps your dog can't sleep without his special blanket, or he might be currently taking medications. A few days before boarding, you should prepare all the crucial supplies he might need during his stay at your chosen facility.

●   List down specific instructions

Whether it's for his special diet or medication, make sure that you write detailed instructions for the facility's staff. Upon arrival at the facility, talk to one of their employees and give the instructions for feeding, exercising, taking medication and the like.

●   Schedule a visit to the vet

Visit your vet weeks before the boarding date. Ideally, your dog should have updated vaccinations days before his boarding. Make sure that his records are updated and provide the facility with a copy.

Making it easier for you and your pet

Being separated from your beloved pet, even for just a few days, can be stressful for you and your dog. However, if you take the time to choose the right boarding facility, you can make that temporary separation a bit easier for both of you.