Our beloved pets deserve great care when we travel without them

Our beloved pets deserve great care when we travel without them

Our beloved pets deserve to be well looked after when we travel.  I’ve got a dog (Adida) and a cat (Pele) that can sometimes travel with us but other times they can’t. It’s great if one of my kids is available to look after them but if not then I board my dog at a great kennel, Lietash Pet Vacation Resort in South Rawdon, Nova Scotia.   I have always used a trusted friend to look after my indoor feline friend and keep an eye on the house.

I chose to start boarding my dogs at a young age for short stints at first to get them used to the fact that I will return.  Choose the right facility and you’ll be rewarded with a happy dog!

So what should you look for when boarding your animal?

Do they have good references?

Many years and another dog ago, I chose the Lietash kennel when I heard that security for world leaders were boarding their security dogs there when in town!  Well if it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for me.  And my neighbour was a happy customer with high recommendations. I did already know the owner, Bob Ottenbrite, from taking obedience classes (for my dog not me!) from him. at Lietash Canine Academy.  (On a side note, obedience classes go a long way to tapping into a dog’s intelligence and having a great dog.)

Will your dog be happy there?

When I say to Adida, “want to go see Bob?”, she runs to the front door. On a recent pick-up, she was still running around following his wife and I commented on how happy she seemed.  Bob replied, “she loves it here!”

Obviously you want your dog to be in a caring environment with knowledgeable owners and staff.  I wouldn’t keep going back if I thought my dog weren’t being well looked after and happy there.  When we arrive to Bob’s beautiful country home, about an hour drive for me, she bounds out of the car.  Bob has lots of farm animals (chickens, turkeys, pigs, llamas) and I think Adida likes that too. Of course she’s wildly happy to see me when I pick her up and it’s almost worth leaving her to get that greeting.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for a day or a month I get the same madly loving dog. Don’t set your dog up for failure by being sad or making a big scene when you leave.  Interact positively with your dog.   I always tell mine that “I’ll be back”.  I think she gets that.

For your amusement, here’s a video of my dog giving me a “french kiss”, her habit when I’ve been missed.


Is the facility clean?

Of course, before boarding your dog anywhere you’ll want to have a look and sniff around to make sure that your dog’s being kept in a clean environment.

Have the other dogs been vaccinated?

Lietash requires that boarded dogs are up-to-date with their vaccinations in particular against diseases like bordatello, parovirus and distemper.  This is a great reassurance that your dog will stay healthy while visiting.

Will your pet be walked?

A dog in a run typically gets plenty of exercise but you may want a facility that will take your dog for a walk and give that personal touch.

Do you prefer the in-home type of boarding facility?

Some choose to board their animals in a house type arrangement.  Just make sure that you are comfortable with their manner of keeping your dog safe and secure secure.

Will your dog be safe?

One of the first times that I left a dog with a family friend, whom I trusted completely, I arrived home to find the dog being walked on our busy street without a leash.  And this was after I had clearly instructed her to always use a leash.  So that was it for using friends.   Recently we found a tagless dog in our neighbourhood and had to call animal control.  It turned out that this dog was being looked after by friends for the owner and the dog had escaped.  I just don’t want that kind of worry. Personally I feel that a place like Lietash is the safest type of environment for my dog and I’m relieved  of worry when I’m traveling.

Will your dog be protected from the elements?

The spacious dog runs at Lietash allow the dogs to freely be inside or outside and comfortable temperatures are maintained.

Will you dog be interacting with other dogs?

Some owners may prefer to have their dog interacting with other dogs.  However, like me you may not prefer this type of set-up.  I think that there is more risk of illness or flea transfer, and injuries.  At least it would be tough for the establishment to make any guarantee against it and I expect there are waivers to sign relinquishing them of responsibility. Get what you want.

Can you check in?

Some facilities have cameras and you can watch your pooch while you are away.  At Lietash I am welcome to email or call to check-in on how my dog is doing but generally I don’t bother unless it’s a particularly long trip.  I know that if there was any cause for concern that they would contact me.

Is the cost reasonable?

You’ll want to be clear of all costs and factor in whether food is included or not.  I always prefer my dog to stay on the diet that she is accustomed to at home.  Be sure to discuss the feeding of your pet as well as occasional treats so that you’ll know ahead of time if they can accommodate your wishes in this area.

Other questions:

Will your pet be groomed or bathed if necessary?

Are pet beds provided or should you bring one?

What else should you bring?

For more information on the Lietash Pet Vacation Resort and Lietash Canine Academy, visit their website at  http://lietash.com

My cat Pele

My cat Pele


 Sad Sidenote:  Pele has since passed on at the too young age of ten.