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Last week’s article was about how pet sitters could learn holistic animal care to do more for the animals in their care.  There are pet sitters who already incorporate holistic animal care into their business and that’s fantastic!

This week we want to talk about how boarding facilities are taking animal care to a higher level to become a leader of the pack.

We have enjoyed teaching holistic animal care to owners, staff, and boarders at multiple boarding facilities.  Last year, we spoke at The Dog Gurus summit in Texas, which was primarily attended by boarding facilities from all over the U.S.  Over the years, it has been a joy to see boarding facilities want to learn more so they can offer the very best to the animals they care for.

Why might a pet parent choose a boarding facility instead of a pet sitter?

  • While the majority of animals feel more safe and comfortable staying in their own home, especially cats, there are many animals that enjoy their time at a boarding facility and thrive there.  When Allison has had to travel, she has taken her dogs to a holistic focused boarding facility for many years.  Her dogs have had a wonderful time.
  • A boarding facility is staffed throughout the day and sometimes night, so they can keep a closer watch on the animals, more so than a pet sitter that would visit several times a day.
  • In addition to overnight boarding, some facilities offer a dog day care where dogs can enjoy themselves for a short time or a whole a day.  This can provide great interaction and entertainment for a dog, especially those that have anxiety or need to get some energy out.
  • Often, boarding facilities offer more services for the animals they care for than pet sitters do.
  • Pet parents may not feel comfortable having someone in their home and so a boarding facility is a great option.

With more pet parents seeking the best for the animals in their care, how are some boarding facilities reaching new heights with their care and services?

  • While most boarding facilities require vaccinations, more facilities are looking into the possibility of offering titers.  This is great news, especially if you have an animal that is older or immune compromised, as vaccines can be detrimental for those in that situation.
  • Boarding facilities are learning more about how color impacts not only the animals, but staff, too.  Every color has a frequency and so it’s not about what color the animal sees, but the vibration that color gives off.  Not only are wall colors being carefully considered, but also those used on flooring, especially where animals spend their most time.  Dark colors can be depressive over time, so vibrant and soothing colors like beige, light blue, yellow, and green are being chosen.  Keep light blue towels on hand for emergencies, to keep an animal calm.
  • Facilities are offering enrichment as part of their care or as an add-on option.  Enrichment helps to provide entertainment and stimulation for an animal, helping their overall well-being.  When I worked at the zoo, enrichment was a standard of care, even for the amazing reptiles and the animals in the bug house, not just for the mammals and birds.
  • Energy work can help an animal relax (and people, too).  You can offer energy by tapping on your collarbone and thymus area then rubbing your hands together.  Direct your palms towards the dog or other animal and intend to send relaxing and healing energy for their greater good.  It is best to start off at a distance of at least 5 feet and see how they respond.  You can move closer if they seem receptive.  In time, many dogs seek out the energy by positioning their body for you exactly where they want it.  For multiple animals, you can offer energy work from the front of the room, directed to all of the animals.
  • Crystals can help bring positive energy into the environment and remove negative energy.  Selenite and Himalayan salt lamps are being placed in facilities.  Rose quartz helps animals to feel comfortable and loved.  A pair of black tourmaline and citrine placed in the four corners of a facility can help to maintain positive energy and help everyone to feel grounded.  If the facility is large (more than 1500 square feet), more than four pairs may be needed.  Make sure animals can’t ingest the crystals.  Some animals may benefit from crystal therapy such as wearing a collar pouch with crystal beads in it (as shown in photo).  Muscle testing shows if crystal therapy will help the animal and if so, what crystals they need.  This can be a wonderful service to offer.
  • Many larger facilities have storefronts where they offer products for sale, especially nutrition.  Staff are learning how to utilize muscle testing to help boarders select the very best products for their animals, including food items.  This can be offered as a complementary service or fee-based.  A facility may choose to offer nutritional muscle testing consultations where they look at an animal’s entire diet, including supplements.  Some boarding facilities have our TCM chart displayed with the food, so pet parents can know what properties different proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains have when they are making their selection.
  • Music can provide calming for animals throughout a facility.  There are a number of music CD’s that were created specifically for relaxing animals.  You can find those listed on our product resource page here. Singing bells and singing bowls can also provide benefit.

This is just an example of some things boarding facilities are doing.  With holistic animal care (HAC), there is SO much that can be done.  Put your best paw forward:

  • If you are a pet parent, consider looking into boarding facilities that offer this level of care.
  • If you are a boarding facility interesting in seeing HAC in action, maybe you want to reach out to a holistic focused facility to get the tour and scoop from them.
  • Maybe you have a boarding facility or are thinking of opening one and want to incorporate holistic animal care into your business.  If you are not on our email list, consider joining as you will receive a weekly article and have access to over 250 articles in the archives.  Our online Learning Center is a fantastic way to start learning about all things holistic through videos, class notes, monthly calls, email chat group, bonuses like nutrition muscle testing flow chart, color therapy guide, TCM charts, collar pouch sewing pattern, singing bell audio, and much more.

Heart & Soul Blessings!

Kim & Allison

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