Tips to find animal boarding in Minneapolis

Who we talked to

Jean Beuning, owner

Top Dog Country Club


5120 Vega Ave.

New Germany, Minn.

952-353-2600

topdogcountryclub.com

Jean Beuning knows a thing or two about hospitality. After spending 14 years working for Marriott hotels, she embarked on building a resort hotel for dogs in 2000 following a negative boarding experience with her four shelties.

She now runs a boarding facility that boasts an 18,000-square-foot play area, a heated swimming pool and the 2008 Super Service Award. "I run this place just like a hotel, except my clients are four-legged, furry and much easier to please," Beuning says.

How can I make sure my pet has a happy stay?

"Making certain your pet has a happy stay is a partnership between you and the boarding facility. Do your homework. I strongly recommend visiting any facility before you board your pets. First impressions are important. So is asking a lot of questions:

"Is the facility clean to the eye and nose? Does it seem to be put together well and organized? Or is it messy and dirty? How does the staff react and interact with you and your pets? Are you allowed to bring your pets' food, bedding, toys or treats? Make sure you completely understand the daily routine and if the facility can tailor it to your pet's specific needs. Do they accept older pets, and puppies and kittens? If so, what special accommodations do they provide? Do they monitor the pets' health every day, and if so, how? Do they require verification of vaccinations? Do you get detailed feedback regarding your pet's stay?

"For dogs, how much of the time are they inside and outside? If they offer group playtime, how are dogs grouped? What kind of supervision do they have? How is the staff trained? How do they handle fights if they occur? Are play yards supervised at all times?

"Our rate is $49 to $55 per dog, per night, which includes supervised daily group playtime five to six hours a day that can be customized for puppies and older dogs' needs. The dogs stay in private suites with heated floors and custom-made beds. Our staff is with the dogs 15 hours or more every day, and the staff-to-dog ratio is about one employee for every five to eight dogs. Clients can bring whatever they want from home for their dogs like a favorite blanket with familiar scents, toys, treats or their beds. We ask clients to bring the food they feed their dogs at home and we also require documentation of rabies and bordetella, and distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus vaccinations."


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