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INFORMATION FOR GUESTS

Dear animal lover,

Tierpensionen-Schweiz wants to help you find the animal boarding service that best matches your pet's needs. To make this easy for you, we provide a power search with over 80 search criteria. Those search criteria correspond to the features most frequently requested by pet owners.

All our members are professional service providers, of whom you can expect expert knowledge and experience with handling animals. Nevertheless, Tierpensionen-Schweiz can only help you perform a preselection. We can not replace the personal impression you will gain when you go and actually see an animal boarding facility.

The explanations following in this section will help you understand what needs to be considered when you choose someone to take care of your pet, as well as which conditions and limitations commonly apply.


1 Where is the service rendered?

Tierpensionen-Schweiz distinguishes two kinds of services: services renedered at the animal boarding facility/ pet hotel and services rendered at your home (pet sitting).


2 Which services are being offered?

At Tierpensionen-Schweiz, we are focussing on professional animal boarding at the provider's premises. During your pet's stay, additional services may be rendered, usually for a fee.

As supplementary services are offered with great diversity in scope as well as in pricing, we have not taken them into account. We only display which pet hotels provide such services, while the actual cost is best negotiated when you contact the provider.


3 Explanation of the Search Criteria

To make your search efficient and successful, it is important to understand up front what each criterion exactly means.


3.1 My Animal

In this section, you indicate for what species you are seeking services. For dogs, you have to indicate the dog's size, as this has an influence on the quantity of food needed.

The basic rate displayed in the search results is the price for accommodation, including the overnight stay (this is the variant most frequently requested). Food costs are indicated separately.

We have decided to keep the cost for accommodation and for food separate, since some pet owners only want accommodation for their pet during the day, without an overnight stay (pet daycare). Others, whose pet needs to follow a special diet, prefer to bring special food from home.

Some animal boarding facilities charge a flatrate for accommodation including food, but offer a rebate for pet owners bringing their own food. By the same token, for accommodation without overnight stay, a lower price is usually charged than for accommodation plus overnight stay. If you are interested in one of these alternatives, we recommend that you discuss them with the provider.



3.2 Services rendered at your home

For services rendered at your home (pet sitting), we don't make a distinction between animal species, as we assume that you as the owner provide species-appropriate accommodation for your pet, so the pet sitter doesn't need accommodation facilities of his/her own.

Typically, these are services like feeding your pet, cleaning cages, taking your dog for a walk, or spending time with the animal, so he won't feel lonely.

Some pet sitters offer supplementary services not related to animals (e.g. emptying your letter box, watering flowers, airing your apartment, check the heating). Tierpensionen-Schweiz only lists services related directly to animals.

If you are interested in such supplementary services, we recommend that you enquire with one of the pet sitters offering home services. As far as those services don't require special know-how (heating, electricity), most pet sitters will be willing to provide these as well. The time spent with these supplementary services is usually charged at the same rate as animal-related home services.


3.3 Services rendered at the pet hotel

Some animal boarding facilities also offer a taxi service (picking your pet up and bringing her back). We list this services under "services provided at the animal boarding facility", since it is most frequently requested in connection with a stay there (exception: so-called "animal cabs").

Daycare OK: if you don't want to leave your dog alone during the day, or can not do so (e.g. barking in the appartment), you can find an animal boarding home where you can drop your pet in the morning and pick him up again in the evening. The rates applicable are different from those for accommodation with overnight stay.

Attention! Not all animal boarding facilities offer this service, as it results in higher organizational effort for them.


Social Climate (in general)

This section refers to all animal species. For dogs, there is another section with search criteria specific to dogs.

Single accommodation: means that your pet will have his own cage, which he will occupy alone. This makes sense with aggressive animals that do not tolerate other animals, or with sick animals or animals with behavioural disorders, for which social contact would be a burden.

Group accommodation: means that your pet will be in contact with other animals of the same species (e.g. when playing). Accommodation can be together with other animals, but a minimum surface per animal must be available. For most animals, group accommodation is good, as they will feel less lonely and separation from their familiar environment is overcome more easily.

Minigroups: some animal boarding facilities offer accommodation in small groups (up to ca. 5 animals). This applies to dogs and cats in particular. A small group makes it easier for your pet to orientate himself and blend into the social structure. Also, in a small group, it is easier for the guardian to observe how your pet is getting along and whether he's feeling good.

Family accommodation: the term describes accommodation of an animal (usually dog or cat) within the family and its private rooms. Which implies that a dog or a cat are allowed to freely move around the house. Family accommodation provides intensive contact with humans thus conveys a sense of belonging to your pet.

Neutered animals only: Animals living together with other animals have to be neutered. In case your pet has not been neutered, the animal boarding facility will insist on single accommodation, to prevent mating with other animals. Many pet hotels refuse to accommodate non-neutered animals.


Social climate (dog)

The Number of animals per house/ unit has an influence on your pet's well-being. As a matter of course, character and temperament of your pet also play a role.

Own blanket/own toy OK: bringing along a familiar object from home will make the transition to the new environment less abrupt for your pet and make it easier for him to acclimate himself.

DAP (dog appeasement pheromone): a method using a pheromone spray in the animal boarding facility, thus simulating a familiar environment to the dog.

Problem dog OK: if you tick this criterion, you will see those animal boarding facilities that are willing to accommodate dogs with psychological problems or behavioural disorders. Make sure you check that the guardians have the required qualifications.

Dangerous race OK: Dangerous races are dog breeds that present a highly developed aggressive instincts. If your are the owner of such a dog, do point this out to the service provider beforehand.

Dog in heat OK: if you are the owner of a female dog that is currently in heat, this search criterion allows you to find pet hotels which are equipped to accommodate your pet. As a matter of course, a dog in heat will be placed in single accommo-dation.

Young animal OK: via this search criterion, you can find animal boarding facilities that are willing to accept young animals (as a rule, a minimum age of a few weeks is required) and are not overwhelmed by the specific needs of a puppy or kitten.

Old animal OK: with this search criterion, you select animal boarding homes that are equipped for the needs of older animals. This relates in particular to special food, administration of medicines, as well as emergency care.

Trial days mandatory: as every animal has its own character, it can happen that a pet does not blend in with the social structure in the boarding facility. Therefore, some pet boarding homes demand a trial day, before accepting your pet for a longer stay.


Exercise (general)

In this section, animal boarding homes indicate which options for exercise they offer. For options specific for one particular species, the name of that species is indicated in brackets.

Run area inhouse (dog):pet hotels fulfilling this criterion have an indoor run area for dogs (which can be used on rainy days).

Run area outdoors (dog): an outdoor run area can be a meadow or similar compound outside of the kennel / recreation room, where your dog can move around at will.

Run area for cats / small animals: this designates an outdoor run area, which must be secured in a way to prevent your pet from running away or getting lost. For small animals (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs), the run area must offer good protection against predators (e.g. martens).

Playground: if a pet hotel indicates "playing ground available", a green area is available for pet hotel guests. A playground like a meadow would at the same time qualify as an "outdoor run area". However, not every outdoor run area is automatically a meadow.

Aviary outdoors: a bird cage that is located oudoors. Ideally, birds should be able to switch between indoors and outdoors area at will.

Water basin: on a hot summer day, dogs love to take a cool bath. Important: the water should be replaced at regular intervals.

Walks: for dogs only. Many pet hotels offer one daily walk for free, unless sufficient opportunity for exercise is provided otherwise. There are other pet hotels that charge for all walks as a general rule. Therefore, it's best to inquire when contacting a pet hotel.

Exercise program: concerns mostly dogs. Unlike with walks or with run areas, in an exercise program, your pet is encouraged to actively participate: for example playing with a ball, fetching a stick, playing tag. For horses, the same term would designate a ride-out. As exercise programs tie up personnel, there will most commonly be an extra charge.



Comfort (general)

Relaxation room available: this is a room to which the animals can withdraw during the day if they feel like having a rest or a nap, or when they are tired of other animals' company. The relaxation room is different from the dormitory where the animals spend the night.

Heated dormitory: especially in winter, a heated dormitory increases your pet's well-being. This is of particular importance for older animals. Good pet hotels are aware of this.

Heated rooms: in winter, when pet hotel guests spend most of their time indoors, it is important that the rooms where they are staying have at least room temperature.

Underfloor heating: a special convenience for your pet, makes the place more cosy. If underfloor heating is available, pet hotel guests have a bigger choice of warm places to lie down.

Rooms with radio: gentle radio music conveys the impression to animals to be in a room inhabited by humans. This reduces the stress caused by the unfamiliar environment.

Webcam: modern pet hotels have begun to install web cams in certain areas of their boarding facility (e.g. recreation room). This enables you as an owner to observe your pet from where you are.

Reports to owner: committed pet hotels are nowadays ready to inform the owner at regular intervals about how his/her pet is doing in the new environment. You need to agree with your pet hotel in what format these reports will be delivered (phone, SMS, email).


Comfort (dog)

Solid partition walls (against stress): if your dog is not used to living in a group of animals, a stay in a pet hotel can mean significant stress to him. Solid partition walls provide a privacy shield and a feeling of security, and thus help to reduce stress.

Roofed kennels: roofed kennels offer protection against rain and thus increase your dog's sphere of action on a rainy day. Roofed kennels can also provide an increased sense of security (by delimiting your dog's the territory against other dogs).

Kennels not of wood: Wood will gather humidity. As dogs have a habit of marking their territory, wooden parts will inevitably assume a scent of urine, which will irritate the next dog. For this reason, as well as for the sake of hygiene, wood is not to be recommended. This applies to animal boarding in general.

Kennels not metal only: Kennels that are made of mesh wire only offer very little privacy shielding. Metal kennels should be made of high quality material, to prevent injury to your dog when he tries to stick out his muzzle or paw.

Standard hight: >= 1.80 m: this standard hight prevents unsolicited contact between dogs of neighbouring kennels.

Minimum surface per dog: make sure your dog has sufficient space to move around at any time. Sufficient space is a wellness factor for your dog.

View into nature: this criterion allows you to find pet hotels where your dog has a view into nature from its kennel. This is important, as the "view" satisfies the natural urge of a dog to observe its surroundings.


Food

Dry food: ready-made feed that will be mixed with water. As a rule, dry food also contains meat.

Mixed food: a mixture of dry feed and fresh components (meat).

Special food: this term is either used for a special concentrated feed, or a special diet feed adapted for specific health problems of a dog.

Raw food (BARF - species-appropriate biological food): with dogs, this term designates a feed consisting mainly of raw meat. With other species, the term is used for a diet that would be typical of that species in the wild.

Independent food: no pet hotel will have an objection if you bring your own feed in sufficient quantity. On the other hand, not all pet hotels will be willing to grant a discount on their standard rate if you do. We recommend that you clarify this question with your pet hotel.

Isolated feeding: for dogs that have to keep a specific diet or that are afraid of other dogs, feeding in isolation is appropriate. This service may be charged extra.


Prices

At Tierpensionen-Schweiz the rate for board and lodging for your pet is rolled into one amount called Basic rate. Rates for pet daycare (without overnight stay) have to be agreed with each pet hotel individually.

The Food price is indicated separately, since some pet owners prefer to bring their own food.

Attention! Some pet hotels charge flat rates: in that case, the basic rates includes accommodation and food price, the food price is indicated as zero. If you choose such a pet hotel and intend to bring your own food, please check with the provider whether they will give you a discount if you do. Not all pet hotels are willing to do so.


Surcharges

It is common practice that pet hotels apply a surcharge for additional services. Some pet hotels, however, offer additional services free of charge, as long as the effort is minor. We recommend that you carefully read the pet hotel's service description. In case of doubt, request more detailed information.

Heating costs: It is common practice to charge a somewhat higher basic rate in winter, to account for increased heating costs.

Walks: Walks with your dog classify as additional services and as such are basically chargeable. Some pet hotels, however, offer one daily walk for free (included in the basic rate).

Administration of medicines: many pet hotels charge extra for administering medicines to your pet.

Animal care/grooming: cutting claws, brushing your pet's fur, bathing your pet etc. are chargeable additional services. Some pet hotels provide such services free of charge, as long as the effort is minor.

Pet sitting: some pet hotels offer playing with your pet, stroking etc. as an additional service.

Single accommodation: if your pet requires a cage of its own, this can entail an extra charge.

Sundays and public holidays: some pet hotels do not work on Sundays and public holidays! You can see in the pet hotel's profile whether such restrictions apply. It is also common to apply a surcharge for Sundays and public holidays, provided that the service is available.

Rented cages for birds and rodents:if you are not equipped with a portable cage for your bird or rodent, your pet hotel can usually provide it for you for a small fee.

Discounts for several pets: if you check in several pets of the same species at the same time, most pet hotels will grant you a discount.

Discount for long-term stay: if you have to give your pet into care for several weeks, you can inquire with your pet hotel whether they will offer you a discount on their basic rate.

Subscription: recently, some pet service providers have started offering a kind of subscription service: e.g. discounts offered if you purchase a set number of days at their pet hotel, or discounts on a ticket of ten for grooming.


Qualification of the pet service provider

Trained specialist: many pet service providers are trained animal care specialists. As there is a large number of potential qualifications, we can only provide a high-level classification. You can see further details in your pet service provider's profile.

Trainer's diploma: in these pet hotels, at least one employee is a qualified dog trainer. Usually, such pet hotels also offer training courses for dog owners.

Trained therapist: these pet hotels have qualified staff to offer therapies for animals with behavioural disorders.

Recognized educational institution: these are pet hotels that are qualified to train apprentices. This license is state-controlled, so you may expect comprehensive expertise of these pet service providers.

Vet on site: this criterion is of particular importance if you give an old or sick pet into care. It is a reassuring for you as a pet owner, to know that a qualified veterinarian is on site. Important: please clarify with the veterinarian resp. pet hotel what is to be done in an emergency situation!

Medical services are not covered by the basic rate.

Vet reachable 24/24: this criterion means that in case of emergency, a veterinarian is reachable any time and able to help (either on site or in his practice). Ask for the name and address of the veterinarian working with your pet hotel, so you can assess whether the distance is realistic for emergency intervention.


Other Services

Pre-purchase counseling: if you consider buying a pet for yourself or your family, you should seek advice before you do. A dog, for example, does not only need space, but will also have a significant impact on your daily routine (take your dog out for a pee, go for a walk with him, can not stay alone at your place etc.). Not every species and every breed of animal is equally suitable. Competent professionals can easily summarize the key points for you and help you find the best balance between a pet's needs and your possibilites.

Animal placement services: many pet hotels also provide animal placement services. Many of them will accommodate pets that had to be abandoned by their owner (due to disease or death of the owner, change in circumstances) and try to find new owners for them. These pets will be very happy to find a new home.

Training for owners: applies particularly to dog owners, although other pet owners would be well advised as well to seek comprehensive information about the specific needs of their pet. Dogs establish a close relationship with their owner and appreciate clear hierarchies. Therefore, it's of fundamental importance to attend a dog owner's training with your dog, otherwise he might soon get too much for you. In Switzerland, attending a dog owner's training is mandatory.

Dog training: training of a dog for specific special tasks: e.g. custody of buildings, personal protection, seeing-eye dog etc.. There are special schools for dog training.

Individual counseling: in individual counseling, we don't make a distinction of animal species. If your pet exhibits a behavioural disorder (or if you suspect he does), it is best to consult an expert. In many cases, small changes in a pet's environment or in the owner's behaviour can help to get rid of the disorder.

Therapy/ Problem dogs: a number of pet hotels have specialized in the treatment of behavioural disorders (of dogs, in most cases). In many cases, the behavioural disorder occurs because the pet owner is not familiar with the pet's needs. In order to get rid of the disorder, in many cases, owners have to change their ways.

Admission of abandoned pets: a topic of paramount importance! Nobody will rip your head off if you have to part with your beloved pet (for whatever reasons). Talk about it with a pet hotel or an animal shelter. Thanks to their professional know-how and their contacts with people who wish to acquire a pet, they can save you and your pet a lot of stress.



 
 
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