CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's a choice many dog owners have to make: Who can they trust to care for the dog when they go to work or out of town?
One possibility is boarding their pet at a doggy daycare.
Jennifer Parks has been in the doggy daycare business for 11 years. She owns Fetch in North Charleston and West Ashley.
"We believe in complete transparency," Parks said.
Parks says dog owners have a right to know that their pet will be safe when they d rop it off at a daycare.
"Doggy daycare is wonderful and fun and the dogs love it, but it's not setup for every dog," Parks said.
That's why Parks says it's important to do your research before making a decision for your dog.
"Whether it's calling up the doggy daycare, looking on the Internet to see what would be a good match," Parks said.
She says when you go to check out a daycare be sure to ask lots of questions and observe.
"They should be greeted with what kind of dog do you have, what's your dog's name, and that's the genuineness of the staff," Parks said.
Parks says the dog owner should ask about procedures in the event of an emergency, and make sure they are properly notified.
"What happens is my dog gets hurt, what do you do? And there should be a procedure, call the parents and so on and so forth?" she said.
She says dog owners should also ask how the facility is cleaned.
"Sanitizing and deodorizing and disinfecting is number one priority," Parks said. Parks says a kennel that is not cleaned properly can cause kennel cough, a respiratory infection.
"Kennel cough can be spread by a blade of grass. If there was a kennel cough outbreak I could close in three days, that's how contagious it is," she said.
And finally, Parks says it's vital to watch how staff members interact with the dogs.
"You should know what is going on with your dogs at every single moment," she said.