Be Wary and On Guard When Boarding Your Pets

*This story was submitted by one of our teen guest contributors NL to let other families know about their experience with at the PetSmart South Las Vegas Nevada. We think it serves as an important reminder to always be vigilant when boarding your 4 legged family members*

A few days ago we got a call from my Grandma who lives in Albuquerque. She said my Great Grandma who also lives in Albuquerque had cancer and wasn’t going to make it much longer. Right then we knew we were going to go out there for the funeral. The news didn’t happen at a very good time. I and my sister had to start school in about a week. We had a lot to think about such as getting my dog Kobe boarded, figuring out whether to fly or drive. Over the next few days we thought about it and came to the conclusion that we were going to drive, and not fly. The drive to Albuquerque is 8 hours but add all the stops and it can be a couple more. The only thing we hadn’t decided was where to board my dog Kobe. He usually gets boarded at the Vet he goes to but the areas they have there are pretty small and not big enough for a dog his size. So me and my family looked around a bit more and decided that the Petsmart PetsHotel  looks nice and the areas there are nice and bigger. We got him a bigger area instead of the normal size.

Kobe Safe At HomeSo the day before we left, we went to the Pet Hotel to make sure it was as nice. Turns out it was very nice and clean, the bigger area we got him was perfect for him. The next day, the day we left, I and my mom were going to take him to the Pet’s Mart pet hotel. When we got there he was so happy, they took him back before we had a chance to say bye.

We were already half way to Albuquerque with almost 4 or 5 hours left to go. My mom called to check and make sure Kobe was adjusting ok. I and my family then heard some not so great news. My mom was on the phone with the pet hotel and they told us that Kobe had not yet gone to the bathroom we were almost half way through the day and he hadn’t gone to the bathroom which is not like my dog. He goes to the bathroom almost every 3 hours. It had been at least six. I heard the girl tell us that it was normal for dogs to react this way because the bathroom area is inside which no dog is really used to. We then started to get a tad bit worried. When we finally arrived in Albuquerque after a long 8 hour plus drive we called the pet hotel again to see if there was any update. I heard the lady say again he had still not gone to the bathroom. She said they have a little drain in there rooms they can pee in but she said it hardly looked like he had gone to bathroom there. It was an entire day that my dog Kobe hadn’t gone to the bathroom. As soon as I heard that I knew something wasn’t right.

Unable to sleep all night my mom, sister, and I were worried about Kobe. We decided not to call immediately that morning because we wanted to give them time to feed him and attempt to take him out to the indoor bathroom again. We were busy pretty much that entire morning with my grandma and all my family we didn’t have a chance to call to receive an update. As soon as my Mom had a chance she called and again I heard Kobe had still not gone to the bathroom. It had been almost two days since he had last gone to the bathroom. My mom then asked to talk to a manager. When the manager finally came to the phone, my mom asked her if she could take Kobe out to go to the bathroom and not rush him. They apparently wait so long and if they don’t go to the bathroom they put them back in there rooms. He needs time to walk around and smell and find the right spot and not rush them. I heard the manager say yes I will take him out and she would call us back. An hour later she calls back and says I waited 20 minutes and he didn’t go. I then knew it wasn’t about waiting he just didn’t feel comfortable going in a room were all other dogs go to the bathroom. You can’t expect a dog that was trained to go outdoors since he was born to break that rule he knows it’s not right. They were about to close so we were going to call again in the morning.

My mom planned on calling that morning but she didn’t she didn’t want to call because she knew eventually he would go no dog can hold it for 2 whole days. I too believed that and tried not to think about it much. Later that day I decided to call to check on how he was doing again she said he hadn’t gone at all. I was getting so sick of the same words coming out of there mouths its like they were all robots reading a teleprompter. They said the same line they did when I previously heard the “well it’s normal for a dog to come here and not go to the bathroom they are scared but they will don’t worry its normal”. I then decided to do a little research not one place could I find where it says it’s normal for a dog to hold it this long. I didn’t see anything that said a dog hasn’t gone to the bathroom for more then 1 day. I told my mom as soon as I saw nothing on the internet. She called the pet hotel and asked if anyone could take him outside again, I heard the employee say no we have a vet next door who can check him and take him outside and that’s $50. I understood she was basically saying in order for someone to take my dog outside we have to pay $50 on top of everything we are paying for him to stay there. That was the most pathetic thing I think I have every heard someone say in my entire life.

My mom then called our Vet, and asked if it was normal for a dog to hold the bathroom for 1 or more days, he said not at all. I heard him say, “Like humans we can only hold it for so long, it’s not normal”. I realized she was talking to the vet he always see’s every time he is sick or has to go to the vet. He said I can do what’s called a house call where I go pick him up and I will bring him here, walk him around outside and have him stay here for the rest of the days your gone. I remember about thinking how pathetic it is he even needs to leave the pet hotel. This would have never happened if the people working there didn’t just care about money and actually took care of him this never would have happened. I was so happy when he said he could go pick him up within the hour, the only thing the vet was worried about was them releasing Kobe into his care.

After my mom got off the phone with the vet she called the Pet Hotel and asked if she could put down another person that can pick Kobe up. It was much easier then I thought it would be because I expected them to get mad, we told them to give the vet all his bones and bedding. Later that hour the vet called and said he is at the vet and is doing just fine. He went pee and poop as soon as they reached the grass. He said Kobe was panting the entire time because his bladder was so full it was hurting him. The only thing the Pet Hotel didn’t do was give the vet his food. We called again that day to see how Kobe was adjusting, he was going to the bathroom just fine and they gave him the biggest room they had in the vet boarding area. One day later we finally got back home and immediately went to pick Kobe up from the vet boarding area he was just fine and was going to the bathroom normally as well. He was so happy to see us, the vet told us to watch how he is going to the bathroom over the next week because he might have an infection from holding it that long.

Next week we were back at the vet with Kobe who had a bladder infection. The vet had given us a prescription that would stop the infection, Kobe had to take it everyday for two weeks. As of right now Kobe is just fine and still taking the pills for a few more days. To anyone who reads this and has a pet don’t even think about taking them to the Pets Mart Pet Hotel. They are very rude and do not take good care of the animals that stay there this is just a warning. We shouldn’t have had to deal with this while being with my family for a funeral. We will never go to PetsMart or the Pet Hotel ever again, and will not board Kobe anywhere in the near future.