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6 Tips for Choosing a Remote Monitoring System for Your Pet Care Facility

Pet boarding

If you own or work at a pet daycare or boarding facility, you know how important it is to keep cat and dog guests safe and comfortable. If the power fails or a ventilation system stops working when staff is off-site, the results could be disastrous for the animals and your business. Luckily, there’s a fast, easy way to maintain a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. 

Remote monitoring systems help ensure the safety and comfort of dog and cat guests, even when there are no personnel on-site. Real-time alerts allow you to stay ahead of threats and protect animals from:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Poor ventilation
  • High CO2 levels
  • High humidity levels
  • Power failures
  • Equipment failures (circulation fans, ventilation systems, heating and air conditioning, etc.)

If any of these conditions falls outside of the preset parameters, designated personnel will receive an alert immediately by phone, email or text. This means you spend less time and money monitoring your facility and get peace of mind knowing animals are well-protected.

There are many considerations to make when choosing a remote monitoring system for a pet care facility. Here are some tips to help you find a system that meets your exact needs.

1. Find the Right Monitoring System for Your Needs

There are many different options to choose from when selecting a remote monitoring system. For a smaller facility, the best option may be a low-cost, non-expandable system. However, if you’re planning for future growth, an expandable system may be a better fit for your operation. That way, you won’t have to worry about replacing the entire system in the future. 

The right manufacturer will be able to assess your needs and recommend the best product for your facility. When looking for a manufacturer, be sure to check that they have experience working with similar applications. Typically, there is no need for a site visit to determine which products are best for your application. However, if you would like to have someone take a look at your facility, many companies can set up a video conference or FaceTime chat. Alternatively, the manufacturer may be able to recommend local contractors. 

There should be no charge for demos, consultation or assistance throughout the product selection process. Make sure to ask if there are any fees or licenses to keep using the monitoring equipment after you purchase it.

2. Determine What Sensors You Will Need

Selecting the right sensors is critical to making sure your animal guests remain safe and healthy. Sensors are available for monitoring temperature, humidity, water leaks, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, power failure and building/room access. If you need to store medications for pets, you should consider installing sensors inside the refrigerator or freezer. These sensors will help you ensure that medications are stored at the correct temperature and that the cold storage unit is working properly.

3. Consider a Cloud-Based System

Cloud-based systems let you see the real-time status of all monitored conditions and receive alerts when issues occur. Notifications can be sent right to your mobile device, so you can take fast, preventive action. Cloud-based technology uses a network of remote servers to store, manage and process massive amounts of data. That means users do not have to worry about installing software or maintaining a network of local servers. 

A cloud-based system stores an unlimited amount of data for easy access from any internet-connected device via a website or app. They automatically send sensor data to an online dashboard to view in real time.

4. Decide Between Wired and Wireless Sensors  

Wired and wireless sensors both have their advantages and disadvantages. Deciding on the right option for your facility will depend on the specific needs of your application. 

Wireless monitoring systems connect with sensors using built-in radio transmitters, which means you can add new sensors without running additional wiring. These systems are useful where it's not possible or cost-effective to run cabling through walls, floors and ceilings. Some wireless systems can accept up to 30 different sensors from up to 300 feet away.

Hardwired sensors are more time-consuming and expensive to install than wireless sensors. However, since hardwired sensors are physically connected by wires to the base unit, they are faster and more reliable than wireless sensors. Many sensors include several feet of wire but can be installed 1,000-2,500 feet away from the base unit, depending on the type of sensor. If you need to run wires through walls or ceilings, it’s a good idea to hire an electrician. 

5. Learn the Setup and Installation Basics

Installing a remote monitoring system is quick and easy, and you can often set it up yourself. There are only three steps for installing the base unit: 

  1. Mount the device to the wall or somewhere secure. 
  2. Plug it into an electrical outlet and an internet connection. 
  3. Connect the sensors. 

If you need help setting up the system, ask if the manufacturer offers installation services or if they can recommend a local representative who can assist you. 

6. Be Prepared for a Power Outage

If the power fails and heaters or other critical equipment stop working, dog and cat guests could be in danger. That’s why you should consider installing a remote monitoring system with a battery backup. A battery backup provides uninterrupted backup power if the main power fails. For example, the Sensaphone Sentinel monitoring system includes a rechargeable battery backup system that provides 8 hours of continuous operation in the event of a power outage.

Sensaphone offers a wide range of monitoring systems to support your needs. For more information or help finding the right system for your facility, contact one of our experts today.