It is springtime in most of the nation, so that means people everywhere are starting to cast furtive glances at their calendars, counting the days to their long-awaited planned summer vacations.
If you are one of these folks – and you happen to be a dog owner – you are probably also starting to consider what to do with your canine friend while you are out of town. You could take him or her with you, but you may find your dog isn’t terribly welcome at that beachside resort hotel you booked. You could leave your dog with a friend or family member, but are you sure they have the experience and knowledge they need to properly care for your pup?
The quick answer, of course, is to board your dog with a quality kennel service that won’t stress him or her out and that will give your friend plenty of activity, love and attention.
But how can you tell whether a boarding facility is high quality? We’ve got you covered today with a list of six things to check for when you are searching for a kennel for your dog. Let’s get started:
- Ask for recommendations. This is the surest, easiest way to find a good boarder. Ask friends and family, or strike up a conversation with a fellow dog owner at the park. You can also ask your veterinarian if they are willing to recommend a boarding facility that will be right for your dog’s breed and personality. After you have a recommendation, be sure to head over to the Better Business Bureau’s web site and check whether the business is considered trustworthy by the local community.
- Inspect the facility. Once you have a recommendation (or you have found a boarder you are willing to go with) it’s a good idea to head down there yourself before bringing your furry friend and have a look around. Inspect the place a bit – is there plenty of ventilation? Is it well-lit? Is it clean?
- Make sure that your pup will get plenty of activity and exercise. A quality dog boarding service has indoor or outdoor runs that are protected from the weather, and makes sure that their guests get plenty of exercise and time outside. In a quality boarding facility, each dog will have access to their own run, so that if they are stressed out by other dogs, they can get some exercise on their own.
- Make sure that your pup can get plenty of rest. You don’t want your dog to have to sleep on a cold concrete floor. A quality kennel will ensure that after a long day of playing and exercising, your dog has a comfortable, cushioned space to lay down.
- Ask about the vaccination and veterinarian policy. A kennel that is willing to take your dog without current vaccination papers is a kennel that is willing to expose your dog – and many others – to health risks. You want to be sure that all of the dogs your friend will be playing with are up to date on their shots so that when you return from your trip, you don’t have a sick pup (and a giant veterinarian bill) on your hands. Speaking of veterinarians, you want to select a boarding facility that has a vet on call, so that if there are any health emergencies, your dog can get the care that he or she needs.
- Take a look at the other pets boarded at the facility. This is one of the surest signs that a kennel or boarding service is of sufficient quality for your canine companion: How do the other animals look? Are they relaxed, happy and comfortable? Or are they anxious, pacing and agitated? It is worth bearing in mind that pets of any species will generally feel more comfortable in a boarding service that feels like home to them, rather than one that feels like a vet’s office, with cold floors and fluorescent lights.
What do you think of our list? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Gabe Coeli recently planned a trip with his family and needed a place to board his dog. This article was written to help others in choosing the right place to keep your dog while you’re out of town.