If you own a dog, you may find yourself in the position where you need to take him to a boarding kennel while you travel. Choosing the right boarding facility for your dog can make the difference between a pleasant boarding experience and an outright disaster. It's crucial to take your time picking out the facility where your dogs will stay while you're away.
Starting Your Search
When you start looking for a dog boarding kennel, talk to every dog lover you know and ask for reviews and recommendations of local businesses that offer the service. Your veterinarian, as well as your fellow dog lovers, should be able to help and provide you with a list of kennels that provide boarding services. You can also search online and in your phone book. Make a list of all the boarding kennels in your area and then begin to assess their good and bad qualities.
Reputation is Important
The amount of time your dog spends at the boarding facility is one of the reasons that it is so crucial to make sure he is staying at a reputable facility. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if the boarding business has a positive or negative rating. Read any complaints that have been filed against the boarding facility and check to make sure those complaints have been resolved with the BBB.
Visit the Facilities
Make an appointment to visit the boarding facilities you are considering. Look around the kennels to make sure everything is clean, dogs have adequate space, food, water and that every animal on the property seems reasonably healthy and happy. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure they are satisfactorily answered by the staff.
Take Your Dog Into Account
Take your dog's unique personality and needs into account when trying to choose the right boarding facility. If your dog is a senior or has medical problems, consider boarding him with a veterinarian or at a kennel that has a veterinarian on staff or on-call. If your dog is nervous around strangers or other dogs, choose a smaller kennel that allows more one-on-one interaction. If your dog is aggressive with other animals or humans, that behavior absolutely must be considered when you are considering boarding your pet. Discuss all of your dog's issues with the kennel where you are considering boarding him and make sure they understand what your dog needs before you schedule to drop him off at their door.
By Jen Davis
Pet MD: Boarding Your Dog (and Cat)
That Mutt: 10 Questions to Ask Before Boarding Your Dog
North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance: What Should I Know About
Humane Society of the United States: Choosing a Boarding Kennel
About the Author
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.