Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Dogs Vets
How To Choose A Boarding Kennel
Dog owners who are about to go on a long trip should consider a boarding kennel.
Some dogs need around-the-clock care, so their owners might worry about who will look after their pets.
If you are planning to travel and you can’t take your dog with you, you might be looking for a boarding kennel where your furry friend can stay while you are away. But how do you choose the best one for your dog?
Here are some tips to help you find a safe, comfortable and reliable boarding kennel for your canine companion.
Fortunately, choosing a good boarding kennel can ensure that your furry companion is well taken care of and receives 24/7 care when you’re not around.
What Is A Boarding Kennel?
A boarding kennel is an establishment that can take care of your pet while you are away on business or leisure. To find the best dog boarding care, make a checklist and consider these important factors.
The boarding kennel that meets all these factors is the best option to entrust your dog in the meantime. To help you, below are some essential considerations when choosing a retreat for your favorite pet. So, read on.
1. Check Their Play And Exercise Programs
When deciding which kennel to take your dog to, look at what exercises and play activities they offer. Some kennels only have one hour of playtime, while others have more hours dedicated to activities.
Kennels that are a little bit more expensive even offer dog walking services in the package. It is ideal for dogs that need daily walks. If your dog has a specific toy that they love, you can bring it with you to the kennel.
Alert the staff not to let other dogs play with your dog’s toy. If you have a smaller dog, you can ask staff only to let them play with other smaller dogs for safety.
2. Make Sure The Kennel Is Certified
Some kennels aren’t certified and work on a volunteer basis. It doesn’t mean they are terrible boarding kennels, but there is some reassurance in working with a certified kennel.
To get the certification, boarding kennels must pass quality standards that assess the facility and the services offered.
3. Ask About The Kennel’s Safety Protocols
It’s essential to ensure that the kennel you leave your dog in has safety measures and protocols that they follow in case of an emergency.
Some kennels aren’t manned 24/7 but have staff or security checking in on the dogs every hour.
Some also have staff trained for any medical emergencies. So, you can ensure that your dog will be in the best care.
Be sure to alert the staff of any dietary requirements and allergies your dog may have. If your dog is on some medication, tell the staff what medication it takes and at what intervals.
4. Find Out What Care They Offer To Dogs With Disabilities
If your dog has a disability, disclose this to staff and ask what care they offer. Some boarding kennels specialize in caring for dogs with special needs and providing care.
It can also be a great option if you have a dog that has just gotten out of surgery and is still recovering.
Your dog will be well taken care of and will have any discomfort managed by professionals. They will also notify you of any emergencies that arise so that you can keep on top of any situation.
If your dog suffers from anxiety, bring them something familiar from home to help the transition easier. The goal is to make sure that your pet is comfortable.
5. Observe The Boarding Kennel’s Vaccination Requirements
Some boarding kennels require certain immunizations before they can board your dog. Ask staff about which immunizations your dog needs and how much they cost.
Some boarding kennels can vaccinate your dog for you, while others can refer you to vaccination programs that they work with.
Vaccinations can also differ in price. So, make sure your budget can cover all the expenses.
6. Working Hours Should Meet Your Requirements
If you’re going on a long trip, a kennel that operates on a 24/7 basis will meet all your needs. Your pet won’t have separation anxiety as they will be surrounded by other dogs, animals, and staff.
A boarding kennel should be well ventilated and provide your dog with healthy food, clean water, and adequate exercise time throughout the day.
7. Make Sure The Boarding Kennel Is Clean
Boarding kennels need to have high standards when it comes to sanitation. A clean boarding kennel means your dog is free from any bacteria and viruses that come from dirty places.
Boarding kennels need to be cleaned regularly. Ask boarding kennels about their cleaning process and where animals stay while the kennels are being cleaned.
8. There Should Be Enough Space In The Boarding Kennel For The Dog
Your dog needs enough space to rest and exercise. Check out the kennel your dog will be staying in and see if it meets the requirements.
Boarding kennels should have minimum headroom of 1.8m and enough space for your dog to walk around comfortably.
Your dog won’t feel claustrophobic and can eat, drink and sleep without anything constricting its movement.
9. Make Sure The Food They Offer Is Healthy For Your Dog
Dogs need meals that are full of vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy meals can have health benefits for your dog.
While you are away, you want to ensure that your dog eats healthily. If your dog is on a special diet, such as eating raw foods, ensure you notify the staff.
By telling them, they can meet your dog’s needs. An unhealthy diet can lead to your dog getting digestive problems, and it can even make the dog sick. Also, make sure that they change the drinking water regularly so your dog always has access to clean drinking water.
You can ask kennel staff about what meals they offer and what proportions suit your dog’s dietary needs.
5 Simple Tips to Help You Choose The Perfect Boarding Kennel
1. Do your research:
Before you book a boarding kennel, do some online research to find out about their reputation, facilities, services and prices. You can also ask for recommendations from your friends, family, veterinarian or dog trainer.
Look for reviews and testimonials from other customers and check if the kennel is licensed, insured and accredited by a professional organization.
2. Visit the kennel:
Once you have narrowed down your options, visit the kennel in person to see the place where your dog will stay.
Pay attention to the cleanliness, security, ventilation, lighting and temperature of the kennel. Ask to see where your dog will sleep, eat and play.
Observe how the staff interacts with the dogs and how the dogs behave. Are they happy, relaxed and well-cared for?
3. Ask questions:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the kennel’s policies and procedures. For example, you might want to know:
- How often are the dogs fed, walked and groomed?
- What kind of food, treats and toys are provided?
- What are the vaccination and health requirements for the dogs?
- How are medical emergencies handled?
- How are behavioral issues addressed?
- How are special needs accommodated?
- How do they handle separation anxiety or stress?
- How do they group the dogs for playtime?
- How do they monitor the dogs’ well-being?
- How do they communicate with the owners?
4. Prepare your dog:
Before you leave your dog at the boarding kennel, make sure he is healthy, up-to-date on his vaccinations and flea/tick prevention, and has a collar with an ID tag.
You might also want to bring some of his familiar items, such as his bed, blanket, toys or food bowl, to make him feel more at home. You can also leave your contact information and instructions for the staff in case they need to reach you or follow any special requests.
5. Trust your instincts:
Finally, trust your gut feeling when choosing a boarding kennel for your dog. If you feel comfortable and confident about the place and the people, chances are your dog will too.
If you have any doubts or concerns, keep looking until you find a boarding kennel that meets your expectations and needs.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
By using these factors and requirements, you’ll be able to find the best boarding kennel for your dog. You will rest assured that your four-legged friend is cared for and gets all their exercise in.
Professionals will surround them and be in the best care if any emergency arises. When you reunite with your dog again, he will be in the best condition and happy to see you.
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