Leaving your dog at a Boarding Kennel for the first time:

With Christmas approaching and people travelling to be with family we thought it might be a good idea to tackle the subject.

Most of the information was found on the following website:


The best situation would be that you can keep your pet at home and have someone stay in your home to keep the same routine your dog is used to. But that is not always possible.

It is not easy to find a safe, enjoyable boarding kennel for your dog. You will worry about abuse, transmittable disease and of course the stress on your dog. If your dog is like ours – used to plenty of exercise and tons of attention- it will be even more difficult to find a suitable boarding kennel.

The good news is that Boarding Kennels that feature enlightened dog care are on the rise. They may be in high demand, so looking into it and booking well in advance is recommended.

Know your dog: Can he /she handle the accommodation offered?

Take a complete tour of the facility, visit more than once and ask lots of questions.

Here are some suggested questions you should ask:

How do you keep the facility clean? How often do you clean?

Good basic hygiene is a must. Feces should be picked up on a regular basis and if a pet has an accident in the kennel it needs to be cleaned immediately. Make sure that the cleaning solutions used are non-toxic.

How safe and secure is the boarding kennel?

  • Every Kennel should have a fenced in area that is safe for the dogs to get exercise. Keep in mind that even in a safe environment accidents do happen and no fencing system is 100% escape proof.

Where are the dogs kept?

  • Some boarding kennels keep the dogs in cages. While some dogs are okay with that others (like ours) would be stressed to the maximum. You know your dog best-allow him/her to visit different places before you commit. Some facilities offer boarding in their own home, especially for older and frail pets.

How many people are on staff? Are the dogs checked after hours?

  • Some kennels are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only. As pet parents we know how fast a dog can get sick and how important prompt medical attention can be. Make sure the kennel has someone within hearing range of the dogs at night and maybe even all night supervision.

What sort of training do the employees have?

  • Make sure all employees have experience and training in proper dog handling. A dog can easily be traumatized by a single bad experience. When you visit the kennel for the first time, ask to meet the employees who would be looking after your dog. Trust your gut…if you do not like them walk away.

How much exercise does your dog get?

  • Ask how often and how long the dogs get out for and also what kind of exercise they get. Are they out and can run around or are they walked on a leash only?

What vaccinations are required?

  • Rabies is a must and most facilities ask for kennel cough vaccination. Make sure you know which vaccinations are needed.

What are your rates?

  • Make sure you get quoted for all the services your dog will receive. Does your dog need medication? Does his/her coat need special attention? This will add to the cost.

Boarding Agreement:

Ask for the boarding agreement ahead of time. Even though you should have most of the information there is might be some odd requirement in the agreement you didn’t take into account. Most Kennels have specific hours for drop off and pick up …if these hours don’t work for you make sure to let them know and see if they will make an exception.

If you have found the perfect kennel for your dog and he/she is spending some time there make sure the kennel has all your dog’s health info and Veterinary info on file. Even though we don’t want to think about it make sure they know what you want to happen if your dog passes away at the kennel.

We know that our dogs Roxy and Diego wouldn’t do well in a kennel. When we go away we make arrangements with Dayna’s Pet Sitting and our 2 babies are doing just fine with that. They are in their own home, they are walked in familiar surroundings and someone is with them at night. While this is not an option for everyone it works for us.

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