Choosing suitable dog boarding kennels is an issue that many pet owners have to face at one time or another – sometimes quite regularly.
If you’re lucky like me, you may have a neighbor who loves your dogs almost as much as you do and is prepared to look after them when you go away so you never need to worry about a pet boarding kennel.
But most people aren’t so fortunate. Perhaps you can get a professional pet sitter to sit in your house (a “house and dog sitter“), or a dog sitter walker who will feed and walk your dog daily, and for this there is a pet sitters association called the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters if you’re in the U.S. Or if you’re elsewhere, you can try Pet Sitters International.
But otherwise, you may well be looking for a dog boarding kennel as your only viable option when you go on vacation.
Jean Morgan from NaturesHealthyPet.com has written the following helpful article on the topic of choosing suitable dog boarding kennels:
How to Choose a Pet Boarding Facility
Sometimes the most difficult thing a pet owner has to deal with is leaving their beloved companion behind while going away on a trip or vacation. Who do you trust? Finding a place where you know your pet will be happy and comfortable can make the whole experience less stressful for everyone.
Be sure to visit any pet boarding facility you are considering in person. This is an absolute MUST! Is the place clean? How do the animals look? Are they sitting in clean or soiled cages? If you are boarding a cat make sure the cats are kept in an area that is separate from the dogs.
Do not leave your pet anywhere that does not require him to be up to date on current vaccinations, including a negative fecal check.
A lot of veterinary hospitals offer boarding services. It may surprise you though that this may not be the best place to board your pet, UNLESS they have a separate staff and facility designated for pet boarding.
First of all, how would you feel hanging out in a human hospital for a few days? No thanks! Hospitals are just that – hospitals. Your pet is not going to have any fun staying in a veterinary hospital while you go away.
Most clinics are not setup well for pet boarding purposes. The hospital staff is often focused on taking care of sick patients. Chances are, if your pet is boarding at a hospital he will be taken care of only after all the sick animals have been attended to. Veterinary hospitals often are not staffed 24-hours, so your buddy may be spending a lot of quiet time alone. In addition to that, he may be hanging out with a bunch of sick pets. Not good.
However, many veterinary hospitals have a separate staff and facility designated for boarding. This could be an excellent option, just be sure to check it out in person.
When visiting a pet boarding facility make sure the animals are kept safe while spending time outdoors. They should never be left in any confinement area unattended for long periods of time. I’ve heard horror stories of dogs escaping from outdoor pens while boarding staff was inside cleaning kennels. Make sure all fences look secure, especially if you dog is prone to being “tricksy.”
Also make sure that your pet is not given any toys or bones he could choke on. Many pet boarding kennels have restrictions on the types of toys and treats you can leave with your pet which is a good sign because it means that they are aware of choking hazards.
When checking out a dog boarding kennel be sure to find out what kind of schedule your dog will be on. How often will they feed him? How often will he go outside? Do they allow you to bring his own food? Can he have his special blanket?
Ask your veterinarian if they know of any good pet boarding facilities. Often they know the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to kennels in your area. Just be sure to visit any kennel you are considering for your pet in person. You may even want to take your
pet along for the ride so he can tell you what he thinks of the place too!
Hope you found that as informative as I did.
The only part of the article I am a little uncomfortable with is the suggestion that you should not leave your dog in any dog boarding kennel that does not require you to have your dog’s vaccinations “up to date”. I think the point the author is trying to make is that you don’t want your dog catching nasty diseases from other dogs in the dog boarding kennel. But the downside to this is, of course, that you will actually have to vaccinate your dog even if you’ve decided not to, just so s/he can stay in the pet boarding kennel of your choice.
If you choose to put your dog in a pet boarding kennel facility, or don’t have any other option, you’ll probably find you’ll be hard pressed to find a boarding kennel that doesn’t have a requirement that your dog has had recent [tag]vaccinations[/tag]. That’s a real downside to using pet boarding kennels – from my point of view, anyway – you probably know my views on annual vaccinations for pets, and if you don’t, you can read them here – Annual Vaccinations for Dogs – Are They Necessary?
And if you’re interested in house and dog sitters, click on the following picture for more info!