Some dogs revel in the social aspects of the boarding experience, and others are just good sports. Like it or not, a kennel is the safest place for a dog when the owner is away from home.
Ask your vet, groomer, and friends for recommendations. Satisfied customers are the best reason to visit a kennel. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints or violations.
When you have a list of recommendations, call each kennel and make an appointment to visit. Listen to your instincts -- if you don't like how you are being treated over the phone, call the next kennel on your list. If you have specific dates in mind, ask if accommodations are available at that time.
When you visit a kennel, keep these guidelines in mind:
A trustworthy kennel should adhere to basic practices, including the following:
In order for your pet to be comfortable and well-cared-for during his stay, you must do your part to convey your animal's individual needs to the kennel, and to check the quality of the facilities:
If possible, take your pet to the kennel for a weekend visit to start. After several short stays, your dog will understand that her stay is temporary and she is not being abandoned. This dramatically reduces the stress of boarding the dog for longer periods.
As you pack for your trip, spend some time gathering what your dog and his caregivers will need while you're gone.
Give yourself a head start on gathering this list (don't start the day before your trip!), just in case you need to refill a medication or reach your vet during business hours to track down a vaccination certificate, for instance.
Once you've got these items together for the first time, it'll be a cinch to keep the paperwork updated if you keep everything together with your other household files.
After you've checked in at the kennel and are ready to go, here's what to expect.
These tips will help ensure a happy reunion when you pick your dog up and take him home.