Regardless of how much you love your pet, there might be occasions when you have to travel without them. Consider paying for a dog boarding kennel for overnight care for your pup if you can’t find a reliable friend or family member to watch them.

Every year, about 1 in 7 dog owners must board their pets. Finding a comfortable and convenient situation for you and your dog is crucial. There are things you can do to make your best friends stay as easy as possible. If you are stressed about the whole process, keep reading to learn how to pick a dog boarding kennel for your four-legged friend.

Picking a Dog Boarding Kennel

Happy dog. Image by drz from Unsplash.
Happy dog. Image by drz from Unsplash.

Before reserving a spot for your dog, you should always visit the boarding facility. When picking a dog boarding kennel, there are a few important factors to consider. Tick off the following things that best describe what to look for in boarding kennels.

  1. Temperature
  2. Exercise areas
  3. Feeding times
  4. Sleeping areas
  5. Cleaning facilities
  6. Filling doggy fact file
  7. Vaccination policy
  8. Trained, qualified and Friendly staff
  9. Access to a local vet 24/7

Temperature at Boarding Kennel

A comfortable temperature for your dog should be maintained in the kennels. Give yourself enough time inside the kennel to assess the temperature. Make certain that your dog will feel at ease in the kennel. This will give you peace of mind and will benefit your pet to remain comfortable and calm while you’re away.

Exercise at Boarding Kennel

Exercising at the boarding kennel. Image by Andrea Lightfoot from Unsplash.
Exercising at the boarding kennel. Image by Andrea Lightfoot from Unsplash.

Analyze when and where will the exercise occur within the boarding facility, and do these locations appear suitable for the task? Is there enough room in the exercise area for your dog to run? This is also an opportunity for your best friend to socialize with other dogs like they would in say a day care situation. It would be best if you made sure there are good exercise routines in place to keep your dog entertained, healthy and well taken care of at their home away from home.

Feeding Times at Boarding Kennel

Chat to the staff at the boarding accommodation and discuss the feeding frequencies within the pet care. Are these the same times that your dog eats at your house? It’s also worth inquiring about the food provided to dogs in kennels. Bring a supply of your furry friend’s regular food, especially if they have sensitive stomachs.

Sleeping Areas at the Boarding Kennel

How do the sleeping areas at the boarding kennel look? Is there enough room for your dog to spread out, stand up, and turn around without difficulty? Only you know your dog’s needs, so make sure they are having a great time while you are on vacation.

Clean Facilities at the Boarding Kennel

Kennels used for boarding should be providing great care and should be incredibly clean and smell-free. If your dog returns from a kennel smelling bad, there may have been bacterial issues, which can also contribute to the spread of illness and disease. So, ensure that the dog boarding kennel is hygienic and odor-free.

Filling of Doggy Fact File at the Boarding Kennel

A boarding kennel can only provide your dog with the best care if they know your furry friend’s personality and temperament. Watch out for them to ask you to complete a fact sheet about your pet dog.

The fact file includes many details, including things like:

●      Likes and dislikes of your dog.

●      Health conditions, allergies, and medical history of your dog.

●      The sleeping habits and patterns of your dog.

●      Dietary needs and preferred foods for your dog.

Be sure to give them a trusted friend or family member’s phone number that the kennels can call in case you cannot be reached. This will act as an emergency contact.

Vaccination Policy at the Boarding Kennel

They should request proof of your dog’s vaccinations before you check it into a room. Additionally, it would help if you enquired about their vaccination policy. For instance, boarding kennels should demand that dogs staying there receive all necessary immunizations and routine boosters against diseases like parvovirus, canine distemper, and rabies. These steps in place should make every pet owner feel confident in placing their furry friend in boarding accommodation.

Trained, Qualified and Friendly Staff at the Boarding Kennel

How did the staff welcome you when you arrived at the kennels? Positively? Were they friendly? These minor details can give insight into how your dog will be cared for during his kennel stay. Dogs can sense bad people, at least those they can’t trust or who have angry faces. While there are no formal qualifications required to work in a boarding kennel, some may require staff to complete obedience training or grooming services courses depending on the pet resort.

Local Vet 24/7 at the Boarding Kennel

Vet providing a check up. Image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels.
Vet providing a check up. Image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels.

They should have access to a nearby veterinarian available around-the-clock, every day of the week as a boarding kennel and they should be able to provide you with the veterinarian’s contact details. Once you have the veterinarian’s contact information, you can also call them to confirm.

Preparing Your Dog for a Stay at the Kennels

To make your vacations as stress-free as possible, get your dog ready for their stay once you’ve picked a boarding kennel.

Consider a Boarding Trial

Plan a trial boarding for your dog if they are overly anxious or prone to separation anxiety. A minimum 24-hour trial stay helps your dog adjust to a new environment and daily routine to help make you and your pet feel comfortable.

Adjust Your Dog’s Sleeping Habits

If your dog sleeps with you every night, you can anticipate your dog being upset about sleeping alone at the boarding facility. In preparation of sending your dog to boarding, please make every effort to help them adjust to sleeping alone so they can feel more comfortable during boarding.

Keep Your Dog Comfortable

There is nothing like the comfort of home, no matter what your preferred boarding facility offers. Bring a comfortable rug so that your dog can sleep on something familiar to them. In this way, they’ll feel more secure.

Drop Off Your Dog in the Morning

Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay.
Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay.

If your schedule allows, deliver your dog to the boarding facility in the morning. This will help them adjust throughout the day and help them get used to their surroundings before turning in for the night.

How to Identify Bad Kennel

Pay attention to phrases that are red flags.

  • “Free bath,” meaning they give your dog a free bath before it returns home. This translates to that during your pets stay, they can’t keep them clean.
  • While boarding, some places will “take your dog’s collar off.” They will say your dog will feel more at ease. But how safe is it for a dog to be in an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar people and other dogs while also being unable to be recognized by staff?
  • Are there images of the play area, the kennels, or the front of the building on a facility’s website? The absence of photos is a bad sign. With pictures, you would only visit if you could see where your pet would be staying.

Summing Up

Dog boarding can be a challenging situation for both you and your pet. Be sure to review these tips the next time you find yourself in a challenging dog boarding situation to ensure your pet’s vacation is as enjoyable as yours.