Need to go out of town? A boarding kennel can give your pet quality care-and can provide you satisfaction. Before loading Fido or Fluffy in to the car and driving over to the nearest kennel, though, it’s important to find the right kennel and prepare your pet for boarding.
Your pet is determined by one to take proper care of her-even when you have to be out of town. Friends and neighbors might not exactly have the knowledge or a chance to properly take care of your dog, particularly for longer trips. So the next time you have to leave your pet behind for some time, leave pet care to the experts, like a pet sitter or boarding kennel.
A facility focusing on care and overnight boarding allows your pet to:
avoid the strain of an extended car or airplane ride to your destination.
stay where he’s welcome (unlike many hotels).
receive more attention and supervision than he would if home alone almost all of the day.
be monitored by staff trained to identify health problems.
be secure in a kennel designed to foil canine and feline escape artists.
Potential drawbacks to using a boarding kennel include:
the strain related to residing in an unfamiliar environment.
the proximity to other pets, who may expose your dog to health issues.
the issue of finding a kennel that accepts pets apart from dogs and cats.
the inconvenience of the drive over, that can be especially hard on a pet easily stressed by car travel.
How do you find a good kennel?
Ask a pal, neighbor, veterinarian, animal shelter, or dog trainer for a recommendation. You can also check the Yellow Pages under “Kennels & Pet Boarding.” Once you’ve names-even ones you got from reliable sources-it’s important to execute a little background check.
First, find out whether a state requires boarding kennel inspections. If it can, make sure the kennel you are thinking about displays a license or certificate showing that the kennel meets mandated standards.
Also ask if the prospective kennel is one of the American Boarding Kennels Association (719-667-1600), a trade association founded by kennel operators to market professional standards of pet care. Besides requiring members to subscribe to a code of ethics, ABKA offers voluntary facility accreditation that indicates the facility has been inspected and meets ABKA standards of professionalism, safety, and quality of care.
Check, too, with your BBB to see whether any complaints have been lodged against a kennel you are thinking about.
After selecting a few kennels, concur that they can accommodate your dog for specific dates and can address your pet’s special needs (if any). If you’re satisfied, schedule a visit.
What should we look for?
On your own visit, ask to see all the places your pet may be taken. Pay particular focus on the following:
Does the facility look and smell clean?
Will there be sufficient ventilation and light?
Is actually a comfortable temperature maintained?
Does the staff seem to be knowledgeable and caring?
Are pets necessary to be current on the vaccinations, including the vaccine for canine kennel cough (Bordetella)? (Such a requirement helps protect your animal and others.)
Does each dog have his own adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or an inside run and a schedule for exercise?
Are outdoor runs and exercise areas protected from wind, rain, and snow?
Are resting boards and bedding provided to permit dogs to rest off the concrete floor?
Are cats housed from dogs?
Is there enough room for cats to go around comfortably?
Is there enough room between the kitty litter box and food bowls?
How often are pets fed?
Can the dog owner bring a pet’s special food?
What veterinary services can be found?
Are other services available such as grooming, training, bathing?
How are rates calculated?
How do we prepare my pet?
Be sure your pet knows basic commands which is well socialized around other folks and pets; if your pet comes with an aggression problem or is otherwise unruly, she may well not be considered a good prospect for boarding. Before taking your animal to the kennel, make sure she actually is current on vaccinations.
It’s also smart to accustom your dog to longer kennel stays by first boarding her throughout a short trip, like a weekend excursion. This enables you to work through any problems before boarding your pet for an extended period.
Prior to you heading for the kennel, double-check you have your pet’s medications and special food (if any), your veterinarian’s phone number, and contact information for you and an area backup.
If you arrive with your dog at the boarding facility or Silver Spring doggy day care, remind the staff about any medical or behavior problems your dog has, like a history of epilepsy or concern with thunder. After the check-in process, hand your dog to an employee member, say good-bye, and leave. Avoid long, emotional partings, which might upset your pet. Finally, have a good trip, understanding that your pet is in good hands and you will be pleased to see you when you return.