Read Our 7 Tips Before Boarding Your Pet
So you need to go out of town, but who is going to watch your beloved pet? Sometimes taking your pet with you is just not an option, and not everyone has a trusted friend or family member able to care for them. Luckily, there are plenty of kennels happy and willing to keep an eye on your pet while you travel, and we have some tips for choosing the right one.
- Check for certification: First things first, ensure that the kennel is certified and meets the professional standards of pet care. If possible, opt for a kennel that is a member of the American Boarding Kennels Association. Established in 1977, this group sees that all members of the ABKA deliver the highest quality care, including high levels of ethical conduct, trained staff, and knowledge of all the latest developments in pet care.
- Do your research: Don’t just go for the kennel with the biggest and best ad in the yellow pages. An eye-catching ad does not mean it’s the best. Ask around to see if your friends have any recommendations, and also check with your vet. If your community has a Better Business Bureau, you could always call to inquire about the kennel you are considering to see if there has ever been any complaints.
- Check it out: Once you have narrowed it down to one or a couple options, personally investigate the kennel. This can be done with a phone call, or better yet, an actual visit to the kennel. This is highly recommended so you can get a feel for the environment and the staff before you leave your precious pet there for an extended stay. Make sure it is clean and secure—some pets may be tempted to “find” their owner, so it’s vital that the kennel has well-maintained fences, gates, and dividers in between runs.
- Supervision is key: Make sure your pet is going to be checked on frequently throughout the day by someone who is trained to recognize any signs of illness or distress. If your kennel is a member of the ABKA, check to see if it has also been award the CKO (Certified Kennel Operator) which means that a staff operator was acknowledged by the association.
- Ask about feeding: If your pet is on a special diet, make sure the kennel will allow you to bring your pet’s food for them to serve. Also check to see if the feeding times match what your pet is accustomed to, and that it will be provided with plenty of clean drinking water in individual containers.
- Make sure they ask for immunizations records: If the kennel doesn’t ask for your pet’s immunization records, that means they didn’t ask for any other pet’s records that will be staying with them—leaving your animal vulnerable to various disease and illness. Also make sure some sort of parasite control is in order, so your pet avoids contact with fleas and ticks during its stay.
- Overall comfort: Check to see if the kennel remains a comfortable temperature, protects your pet from the elements, has good ventilation, proper bedding, and an exercise area.