Top Questions To Ask A Boarding Kennel

Lindsey ZimmermanDog Safety, Senior Dogs

If it’s not possible to bring your dog along on a family vacation or leave him with a trusted friend or family member, you may consider a reputable boarding facility. Although there have been horror stories about disreputable kennels, there may be a great “bed and biscuit” in your area and your dog may even enjoy the company of other dogs. Without a doubt all kennels are not the same. DO your homework on them — some can be full-service and provide grooming, massages, and aromatherapy, while others not so much…

You’ll need to do some research to reassure yourself and take a tour ahead of time. Here are some tips to notice on your tour to make it easier for yourself, your dog and the kennel staff:

  1. How big are the kennels or runs? Are there both indoor and outdoor?
  2. Is there adequate ventilation and light?
  3. Is the kennel kept at a comfortable temperature?
  4. How many times a day is the dog exercised? Are they exercised individually or in a group?
  5. Am I allowed to bring my dog’s favorite blanket, toys and food? If I don’t bring my own food, what type of food is provided?
  6. How many times a day are the general areas cleaned so they don’t smell? Are the kennels cleaned after each boarder?
  7. Is EVERY dog up-to-date on current vaccinations?
  8. If your dog has special needs can these be accommodated?
  9. How many times a day is the dogs fed? Is there clean water in the bowls?
  10. What are the qualifications of the staff?
  11. What is the policy when your dog gets sick? Are the dogs taken to a 24/7 clinic or a veterinarian close by?
  12. How secure is the facility? Is it locked overnight? Are the outdoor fences at least 6’ high?
  13. Is the facility accredited by the American Kennel Association?
  14. Can I put a video cam in the kennel so I can interact with my dog or see how he is doing?
  15. Are cats and dogs kept separately?
  16. Are any other services provided like grooming, nail clipping and bathing?
  17. What are there hours of operation of pickup and drop offs?

The best way to choose a kennel might be to ask your veterinarian, friends or family members.   Also check with your local better business bureau for reports or write-ups.

As you are dropping your dog off, be strong. He/she can pick up on your anxiety or distress at your departure!

If you are happy, thank the boarding staff for a job well done. They are taking care of your dog and you want them to feel appreciated so they continue to do a good job. If you board your dog often, consider tipping the staff or getting some extra goodies for them!