How To Find The Perfect Kennel To Board Your Pet

Making The Right Choice For An All-Around Good Experience

Finding a good boarding kennel for your pet is a lot like finding someone you trust to watch your kids while you’re out of town – a painstaking process that can be both long and stressful. The good news is that once you find a great kennel, you’ll probably never have to worry about it ever again (barring a change in circumstances such as a move, of course). So what should you look for when choosing a kennel for your pet? What kinds of things, such as vaccinations, will they require? Our experts have put together a checklist to help you find the perfect boarding facility – one that will treat your pet like family.

Tips For Finding A Good Kennel

There’s nothing that takes the stress out of a kennel search more than asking trusted family and friends for their recommendations. If they’ve already found a great place for a similar pet, then their expertise can really ease your workload! Of course, you’ll still want to visit the kennel yourself to do your due diligence, because when it comes to animals, one size doesn’t always fit all. Your pet may have special needs or quirks (like special medications or a fear of thunder) that you’ll need to make sure will be addressed. But narrowing down your search will minimize the disruption to both your life and your pet’s.

If you’re new to the area and haven’t yet had the chance to meet other pet owners, ask your veterinarian. They’ll probably have a list of kennels that they trust and can help point you in the right direction.

A Checklist For Kennels You Visit

  • First, schedule your visit with them, and check whether you can bring your pet with you (if you can’t, ask why). You’ll get double benefits of being able to see how your animal reacts to the new surroundings and it will familiarize them with both the staff that will be caring for them and the place itself. 
  • Find out whether the kennel meets all of the requirements to be certified in their state (if there are any.) Also ask whether they are a member of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association, which requires all their members to follow high standards of care, cleanliness, professionalism, and safety. They also have a stringent code of ethics that all of their member kennels are required to follow.
  • Learn about their immunization requirements, both so you know your pet is protected and what vaccinations they might need before they are boarded there. Also, make sure that all pets are screened for ticks and fleas.
  • Meet the staff, especially those who will be taking care of your animal. Watch how they treat the pets in their care and take note of how they greet you and your pet as well.
  • Check for cleanliness! Does the kennel smell clean? Does it look clean? Is it free of debris and sharp objects that could injure either pets or people? Are harmful chemicals kept safely locked away?
  • Observe the areas of the kennel where your pet will primarily be (such as runs if you’ll be boarding a dog.) Is there plenty of room for them to move around? How is the lighting? Are the sleeping areas comfortable? Is there an opportunity for the animals to go outside at will?
  • If there isn’t on-demand access to an outdoor area for your pet, check to see if there’s sufficient scheduled outside time/time for exercise (if applicable). 
  • How often are the animals fed? If your pet has special dietary needs, will the kennel be able to accommodate them? Is the water kept fresh?
  • Check their policies on medications. Can the staff administer your pet’s meds (if applicable)?
  • What are their procedures for an emergency? Is veterinary care available quickly if needed?

Following the checklist above should give you a basic idea of what to look for in a boarding kennel. We know that keeping your pet safe, healthy, and well cared for is one of your top priorities, and are here to help in any way we can. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us!