At some point, you may find yourself needing to board your pet. This can happen even if you have helpful friends or usually take your dog along on trips. The decision to board your dog can be uncomfortable, especially when doing it for the first time. How do you find a good boarding kennel for dogs? It is best to research local boarding kennels well before you actually need one. The tips below can help you to ensure your pet’s health and safety while you are away. Consider the following:
- Get Recommendations
You can find a good boarding kennel for dogs via other dog owners or your veterinarian. Use those recommendations to make a shortlist of kennels and research them online. This may seem labor-intensive, but can provide peace of mind while you are away.
- Visit the Kennel
There is no better way to evaluate a kennel than to see it in person. Most reputable kennels will allow a walk-through, though some may require you to make an appointment. Consider factors like cleanliness and odors as well as the professionalism and attitude of the staff. You have a right to see where your dog will eat, sleep and play, do not take no for an answer.
- Ask About Their Practices
There are certain crucial questions that you should ask while conducting your inspection, consider the following:
- What Will my Dog Get to Eat?
Be forewarned that the stress of boarding may cause your dog to lose their appetite. If there is something that can be added to your dog’s food to increase their interest in eating, bring it along. Be sure to provide instructions on feeding your dog and information on any special needs she may have.
- Are Dogs Allowed to Socialize?
Find out if the kennel allows dogs to play together off-leash. If so, make sure they pre-screen all of the dogs that your best friend will be playing with. Note that dogs often behave differently when not in the presence of their owners, so your dog may be more sociable than you think! It is always a good idea to get your dog assessed before you are in dire need of a boarding facility. That way you will have something to fall back on if your plans change at the last minute.
Remember that any new environment can be overwhelming for a dog. Before your vacation you may want to bring your pooch in a few times for daycare. That way they can make a few friends and will be more comfortable when you leave them overnight.
- What Happens if a Dog Gets Ill or Injured?
Where do they take injured or sick animals? Make sure that their practices include logging meals and any changes in physical appearance. Consider leaving your dog with a kennel that provides regular checkups by a veterinarian.
The right kennel can offer the kind of environment that your pet needs. No matter how well intentioned a friend or relative may be, they are most likely not equipped to provide the first aid, scheduled feeding or socialization that a well-run kennel can provide.