Many pet owners do not have friends, family or neighbours capable of looking after their dog whilst they are away. Remember it is a commitment for anyone, and so it can often be best left to the professionals at boarding kennels.
It is important for peace of mind and the well being of your pet dog that you make the right decision when choosing a boarding kennel. Remember that organising boarding kennels for your dog is as important as organising your holiday! Many boarding kennels are booked up weeks or months in advance, so remember how important it is to plan ahead.
If you don't already use a boarding kennel, or have no trusted recommendations from friends and family, choosing a boarding kennel can be a daunting and laborious task, yet a very important one. Be smart - try asking your friends, neighbours, or even your vet for recommendations for boarding kennels.
We suggest short listing perhaps 3 boarding kennels in your local area, and contacting each one to discuss their services and facilities.
Remember to find out about any certificates the kennels may have and whether or not they are licensed - they should be, by their local authority. It could also be beneficial to actually visit each kennel to get a feel for their setup. There would be nothing worse than find out at the last minute that the kennels you have chosen are not what you expected! You may have to make an appointment to visit a boarding kennel. If you can visit a boarding kennel without an appointment, it may give a better reflection of their day-to-day running. Have a look at some of the dogs already there? Do they look relaxed and happy?
Check out the areas that your dog will be using, sleeping in and exercising in. Ask which size kennel your dog will be using.
Most of it is common sense, but it will be easy to forget to ask the right questions. It is important that when you are on holiday, to have peace of mind that your dog is in the right hands.
Many dog owners board their dogs in kennels for a short weekend prior to their holiday. This may help the pet owner find out how the dog will cope with the whole experience, and may help them adjust to life in boarding kennels. It can be a stressful experience for your dog.
When taking your dog to the boarding kennels, make sure you also take your dog's medication (if any), special food if necessary, toys and bedding, and collar and lead. Ensure you communicate your dog's needs to the boarding kennel staff such as diet or medical conditions which may need special attention. The boarding kennel staff may need to get hold of you whilst you are gone, so leave them with a contact number (or two!). You may be required to prove that your dog is up to date with vaccinations - this is only a good thing.
Take care when choosing a kennel - it is an important decision for both you and your beloved dog.