Boarding a Dog for the First Time – How to Choose a Boarding Kennel

When you go on a holiday sometimes it is not possible to take your dogs with you. In some cases, you may need to find a boarding kennel for them while you are away. Boarding a dog for the first time can be a scary thing. We have some tips on how to choose a boarding kennel for your pup and how to make this experience a happy and safe one for you and your dog.

When searching for a good boarding kennel first consider asking friends and family members for recommendations. If no one can offer any suggestions then start a search online for referral services and reviews. There are several sites that offer reviews for kennels in the same way people can get hotel reviews. Care, Fetch, and Rover all have a range of options for you to choose, from overnight boarding to dog sitters who will come to your home.

There are a few things you should take into consideration to make sure your dog is left in a safe environment at a boarding kennel.

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boarding kennel for dogs

What to Look for in a Boarding Kennel

When checking out possible boarding kennels for your dog you should try to visit them personally if you can. Any reputable facility will have tours that can be scheduled. When calling, simply ask if they have a tour available, or if they can spare a few minutes to talk with you about the facility. This is the time to ask questions and have a good look at what is offered. Here are some things you can look for:

  • Check out all the areas for dogs to see how much space they have to roam.
  • Take a look at the sleeping area and the play areas as well.
  • Look for cleanliness, professionalism, and observe to see if the other dogs seem to be enjoying their stay.
  • While visiting the facility, make a point to inquire about the feeding schedules. Most boarding kennels will feed twice a day and use the same brand of food for all of the dogs. If your dog is a picky eater, find out if the facility can offer additional feeding options, or if food can be brought in from home. Some facilities will charge more for extra feedings and some will not allow this option. While most facilities do allow food to be brought in, a few will charge more for each feeding for the extra effort.
  • Also consider the bedding used, as well as the toys available. Most kennels will offer items similar to what any dog currently uses, such as bones and chew toys. This can greatly add to the comfort level of your dog in a new surrounding. Make sure that any toys used are sterile and used only by one dog and not shared. Even though the other animals may seem healthy, viruses and colds can be transferred before any symptoms even appear. Ask if owners are allowed to bring in a dog’s favorite toy from home.
  • Also, ask about activities such as walks or games that will be played to keep your dog fit and happy.

Health Concerns in a Boarding Kennel

Health issues can be a major concern when leaving a dog with someone new. Here are few questions to ask each boarding kennel:

  • Does the facility administer medication if your dog needs routine medication?
  • Is there a veterinarian on call for emergencies or injuries?
  • Will the facility contact you immediately if something happens?
  • Are there procedures in place to monitor the health of the animals in the facility’s care?

Any qualified facility should be able to recognize any issues that arise and be able to handle them caringly and professionally.

Boarding Kennel Prices

Price is also an issue when choosing a boarding kennel. There are really good places for a cheap price, but be careful not to sacrifice service for price. Just like any other facility or service, prices will vary depending on the amenities and facilities provided, so it pays to do your research.. Checking out at least three boarding kennels before making a decision should ensure you are getting what you pay for. 

Make sure the facility you choose understands the stress boarding your dog can cause to both you and your pup. They should be willing to answer all questions asked and should be very understanding if you want to call and check in.

Make Sure Your Dog is Ready!

Boarding our dog for the first time is not an easy task. It’s hard to be away from your pup, but it’s even harder to find a temporary place for them. Make sure to choose a facility that is safe, comfortable, and reputable. Above all, prepare your dog for this overwhelming experience.

Once a quality boarding kennel is found, the hard part is done. There will be a safe environment for the family pup to stay while you are away, hopefully for years to come.