dog kennel

If you have pets around your property, then planning a business trip or a family vacation might prove to be complicated. It is always a tough decision to keep your pets back home while going on a tour. It is stressful for you, as well as your pet.

Dog boarding services are the right place to house your pets until you are back safely. But there are a few considerations before selecting the right one for your need. For the right quality kennel, care, and services, all you need to do is follow our expert tips from the best animal caretakers and handlers around the world.

Finding a quality service

If you are worried about finding the right boarding/kennel service for your pets, especially dogs, the first thing you need to do is ask your veterinary specialist. The specialists will have the expert opinion and scoops on the best boarding services in and around your locality. You can make inquiries with your local dog lover's association or pet owners as well as your friends and family.

Looking for a certified process

Not all dog boarding services are certified. But it is still essential to go for an accredited company. Kennel certification is not a standardized procedure. It is a voluntary process under the jurisdiction of the PCSA or the Pet Care Services Association. You also need to keep in mind that this licensure is costly and time-taking as well. To make sure that the kennel you are looking into is certified, all you need to ask for is the VFA or the Voluntary Facility Accreditation certificate.

Going for a tour

Yes, absolutely. You need to go for a tour before housing your pet at a boarding service. There are a few things that you need to make sure before making a choice. For example, if you are looking for a cat boarding, then it must be odor-free and quiet. This is quite the opposite with dog kennels. So make sure of the sanitation and hygiene while you are staking out the place.

Secondly, you need to make sure that the boarding service is maintained and handled by diligent staff all around the clock. The team needs to be trained handlers of animals and cooperative enough to help a troubled and anxious animal. Make sure that the staff to animal ratio is within the 1:10 ratio. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them during your stakeout tour. In the case that a facility doesn't want to cooperate with a tour, don't put your beloved pet in the kennel.

The type of staff

Quite similar to the kennel certifications, the staff doesn't need any specialized certification as well. However, animal handling training and experience is highly essential. Look for an attentive and pet-friendly attitude before you make your selection. After all, it will be the staff that is responsible for handling and caring for your pet. Any professional pet handler will ask you detailed questions about your pet's habits, favorite toys, and anxiety/disorders if any.

Inquire about the kennel hours

Keep in mind that it is quite an impossible ask to have a kennel manned 24 hours a day. But it is still imperative that the property has some protective measures installed to avoid pets breaking out and wandering off all around the hours. So before you sign on the dotted line, ensure the safety of your pets.

Safety issues to be aware of

Inspect the boarding property before you leave your pet at the kennel. Make sure that the fencing and the guard walls do not have jagged protrusions and torn fencing. Also, make sure that chew toys are allowed only under careful supervision. Additionally, you need to make your inquiries about the use of collars during the daytime as well as the presence of a vet or at least a clinic on the premises. The presence of a vet-on-site is imperative if your pet is frail, old, or diseased.

Immunizations required if any?

Yes, you need to stop by the vet before putting your pet in a kennel. Make sure that the pet is immunized against the usual culprits, including the adenovirus, parvovirus, and rabies. Ask the owner of the boarding directly about any special requirements concerning vaccines. Some services require pets to be immunized against Bordetella and influenza as well as ticks and fleas. Keep in mind that the requirements for cats are different and you need to vaccinate your pet against calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, and rabies.

For pets with disabilities

You need to look for a specific type of kennel that will allow for proper care of a pet with disabilities. These special animals require expert and professional handling. Make sure you let the handler know about the difficulty and the disability before signing the contract. Cats and dogs with joint mobility issues or blindness will have unique needs with respect to litter boxes, soft bedding, patience, and personal care. In case your pets need regular medication, inform the authorities so that the process can go along smoothly in your absence. Always make sure to minimize the chances of low or double dosing.

What is the other alternative?

In case your pet suffers from anxiety issues, you might need to look into a different solution. There are pet sitters available, and all you need to do is search for a local and professional service, online. Additionally, keep in mind that there are pheromone products that are clinically safe for use and can keep the anxiety issues away. Always consult your vet before making a decision.

Keep in mind that not all pets are good candidates for a boarding situation. Many do not adapt well to kennel life, and others have severe anxiety issues due to separation. Dogs and cats do well in a domestic environment, so in some cases, a pet sitter might be the only option. Trust your instincts while you are staking a pet boarding service out. If everything feels right and you are satisfied with the level of care and management your pet will receive when you are away, feel free to use the advantage to have a good vacation.