Choosing a kennel

An animal's home away from home.

Whether you need to put in some extra time in the office, take a day to run errands, or leave for vacation, pet owners must consider the health and happiness of the pets before they leave for an extended time.

From "doggie daycare" to long-term boarding, a kennel can be an option. See these profiles for kennels and boarding facilities. To make your kennel experience a good one, check and make sure everyone involved is ready:

Evaluate your pet
  • Is your pet good around other animals or is it aggressive?

  • Does your pet respond well to basic commands?

  • Is your pet current on all vaccinations, including Bordetella or "kennel cough"?

  • If your pet is well-behaved, sociable and up-to-date on veterinary checkups. Visits to a kennel should be a positive experience. If not, you're running a risk of fights, illness or worse.

Evaluate the kennel
  • Look for cleanliness, a comfortable temperature, adequate ventilation and a knowledgeable staff that has a passion for animals.

  • Ask to review a schedule of feeding times, potty breaks and exercise periods.

  • Take a look at each animal's area to make sure there's enough room for every pet to be comfortable.

Evaluate yourself
  • Prepare for separation anxiety. When it's time to leave your pet at the kennel, make a smooth, quick transition and trust the professionals at the kennel to do their jobs. Long farewells tend to unnecessarily upset you and your pet.

Be sure you build pickup time into your return schedule. Nothing is worse than arriving back at the airport after a long vacation then having to race to get to the kennel before it closes.

Finally, confirm upfront all charges associated with boarding your pet and budget accordingly. A little "me time" out in the world can make home time even better for you and your pet.

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