Choosing a Kennel to Board your Pet

July 31, 2015 by  
Filed under All Posts, Animal News, Pet Cats, Pet Dogs

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Alternative care for your adorable pet is stressful on many levels, but it helps to think ahead!

It happens, you have to leave town! You have to be away on business, a family emergency, or even on vacation. You may be gone for a day, a week or two, or maybe even longer, so now comes the big question. Who will care for your kitty, dog, or other pet when you are away?

Your pet is an important part of your family and you want to make sure that they are safe while you are away from them. You also want to make sure they are as happy and content as possible. So take your time choosing a suitable place that will work for you and for them for the length of time you are away.

It may not be convenient to have a pet sitter. You also might not want someone in your home, or to have your pet in someone else’s home while you are away. If you are leaning towards a kennel stay, check it out first.

What to Consider when Choosing a Kennel

It is important to check out your kennel choices before deciding on one. Anyone can make their place look like a five-star resort in print ads and on websites. But “seeing is believing,” so don’t let that opportunity slip away!

When you’ve made some selections, make an appointment to speak with the director of each potential facility and take a tour. Think of it this way, you are interviewing potential overnight care for a family member. While you are visiting, here are some things to evaluate:

Overall look of the place

  • During your tour, pay particular attention to the smells and the look of the area..
  • Is there a pervasive smell of urine or feces or does it smell clean?
  • Is everything neat and tidy or are there items blocking your passage, creating sort of an obstacle course?
  • Peek through available windows into animal areas if the facility doesn’t allow you to walk through.


  • Are pet supervised at all times?
  • Is the staff neat, tidy and professional at all times?
  • Are they trained in dealing with different breeds as well as grooming, play time and feeding?

What are their policies?

  • Does the facility require that all pets be immunized before their stay?
  • Is there a vet on site in case of medical problems?
  • Is there staff to handle special dietary concerns?
  • How do they deal with disciplinary issues?
  • Ask about administering meds if your pet is on a treatment plan.


  • What are the particular selling points of this kennel? Some provide different options for bedding for pets as well as sleeping quarters.
  • Does your pet have access to outdoor time, good ventilation and lighting in their rooms?
  • Is there staff to handle special dietary concerns?
  • Ask about additional services that you might want to use and the cost.

Once you’ve narrowed down the list, try a dry run with your favorite boarding facility. Have your pet come and stay for a few hours to see how they get along with the staff and the other animals. Choose a place that you feel comfortable with and where you’re cat, dog or other pet is happy!

What are some tips you have to share on alternative care for your pet when you are away? Sign up on Pet Talk to share your stories and join in conversations about them… or any other animals!

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Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.


7 Responses to “Choosing a Kennel to Board your Pet”

  1. helpanimals on April 5th, 2017 8:03 pm

    That’s a very useful checklist! I will keep this in mind when i need to choose a kennel again. There is a lot that can go wrong.

  2. Gloria Durst on June 27th, 2017 12:14 pm

    I like how you say that you would want to find a pet boarding facility that smells clean. It would make sense to find somewhere that is clean and well kept because it would be smart. I’m going on vacation for a few weeks, so I’ll have to find a clean boarding facility for my cat.

  3. Sam Wilkins on September 6th, 2017 5:00 pm

    I like how you talked about looking into the policies of a kennel boarding service beforehand. My husband is taking us on a trip soon for our fifth anniversary. Our little puppy hasn’t been immunized yet. We’ll have to do some research and might have to get our little pup immunized soon.

  4. Summer Johnson on September 9th, 2017 11:25 am

    What a great idea to bring your pet for a dry run at the boarding facility for just a few hours. I’ve always been too nervous to try boarding my dog when I go on vacation, but this would give me a chance to see how he does without really leaving him. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Latoya Anderson on February 8th, 2018 3:27 pm

    I like that you talked about how you should consider checking the cleanliness of the dog boarding facility that you’re interested in. This is a helpful tip for me because my dog is prone to a lot of diseases. I want to make sure that the dog boarding facility that I will choose is neat and tidy to keep my Labrador healthy while I’m away next week. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Ellen Hughes on July 24th, 2018 9:35 pm

    I like that you suggested checking out the pet kennel that you’re interested in so you can check the smells and look of the area where pets are being placed. My husband and I are looking to find a boarding facility where our cat can stay while we’re away. He’as prone to allergies, so it’s my priority to make sure that he won’t get sick because of dirty kennels. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Ellen Hughes on September 19th, 2018 7:04 pm

    I do like that you suggested making sure that the boarding facility that you will choose for your pet can allow them to access outdoor time and can provide the other needs of your pet. My husband and I need to find a pet boarding facility for our dog. Our dog is at risk for obesity, so we’d like to make sure that the pet boarding facility that we will choose can allow dogs to roam and run to ensure that they are getting the right exercises. Thanks!

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