How to Compare and Evaluate Dog Kennels

Dog kennels can be a boon to you as a pet owner, if you need to travel and can't take your pet with you. You can be assured that your pet is well looked after and safe while you are away. However, unless you spend time in researching the best dog kennels available, leaving your pet at a boarding kennel might turn out to be a nightmare.

How to Select a Dog Kennel:

  • Ask your friends if they know of a safe, comfortable and reliable boarding kennel
  • Ask your vet
  • Read reviews on the Internet
  • Consult the Yellow Pages of your local phone book and make a list of kennels located in your area

Factors that Should Influence your Choice

Look for a kennel that is within close proximity to your house for the convenience it offers. You should confirm that their business hours are suitable to your needs. Make sure they're open when you want to pick up or drop off your pet. Find out if the kennel and staff have licenses and certificates, and if the business is registered with a pet care regulatory service. It's best to select a kennel that is registered with the Pet Care Services Association or the American Boarding Kennel Association, because such a kennel would have to abide by the association's health and safety requirements. You would also be able to file a complaint against the kennel, should you feel the need to do so.

Other Factors

You should choose a kennel that allows you to visit the place prior to your booking a spot for your pet there. It's best to note the behavior of the staff with the animals that are already boarded and also check to see whether the kennel is clean and well maintained. Stools and urine should be removed and the area cleaned at regular intervals. This is important to minimize the risk of infections. You should find out the type of food that is fed. If it's low grade commercial pet food, you should ask the boarding facility if you can provide food that your pet is used to. By doing so, you can minimize the stress suffered by your pet in your absence. He would also be less prone to diarrhea and vomiting, which is quite common when pets are fed new food products.

It's essential that the kennel offer to walk and play with your pet daily. Kennels with veterinarians on call and 24/7 staff are preferred. Similarly, kennels that are prepared to give required medications to your dog are better than others. The expense is another determining factor in your choice of a kennel for your pet while you are away. Some kennels are likely to charge more to feed your dog a special diet, give medicines or take your dog for extra walks. Get a written estimate from the kennel before you agree to board your pet with them.

The kennel you choose should be safe and your pet should feel comfortable and happy during his stay there. The stress he feels on being separated from you shouldn't be compounded by discomfort and anxiety caused by the conditions in the kennel.