Evaluating A Kennel

If you are planning a business trip or family vacation, chances are you may not be able to bring your pet with you? Selecting a kennel or boarding facility that you feel confortable with can give you peace of mind while you are away.

It’s a good idea to start your search for a kennel at least a month or two before you need one-maybe sooner if you’re leaving town during summer or holiday times. Use the enclosed referrals to help you start your search or ask friends, neighbors or co-workers for recommendations. You4r veterinarian, groomer or trainer is also a good resource for finding a kennel. Often animal hospitals have boarding facilities on site.

Start your search by selecting several kennels and call to see if they can accommodate your pet during the time you will be away. Some kennels may be booked or may not accept pets that require special handling or accommodations (very young puppies, animals on special medication or feeding schedules, or very large breeds, for example). If the kennel has an opening for your pet , make an appointment to visit the facility.

Here are some tips to help you evaluate the kennel.


Does the facility look and smell neat and clean?

What is the schedule for disinfecting pet accommodations?

Are the office and kennel grounds well maintained?


Are gates and fencing sturdy and well maintained?

What precautions are taken for dogs that dig under or jump over fences?

How often are the animals checked on?

Health Care

Is clean drinking water available for each animal at all times?

What is the policy for supplying food to your pet?

If your pet becomes ill, what is the procedure for obtaining veterinary care?

What immunizations are required in order to board a dog or cat at the facility?

What are the policies and procedures for dispensing medication.

Does the kennel have a policy regarding parasite control? (i.e. fleas and/or ticks)

Animal Comfort

Is the temperature of the boarding are with in healthful, comfortable limits for your pet?

Can special arrangements be made if your pet requires cooler/warmer accommodations?

Is protection from rain, snow or direct sunlight provided in outdoor/exercise areas?


s good lighting and ventilation (without drafts) provided?

What type of bedding is provided? Can you bring your own?

Are sleeping quarters clean, dry and roomy enough for your pet to comfortably stand, turn around and stretch out?

Is the exercise are adequate for your pet?


Does the kennel have a written boarding agreement or contract?

What are the rates? Do you understand the method for calculating boarding charges?

Are the days and hours od business clearly posted?

Does the kennel provide other services such as grooming or training?

Professional Affiliations/Staff

Does the kennel belong to the American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA)?

What kind of experience and training does the staff have.

Developing a good relationship wit a boarding kennel will make things a lot easier for you and your pet. Do your homework in advance and trust your kennel owner to provide a safe, happy homecoming when you return.
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