How to find a boarding kennel near me?
Begin your dog boarding kennel search by checking with other dog-owning friends and neighbors who travel without their dog. Are they happy with the dog care facility they use? Does your veterinarian board pets for other than medical reasons? Are you satisfied with their facilities and the care they provide for your dog at other times? If so, then you may want to consider leaving your dog with them. In case your vet does not board, ask your veterinarian for a dog boarding kennel recommendation.
For convenience, check with those dog boarding kennels that are located near your home or business first. Set up appointments to visit their facilities and meet the staff who will be caring for your dog. Ask the boarding kennel owner or manager for references.
Amenities in dog boarding facilities may include live webcams, climate-controlled environment, kennels that feature both indoor and outdoor space, heated floors that are especially appreciated by older dogs, comfortable dog beds and spacious yards for dogs to enjoy. Some dog boarding facilities may even feature a swimming pool where dogs can get a nice swim and cool off during warm weather. During the last few years dog boarding kennels started to take advantage of live webcams in their facilities so that pet owners could easily monitor their pets during their stay at the dog boarding facility. In more upscale dog care facilities there may be boarding rooms instead of kennels where dogs can enjoy listening to calming music or even watch "Animal Planet" on flat-screen TV. A home-like atmosphere helps to keep dogs relaxed and comfortable during their stay at the boarding facility.
Some dog boarding kennels may provide other services in addition to round-the-clock dog care. For example, dog day care or dog day camps are very popular among working people who want to keep their pet active and busy during the day while the owners are at work. Dog day care facilities offer group play where dogs get to socialize with other dogs and learn important skills. Dogs with separation anxiety may especially benefit from dog day care and instead of staying home alone during the day these dogs get to play and enjoy different activities that dog day care centers offer their customers.
Other services that many dog boarding facilities offer may include professional dog grooming. Your dog may get a haircut and a bath in addition to mani/pedi during their stay at the facility. Large and medium-sized dogs may be difficult to bathe at home and dog boarding facilities often offer convenient dog bathing at their center where it is much easier to give your pet a much-needed bath.
Dog training classes may also be offered at dog boarding centers and your pet may take obedience training during their stay. For novice dog owners training a dog may be a challenge, especially with more stubborn dog breeds and obedience classes may be necessary in order to successfully manage the dog.
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What are the requirements for boarding a dog in a dog boarding facility? In order to keep dogs safe while in their care, most pet boarding facilities require that a dog is spayed or neutered. Dogs must also be current on flea and tick medication. What are dog boarding vaccination requirements? Boarding kennels have different rules for admission and most kennels require boarding dogs to be current on important vaccinations that may include 3 year rabies, 3 year DHPP, 1 year bordetella and more. Vaccinations should be done ideally several weeks before boarding your pet. Check with your boarding facility to see which vaccinations are required.
Many dog boarding centers allow dogs to socialize with other dogs and in that case many boarding kennels conduct a temperament assessment of the new canine guest before allowing interaction with other dogs. Not all dogs received enough socialization and some dogs may be aggressive towards other dogs. In order to prevent aggressive behavior on the dog playground, boarding facilities may take some time to evaluate your dog and see whether the dog is fit for socializing with other dogs in a safe and friendly way. If you are new to boarding your pet, check with the dog boarding facility of your choice regarding their temperament assessment before long-term or short-term boarding. In case your dog is found not fit to socialize with other dogs, many dog boarding kennels are happy to offer private outside time for your dog instead of group time. Boarding kennels often have several outdoor dog runs where a dog can exercise and enjoy the time outside in a private run.
Dog boarding facilities may ask that you bring your own dog food for your pet for the duration of boarding. The reason is that any change in diet may cause digestive problems in pets and dog boarding centers want your pet to feel their best during their stay. Bringing your own food will minimize the stress of the new environment where the dog is boarding, making the adjustment easier on your pet's stomach. Some dogs may be picky-eaters and will starve rather than eat new food offered by the boarding facility, which is not a good situation either. That is often the reason why many dog boarding facilities ask that pet owners bring their own dog food for the duration of the dog's stay.
What to look for in a kennel
When you arrive at dog boarding facility, get a tour of the kenneling and recreation areas. If a tour is refused, this may be a warning not to board your dog there. On your tour, look for or ask the boarding kennel staff following questions.
Is the dog boarding facility clean, including dog crates, dog runs, and yard areas?
Are outside views or runs provided? Is the building where the dog kennel is located safe from fire hazards?
How frequently are dog crates and dog runs cleaned?
How often are the dogs taken out for exercise and potty breaks? While some dog boarding offer private walks for each canine guest and keep dogs from socializing with other boarding pets during their stay, other dog boarding centers may offer plenty of opportunities for socialization with other dogs. Dogs may be allowed to play together with some boarding facilities separating smaller dogs from larger dogs.
Do the dogs in kennels have fresh water?
Does the boarding kennel staff truly like and understand animals, and are they attentive to them?
Are the staff members willing to accommodate your dog's special needs? If you have an older dog that requires special care, some dog boarding facilities may go above and beyond to meet the needs of your pet. For example, a geriatric dog may be placed in a more quiet part of the kennel where the dog can be more comfortable. Orthopedic beds can help older dogs suffering from arthritis relax and get a good quality sleep. Older dogs may need more frequent walks during the day as incontinence may be an issue. In that case some dog boarding facilities may be willing to accommodate your pet's needs and provide the care your dog deserves.
Will kennel staff administer your dog's daily medication or feed the same diet given at home? If your pet needs medicine administration during boarding time, be sure write a note explaining when and how the medication needs to be given to your dog. Most dog boarding facilities encourage dog owners to bring enough dog food for the duration of their pet's boarding. When a dog is staying in a new place it is best to not change the diet in order to prevent any digestion problems that frequently occur when a new food is introduced. Familiar food also helps the dog to feel more "at home" while at the boarding facility.
Is your dog permitted to keep toys in his run?
Discuss the dog boarding kennel's policies. Most boarding kennels require that all animals be current on their vaccinations. What type of proof of vaccination will you need to provide? What does the kennel do in case of a medical emergency involving your dog? Are their rates competitive with other boarding kennels, and do they reflect the quality of the care given? Is payment due before you leave or when you return? Do some services cost extra? Get a schedule of their hours and times when you can drop off and pick up your dog.
Once you select a dog kennel, give the staff a detailed, written care instructions for your dog. Leave a list of your travel itinerary, along with phone numbers where they can contact you in the event of an emergency. If permitted, send your dog's favorite chew bone and bedding to the kennel. You may want to leave one of your unlaundered shirts with your dog - an item that has your scent and smells like home. This will comfort your dog while you're away from him, and remind him that you will return.
Dog boarding tips and recommendations from an experienced dog kennel owner - video.