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How to choose a boarding facility for your pet

Updated on December 13, 2011

With the winter holidays quickly approaching, lots of us are in the midst of finalizing our holiday plans. It's common practice for people to travel so that they can spend the holidays with family and friends. For some of us, part of planning our trip will mean deciding what to do with our pets. Can you bring your pet(s) with you on your travels, or do you have a trusted friend or facility where you can leave him/her in comfort while you deal with the stress of holiday traveling on your own? It's important to consider what's best for our animal companions when deciding what to do with them during the holidays. Decisions should be made with their best interests in mind, rather than our own convenience.

If you decide that the best thing to do is to board your pets, it's important to do your research and make sure you choose the best boarding facility possible. Boarding kennels can be convenient for pet owners, and if selected properly they can offer your pet a stress free environment where he or she will be provided for while avoiding the stress of the holiday hustle and bustle. But it's important to visit and review potential boarding locations before trusting your beloved pet into the boarding staff's care. Here are some tips of things to look for while you are interviewing potential boarding kennels...

  • The boarding facility should look and smell clean. Check the area where your pet will be housed as well as the facility in general for cleanliness. Also make sure the building provides proper ventilation and lighting so that your pet will be comfortable and not be kept in the dark. Ask what the temperature of the building is maintained at and make sure the building will remain temperature controlled throughout your pets stay.
  • Interview the boarding facility staff. Are they the type of people you feel comfortable leaving your pet with? Do they seem knowledgeable about your type of pet, and able to meet all of your pet's needs?
  • Where will your pet be kept during his/her stay? Is the area where they will be kept comfortable and adequately sized? Will your pet be protected from the elements and comfortable in his/her enclosure? Does the facility provide comfort items such as beds, pillows, and/or blankets to help keep animals more comfortable? Will your pet be allowed time to exercise and if necessary, taken out to use the bathroom regularly?
  • What other types of pets are housed in the same facility? Are proper precautions taken that different species of animals won't be able to interact and potentially cause each other stress? What are the facilities rules regarding things like vaccinations, and spaying/neutering? Will your animal be able to interact with other animals of his/her species and if so, will these interactions be monitored and safe?
  • What is the facilities protocol regarding an emergency? What if your pet becomes injured or sick during his or her stay? Does the facility offer veterinary services on location? What veterinarian does the facility work with in case of emergencies or unexpected medical issues?
  • Does the facility offer any other services such as grooming or training?
  • How are payment rates calculated?
  • Will you be allowed to call to check up on your pet, or view them from a web cam online? Will facility staff be willing to accommodate to your pets feeding and bathroom schedule and do they allow you to bring in your own items such as food, treats, bedding, and toys?

Leaving our pets behind while traveling can be stressful on pet owners, but choosing the right boarding facility can go a long way towards calming our fears. If you cannot take your pet with you during your holiday travels, and don't have a trusted friend or family member who can watch them for you, animal boarding facilities can be a godsend. But it's very important to check into the facilities where your pet will be staying before booking your pets stay. Afterall, you want your furry friend to be safe and comfortable while you're away, so you can worry about your trip and know that your pet is in good hands.


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    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      I am glad to read this hub.Very informative for pet owners who are searching for this type of facility.