Boarding your dog: choosing the right kennels for your dog
Deciding whether or not to board your dog can be tough for any owner, but sometimes it just has to be done. If putting your pooch into a kennels is the best option for you, let's look at how to choose the best one.
Choosing the right kennels: first steps
Leaving your dog won't be easy. You’ll want to be sure they're happy and comfortable while you’re gone. The key to achieving this is forward planning and research.
Try asking for recommendations, especially people you trust such as dog-owning friends and family. Your vet will also provide trusted help and guidance.
Once you've got a few recommendations, search the relevant kennels on Google to check out their reviews and reputation.
Once you have a few kennels in mind, ask them some important questions:
- What will your dog’s living space be like?
- How often will they be exercised or walked?
- What will they eat?
- Can they provide your dog’s favourite food?
- How many staff will they interact with?
- What happens if your dog becomes ill and how will treatment be paid for?
- Which vaccinations does your dog need in order to stay there?
- Will your dog get to interact with other dogs?
Once you're down to 2-3 boarding kennels, arrange to visit each one to check out the facilities for yourself.
When taking a tour, check that the boarding facility is clean, well maintained and well ventilated. Diseases such as Kennel Cough spread fast in kennels, so staff hygiene and cleanliness are vital – all reputable kennels will want up-to-date vaccination certificates to prove that your dog is protected against a number of conditions.
Even if a Kennel Cough vaccination is not mandatory for your preferred kennels, it's still worth having your dog vaccinated for their own protection.
Taking your dog with you? Read our guide to travelling with your dog.
Some boarding kennels charge different rates according to your dog's size and breed; others may charge extra for dogs with specific dietary or exercise needs.
It’s a good idea to get an estimate in writing before booking your dog’s stay. Like most things in life, it’s often better to pay a little more for high-quality kennels.
Remember, just like a good hotel, popular boarding kennels can get booked up – particularly during peak holiday season – so always book well in advance.
- Make sure the kennels have your up-to-date phone number, your vet’s details and other emergency contact information.
- Bring any special foods if necessary.
- Consider providing a favourite toy or comforter, so your dog is reminded of home while you’re away.
Now it's time to relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing your dog is in safe hands.
Need more info?
For further advice on choosing the right kennels for your dog, have a chat with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.