Just like most dog and cat parents, your dog or cat, puppy or kitten is your family, and you worry about their physical and emotional needs. When you are planning a trip away, whether for work or for a much-needed vacation, deciding how to ensure the care and keeping of your cherished furry family member is an extremely important decision.

So where do you locate the best boarding kennel for your pet? How can you make sure that your dog or cat has everything he needs to feel loved and content in your absence? The following is a list of things you may want to think about when choosing a boarding facility for your pet:

  1. Is the Facility Clean?. Be sure to choose a dog or cat boarding facility that is kept clean and sanitary. When you visit the facility prior to your pet’s stay, poke around and make sure that the kennels are cleaned regularly and are free of the smell of urine and feces .
  2. Comfort. Look for luxury dog boarding kennels or upscale cat boarding facilities where “creature comforts” come first and foremost. Wire kennels with cement flooring are not very inviting for a dog who is used to sleeping with his owners and living in the lap of luxury in your home. There are many “pet hotels” where your dog or cat can enjoy his own room, a comfy bed and a personal exercise area outdoors where he can romp and play.
  3. Socialization. Our pets thrive on our love, attention and affection. Dogs and cats who are used to being with us most of the day and getting plenty of cuddles, petting, playtime and attention will not do well if this level of care is suddenly reduced to being left in a kennel all alone. Most pets suffer some level of separation anxiety when we are away from them, and this is only made worse if they are left alone in a kennel. In deciding on the best pet boarding service to use, be sure to find a service that is well staffed with die-hard animal lovers, and that your pet’s emotional needs are taken care of. There should be plenty of interaction between your pet and it’s caregivers, and, depending on  your pet and it’s normal level of activity and socialization, interaction with other pets in the facility. Your pet should feel loved and cared for- even though you are away.
  4. Safety and Health Concerns. Before you decide on the best boarding service for your pet, be sure to inquire about their health standards and restrictions. What vaccinations and health clearances do they require from owners before pets are accepted into their facility? There are a number of transmissible diseases that can affect both dogs and cats, including feline leukemia, distemper, kennel cough (canine bordatelosis), herpes infections and more. Make sure that you place your pet ONLY in the care of a kennel facility that has rigorous health restrictions in place.
  5. Security – Is the kennel secure? Can your pet run away? It would be an absolute horror story if your pet were to run away from the facility, only to wander the streets or be hit by a car. You should choose a pet boarding facility that is securely fenced and preferably has enclosed kennel runs within a well-fenced area, or outdoor play enclosures for felines . You may also want to consider the location of the kennel facility . Is it close to a busy highway or freeway or in an urban area in close proximity to major traffic areas? If at all possible, choose a kennel that is located in a quiet country area, a good distance from main roads and busy traffic areas.

Once you have found a luxury pet boarding kennel that you feel confident in, be sure to ask for, and check at least 3 references from the facility. By talking to other pet owners who have left their pets in the kennel’s care, you can be almost certain that your pet will receive the best in care.

It’s never fun having to leave your pet in the care of strangers, but making sure that your pet is well-cared for while you’re gone can give you great peace of mind. Do your homework, and you’re sure to find a wondrous great luxury kennel where your pet can enjoy a vacation too!

Debbie Dallison is a writer, webmaster and pet lover. She runs a Luxury Pet Boarding Kennels Directory web site, where you can find dog and cat boarding facilities in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia.


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