Choosing a Kennel

Our animals are more than just animals. Most of us consider our dogs and our cats as family members, as our best friends. For that reason we are willing to pay the money and do the extra work necessary in keeping them happy and healthy. We also try to keep them with us as much as humanly possible. But with the summer months approaching many of us will be going on more business and personal trips. These trips mean that we will have to board our babies in kennels.

At first, this thought is usually a scary one for us to contemplate, especially if this is the first time that we are to be separated from our beloved animal. But there are steps you must take before you choose the appropriate place to leave your animal.

Most kennels are great. The people who run them are like us. They love animals and are willing to do the work to make them as happy as possible. But there are the few others who are just doing the work for the money. For that reason, first you must do the research. Don’t just pick up the phone book and call the first kennel you see listed.

Personally, I recommend you ask your friends, people at your favorite pet store and even your vet for recommendations. But don’t just stop there. Go to the kennel yourself. Don’t call ahead. Get into your car and show up at their front door. Explain that you are searching for a kennel to leave your beloved animals. Then ask them to show you around the place. Look at the accommodations, the beddings, the area for runs, the area where food is stored and of course the animals that are there at the moment.

Here are a few basics all kennels should have. Ask to make sure they have them.


The first step here is to smell the place yourself. Does it smell clean and fresh?

Cleanliness is important because you want to protect your animal from disease. Also ask about the indoor ventilation and what types of disinfectants they use.

Running area.

This is the area where they allow the animals to exercise. Does it look safe? Do the animals get at least one walk or run a day? Is it possible for them to get more than one walk a day, if your animal is used to walking more?


Is it possible for them to feed them to use the same foods you all ready feed your animal? Can you bring it along with the animal?


Is the area your animal will be sleeping in adequate in size? Of course, the bigger the animal is the more space that will be needed.

Medical care

This is essential. Pets are like humans. Illness can arise when it is not expected. Do they have guaranteed medical care, if it is necessary?

Also in this area, you need to speak about any needs your animal all ready has, like set schedules for medicines; this would include any daily vitamins. Can they assure you that they will receive them on schedule?

Human contact

Will their be a human being on the property, checking on the animals periodically or better yet living within the property?

As you are looking around, talk to the staff. Ask questions. Do they seem genuine? Do they give off a good vibe? You can usually tell if a person really likes an animal, by observing them.

You also should make sure that your animal has all the vaccinations required for a stay at the kennel. Some kennels now require a vaccination against Bordatella cough (kennel cough).

Then talk about money and any special things your animal may need (like extra walks). You should also tell the staff things about your animal. If he/she is known for being excitable, if he/she is more sociable with women than men, if he/she is bad at trying to escape from his leash, little things like that will help the staff better take care of him/her.

Lastly, set your appointment and prepare your animal for his/her stay. Make sure when the time arrives, that you have all medicines, all special foods, toys, etc that will make his/her stay easier on him/her and the people caring for him/her.

By taking the extra time and the extra effort, you will enjoy your trip knowing that your beloved animal is safe and healthy.

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