Choosing The Right Boarding Kennel For You And Your Dog

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Having to leave your dog when you go away can be stressful and upsetting for everyone involved. However, you can certainly lessen the blow and make the whole experience much more positive for you and your pooch. It’s important that the kennel you choose is right for everyone so that you don’t spend your whole time worrying.

Plan Ahead

Make sure you plan well in advance when boarding your furry friend. The best kennels can get booked up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on quality care for your dog. As soon as you know you’re going away, call and inquire about boarding options. Ask friends and family members or your veterinarian’s office if they have any recommendations for quality kennels.

Related: What To Look For In A Quality Dog Boarding Facility

Your Dog’s Needs

Think about your dog’s needs and temperament and make sure they can be catered to. If you’ve got a social and friendly pooch, will she be able to interact with other dogs who are being boarded? Conversely, if your four-legged friend gets stressed by other dogs or has aggressive tendencies, will adequate care be taken to keep her separate from them? If your pup has any special needs or requires medication, are staff at the facility capable of looking after her properly? Your dog’s comfort and happiness is paramount, so be sure that the boarding facility will be able to meet her needs.


The boarding kennel you go with should be able to meet your dog’s exercise requirements. Some kennels will take each dog out for a walk, whereas others will simply give them access to an outdoor run for an hour or so each day. While the latter is fine for some dogs, if you have a big or energetic pooch, this probably won’t cut it. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, all her pent up energy could cause her to become unduly stressed during her stay. Ask the staff how they plan to make sure your pup is getting plenty of exercise.

Related: Tips For Boarding a Dog with Separation Anxiety

Looking Around

Once you’ve decided on the kennel at which you want to board you dog (or at least made a shortlist), you should be able to have a look around before you book. If a kennel discourages this or says that you aren’t allowed, then alarm bells should start ringing. Any boarding facility worth its salt should be happy to show prospective clients around to see the amenities and let them talk to the staff.

What to Look Out For

During your trip to the kennels, you should know what to look for. In order to avoid the spread of infection, they should be clean and well ventilated. If this is the case, they shouldn’t be smelly, so stinky kennels should throw up a red flag. While they should be well ventilated, they shouldn’t be drafty, or your pup might get cold at night. Make sure that the kennels and runs are secure, properly maintained and big enough for the dogs they’re housing. Although the dogs at the kennels will start barking and get excited when you first arrive, they should settle down before too long. If they seem stressed or unhappy, this might not be the best place to go with.

Trust Your Instincts

If you take a look around a boarding kennel and something doesn’t feel quite right to you, trust your instincts and go with another option. While you may be entirely wrong about it, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, if you ignore your initial instincts, you’re likely to spend your whole trip away worrying about your precious pooch, which won’t exactly be fun for you.

loznnolaLauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.