What To Look For In A Quality Dog Boarding Facility

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One of the hardest things about going away is if you have to leave your dog behind. Of course, he can’t stay at home alone (he couldn’t be trusted not to throw any wild parties!), so you have to find him an appropriate place to stay. The problem is that not all boarding kennels are created equal. But, don’t fret! There are a number of clues that will help you sort the wheat from the chaff and find a quality boarding facility for your pooch.

Ask For Recommendations

If you have friends or family members who have boarded their dogs, ask if they have any recommendations for quality boarding kennels in the area. You could also ask the staff at your veterinarian’s office, as they may know the best local facilities.

Check For Certifications

Find out whether your state or province requires boarding kennels to have any sort of license or certification. If so, be sure to find out if the facility holds the appropriate certifications. Ask to see official documents when you visit the kennel, just to be certain.

Staff Training

The amount of training staff at boarding kennels have can vary wildly. At some facilities, all staff have some sort of animal care qualification, whereas at others, none of the staff have official training. While it may not always be possible for every member of staff to be highly qualified, a quality boarding kennel should always have at least one member of staff on duty who has some sort of officially recognized pet care qualification. All staff should also be trained in doggy first aid.


The spread of disease is easy when dogs are kept in close quarters. Therefore, it’s important that all dogs who’re boarded in kennels are up to date with all their vaccinations, including the jab to protect against kennel cough. Make sure that the boarding facility you’re interested in requires its guests to be vaccinated and makes proper checks to ensure that everything’s in order.

Keeping Up Appearances

To be certain that a kennel is up to the highest quality standards, you really need to visit it before you send your dog to board there. During your visit, make sure you can look around all areas of the facility to check it’s all up to scratch. Inspect the kennels visually to make sure they’re safe and secure and don’t have any sharp edges on which your dog could hurt himself. Check that they’re of an adequate size for the dogs they’re holding. You should also be sure that they’re clean and well ventilated, and don’t have any bad odors.

Exercise Issues

All quality dog boarding facilities should ensure their doggy guests get plenty of exercise. Some facilities have a small outdoor run attached to each kennel, so your dog can come and go as he pleases. However, he should also have scheduled time in a larger enclosed area, where he can have a proper run, or be taken out for daily walks. No matter what the arrangement, check that your pup will be given enough exercise, and that the amount he gets will be tailored to his needs.

Getting Comfy

While most kennels will have concrete floors, which are easy to clean and keep sanitary, you need to make sure that your pooch will be comfortable. Check if there are warm beds or raised areas where your dog can get off the cold concrete floor. Ask if you can provide your own bedding from home, if you desire, so that your dog has something familiar with him.

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.