For most of us, the first choice when taking a trip is to bring our dogs with us. Sometimes, it’s just not possible. So you have a trip planned, and you need to make accommodations for your pup. Where do you start to choose the right kennel?
When the timing is right for everyone, you might consider offering your place and the care of your dog to a relative who needs a getaway. Your friend or family member will have your place to enjoy and you’ll know that your dog is safe in his own home. That’s the ideal situation but not always doable. The most important thing to do If you are looking for a kennel is to leave yourself plenty of time so that you can do some research.
Start by asking friends and other dog owners where they overnight their dogs while they are away. Most people are more than willing to share their experiences – good and bad. Some kennels or dog camps require a trial visit for a few hours. You’ll drop your dog off and then pick him up in a few hours. This does a couple of things, A)your dog will understand the next time – that you will be coming back for him (or at least we hope he understands) and B) The kennel owners/workers will get a chance to see how your pup interacts with other dogs and in the new environment. There should be no charge for this trial visit.
Big dogs and small dogs have different needs for an overnight stay. A young larger dog may need ample access to the outdoors and lots of play time. A smaller dog may only be used to walking on a leash. Ask a lot of questions, check for reviews on- line and definitely visit the kennel before dropping off your precious cargo. One other thing, while you are getting your passport, and printing your boarding pass, pack a little pet valise, grab your dog’s vaccination records, medications if any, a favorite toy and of course your veterinarian’s number. When you know your dog is safe and well cared for, then you can kick back and enjoy your time away. Later this week, we’ll talk with some local kennel owners about their tips for boarding your dog.