Tips for Boarding Your Pet

Bringing along a favorite toy or blanket can make your dog feel more comfortable

Every pet owner wants the best for their pet, but how can you ensure that your pet is getting the best care possible in your absence? There are many boarding kennels out there, but not all are the same. What should you look for when choosing a good boarding kennel? Important things to look for include a certificate or license from the local authorities, a spacious, well-ventilated living area for the animals, cleanliness, and happy and relaxed staff and animals.

When leaving a beloved pet with a boarding kennel, it is also important to make sure that the kennel staff has all of the information they need to care for your pet properly.  Be sure to provide the boarding kennel with your contact information at your destination, the phone number for your family vet and emergency contact number in case you cannot be reached.  You should also provide information about special medications, food, or allergies that your pet may have.

Leaving a pet with a boarding kennel can be a stressful and traumatic experience for both pets and pet owners. By taking the time to prepare your pet for the experience, you can save yourself and your furry friend a great deal of anxiety. Well before your trip, spend time training him or her to obey simple commands and socializing your pet with other animals. Try a short test trip, leaving your pet for a period of one or two days in the kennel before a longer trip to get them used to the environment before you leave your pet for an extended time.

Many pets can feel lonely and depressed when they are away from their owners. This is particularly true when they are staying in a new environment such as a boarding kennel.  There are certain things you can bring with your pet to the kennel to ease your pet’s mind and make their stay more comfortable. This could include favorite toys, blankets that smell like home, special treats, information for the kennel staff about your pet’s favorite games, or tips on what your pet likes and dislikes.

While nobody likes to leave their pets behind when they go on vacation, the fact is that some pets are better at handling new situations and environments than others. While some animals may enjoy the experience of staying in a kennel, others may suffer emotional and physical distress. Warning signs that your pet might not be a good boarder include aggressive behavior around other people and animals, excessive whining, crying and barking every time you leave the house, and irrational fear of new people and environments.  If you feel that your pet will not do well in a boarding facility, consider other alternatives such as leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member.

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  1. This is really an informative and helpful post about pet owners. Thanks for sharing those tips. For sure, their pet will get the best care possible while the owners are away.

  2. You give some great advice here. Thanks for sharing those important things to look for when choosing a good boarding kennel. This will really help pet owners.

  3. Great tips! Thanks for the post,I’m sure many pet ownerswill follow this.

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    You are very welcome.

  5. Yes, I agree with Tina. The advises are really helpful. This is really important especially for dog owners who is looking for a dog boarding kennel. Keep posting!

  6. You give some great advice here. Thanks for sharing those important things to look for when choosing a good boarding kennel. This will really help pet owners.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    you are very welcome

  8. Thanks for the post! Definitely some things to know. Been thinking about how to handle this situation. Keep up the blogging!

  9. I wouldn’t board a dog in a typical “kennel,” but a pet resort that offers comfortable accommodations and fun activities for your pet. You can find a good place using the keyword “dog boarding” rather than “kennel” in a Google Search. “Kennels” can be any place with a room and a crate/cage. I agree with the author of this article – leave pet care to the professionals. The place should employ a professional, committed and highly caring staff trained in the most comprehensive and updated pet care training available. All staff members should be able to handle ALL critical pet care responsibilities. Beware of individuals who claim they have experience but lack proper credentials and expertise.

  10. My in-laws are looking for a good place to board their pet for a two week vacation. They have are worried about their dog because he gets severe anxiety. It seems like they should make sure the boarder is licensed.

  11. This is a very informative post and helpful to pet owners. When choosing a kennel read their terms and condition.

  12. I love dogs and it makes me sad to think of leaving my dog however I know there are so many great places out there that will make my dog feel right at home. I’m sure it won’t be exactly like my home, however going your research on where you would leave your dog seems key. When I go anywhere I make sure to get references and check out the reviews, dog boarding is no exception. thanks again for the great read. I will be sure to try out some of these tips!

  13. I like your idea to get your pet used to the idea of a kennel by trying a shorter trip before taking a longer trip. We recently got two dogs and I am still new at being a pet owner. We are taking trip later next month and we need to find a good dog boarding place while we are gone. I like what you said, “look for a licences from the local authorities, a spacious, well-ventilated living area for the animals, cleanliness, and happy relaxed staff and animals.” Thanks for the info!

  14. My wife and I are going on vacation, and we can’t find anybody to watch our cat. I really liked this post, especially because my wife doesn’t like the idea of leaving our cat alone. I’m pretty sure that if I dropped off our cat at a boarding facility along with her favorite toys, that she would be just fine. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. My dog is like one of my children. Except for the fact that I can’t bring her on vacations. I want to find a place that will take care of her while I leave. I don’t want her just placed in a kennel for the days I’m absent. What things does pet boarding offer?

  16. I really liked your advice to make sure that the kennel you choose is familiar with everything they need to know in order to properly take care of your pet. All too often, people don’t consider the fact that the caregivers can’t read minds. You need to inform them on what your pet specifically needs. Do you have any other advice about selecting a dog kennel?

  17. I really liked your suggestion because when I was out of town due to some reasons, I have opted for Old Dominion Animal Health Center for pet boarding services. I was really happy with their services. Moreover, they provide exceptional animal medical care, combined with outstanding boarding, grooming, and training services.

  18. I do like the idea of running smaller tests to get your pet used to spending some time at the kennel. After all, being put into a new environment can be very stressful, especially for certain breeds of dogs. You ideally want to try and cause as little stress as possible for your pet as possible in order to keep them happy and healthy.

  19. We will be going on a trip soon. It’s important that our cat is properly cared for while we’re gone. We want her to feel comfortable. Thanks for the tip about bringing toys, blankets, or treats to help ease your pet’s mind. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I’m going on a business trip this weekend, so I’m thinking of getting my dog to a pet boarding service. Thanks for the tips in this article about boarding our pets. I would never want my dog to be stressed and depressed in a kennel, so I’ll definitely spend time training him and socializing him with other animals to prepare him for the experience. Thanks for the tip!

  21. I like that you mention taking your pet to the boarding service for a short amount of time to get them accustomed to it. That can be a good way to ensure that they’ll feel comfortable when you do go on a longer trip. It’s important to take the time to make sure that your pet is comfortable because it will make it easier and less stressful both you and those who work at the boarding kennel.

  22. I love that you talked about how you can bring some familiar items with your dog to the boarding facility like his favorite toys to make him comfortable with the environment. My husband and I have a scheduled flight by the end of the month, and it’s important for me to find a dog boarding facility where I can leave our dog. I will make sure to find the best dog boarding facility for him.

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