With the stresses of the rest of the year, summer vacations are not the time to add another worry to the list. So if a kennel or “pet resort” is where Shadow’s heading while you’re away, take these steps to make his visit stress-free—for you and for him.
What to look for in a kennel:
1. If you are traveling during peak holiday season (Christmas, July 4th), call ahead to make sure the kennel will even have room. Many fill up very quickly.
2. Visit the kennel ahead of time. A good kennel will look and smell clean. Although some kennels do not allow visitors into the back area, there should be a window for you to see where your pet is staying.
3. While visiting the kennel, check the security of the fences and gates. Some pets will try to find their owners when on vacation, and attempt to escape. Cats especially should not be allowed in uncovered facilities.
4. Make sure the place where your pet is sleeping has solid dividers between sleeping areas for all the “guests.” Solid barriers will minimize tension and allow your pet to relax.
5. Kennel accreditations are awarded by ABKA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to quality kennel care. Membership in the ABKA should be indicated by a certificate in the main waiting room. A Certified Kennel Operator (CKO) certificate means that the organization has inspected and accredited the kennel.
6. Check the kennel’s food policy. Some give everyone the same food but allow you to bring your own. Others require that you bring your pet’s food at check-in.
Finding the right kennel can make or break a vacation. Ask friends if they have a favorite kennel, check the yellow pages, or look up kennels in the Better Business Bureau.
Share your experiences with us if you’ve ever had to leave your dog in a kennel for a few day! Was it a good experience or bad?