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5 Tips for Selecting a Kennel

by Kay Lynn

Room Service

Vacation planning for pet owners requires more than just figuring our the actual vacation.  Arrangements need to be made for the care of any pets.  Although our pets don’t go to fancy pet hotels we do want them to be well-tended.

For many years we had cats which limited vacation preparation to finding someone to pop in once a day to refresh the food and water, clean the litter box and dispense some petting.

Adopting Charger three years ago added to our arrangements.  He needs to go somewhere else because we are yard-less.  Here’s what we did to find the right place.

Get Referrals.  Ask your veterinarian, dog park acquaintances, neighbors, coworkers and friends.  Of course, we only asked people who lived in our general vicinity as our goal was to find someplace conveniently nearby.  We got several suggestions from all these sources and then weeded through them by comparing key factors.

Compare Prices. The fees charged by some establishments are shocking (at least to us).  The price ranged from a low of $21 up to $60 per day.  Find out what’s included in the daily rate.  Some include indoor/outdoor space and others do not.  Is there play time included?  If so, is it with other dogs or solo?

Additional Services/Factors. Many kennels have a menu of additional services that can be purchased for your pet.  If it’s important to you for Fido to get a larger room with  two daily play sessions and gourmet food then you’ll want to make sure that’s offered at the selected establishment.  We didn’t have any special needs but wanted to bring one of Charger’s favorite toys.

You can even watch your pet on cctv at many kennels.

Kennel Requirements.  Boarding businesses are often just as picky about who they let stay as owners can be in selecting where to have the dog stay.  Some require a screening to make sure it’s a compatible fit.  Check requirements for vaccinations and health certificates and be prepared.  You don’t want to miss your flight or cruise ship because of a missing rabies certificate.

Research Prospects.Before leaving our dog at a new place, we visited the kennel and talked to the proprietor.  The tour included viewing the kennel where we could see how other dogs were being housed and the facilities.  We left feeling good about Charger going there.  In addition to the on-site visit I researched reviews online and found glowing remarks from other customers.

Our final choice had been referred to me by a coworker and coincidentally had the lowest price.  All was well when we returned the first time to pick up Charger.  When we took him back the next vacation Charger was excited to see the staff and we knew it was the right choice.  How did you choose your pet’s kennel?

photo credit: Adriaan Bloem

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Credit Card March 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

My friend pet sits for me. We pay him a little to do that. Dog sleeps in a home and does not get kennel cough when we come back!!
.-= Mr Credit Card´s last blog ..Scare Tactics on Charge Backs and Credit Scores =-.

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Bucksome March 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

That’s a great idea. We’ve had my son and his wife dog-sit a couple of times but now with the baby they can’t handle one more dog (already have two).

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Elle @ A for Effort March 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

We researched which facilities were available in our area, and then looked up their websites to get information on pricing, services, etc. We found the best doggy daycare/boarding facility! Not only do they carefully screen their dogs–requiring an orientation day before taking one on as a client–but they also don’t kennel the dogs, which was important to us. We wanted our dogs to feel like they were at home, and they do. Actually, I think they like it more than home, because there’s a nap room with real furniture, a play room with all sorts of fun toys and things to climb on, and a pool area. We went to tour the facility and talk to the staff before orientation day, and we fell in love with the place. Thankfully, our dogs did too!

(Found you through SITS.)
.-= Elle @ A for Effort´s last blog ..W for WOW! =-.

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Daddy Paul March 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I thought 10 bucks a day was robbery! I looked around and read Yahoo reviews.
I saw where the dogs were kept and talked to the owners. I found a place I like a lot for 10 bucks a day. The highest I found was 12 the lowest was 5. My dog would have been traumatized by the 5 buck a day place what a pit!

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Bucksome March 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

The prices are much less where my parents live as well. There are some pretty expensive kennels here — the real probem is the price of real estate.

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