Dogs are part of the family, but sometimes traveling with them isn’t feasible. Fortunately, boarding kennels are available to take over pet-care duties. Though nothing compares to you and your buddy’s special relationship, each year millions of pet owners utilize a variety of pet kennels, from traditional to luxurious.
Traditional kennels are designed to house and care for your dog. Certain facilities are fully indoor, with built-in dog runs; others are indoor-outdoor with large fenced areas for dogs to play when the weather cooperates, while some are attached to a veterinary office in case of emergency. Sleeping areas are usually private in order to provide overnight safety and security.
Private kennels tend to house fewer dogs than traditional kennels. Zoning and permit laws vary by county and state, but typically private kennels sit on at least 5 acres of land and house fewer than 10 dogs at a time. These kennels are great choices for owners with socially anxious dogs, dogs with special needs that require more one-on-one attention and groups of dogs who prefer to stay and play together.
Heated swimming pools, custom-made furnishings, freshly baked treats and massages are just a few amenities you can find at luxury pet kennels and hotels. Aside from the posh surroundings, these luxury hotels generally have more on-site staff than other kennels to provide your buddy with the individual attention he craves -- for an increased price, of course.
Doggie Day Care
Day-care kennels are for the energetic, gregarious breeds who can’t stand to spend their days staring out the window waiting for you to come home. Unlike overnight kennels, there isn’t much resting and sleeping going on at doggie day care. Instead, these programs provide your pup with some much-needed exercise, attention and social interaction on days you can’t be with him.
Choosing a Kennel
When choosing a kennel, it’s important to get the opinion of someone you trust. Ask your veterinarian and his employees for recommendations in your area. Collect a list of reputable facilities and visit each one. Talk to the staff and observe their interactions with the dogs in the facility. Take note of the general appearance -- it should be safe, clean and secure. Finally, inquire about the procedures in case of emergency. Is there a veterinarian on site or on-call, or is there a vet’s office nearby? A little time and homework before you drop Buddy off can save a mountain of worrying and stress later.
The majority of boarding kennels require proof of vaccination before your buddy checks in. Individual kennels have individual requirements, but most kennels require current rabies, distemper, parvovirus and bordatella vaccinations.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.