On Choosing a Boarding Kennel

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We understand how important it is
to have complete confidence in any facility where you leave your pet. These suggestions should help you make the best decision:

- check out the facility you are considering. If possible, get a tour. Depending on time of day and physical layout, not all kennels allow visitors, but see as much as you can. Ask questions.

Talk to the staff
- Ask how your pet will be kept, what diet they feed, and what their interaction will be. Meet the staff and watch them with your pet. Judge their professionalism, knowledge and attitude toward both your pet and you.

- Is the facility clean? Does it smell? How often do staff clean and where are the pets during cleaning? Use common sense in deciding if this is right for you. Your pet's health depends on it.

Calm & Quiet
- Are the dogs barking incessantly or are they relaxed and calm? A well-run facility and knowledgeable staff focus on mental and emotional well-being as well as your pet's physical health - and that translates to relaxed, quiet dogs. Music, aromatherapy, and other strategies may be employed by some facilities.

- Is someone on the premises 24 hours a day? What other safety features does the kennel have? Fire sprinklers and a fire plan? Safe perimeter fencing?

- Ask about extra services and activities available for your pet, and the costs, if any. Do they offer what your pet needs? Are play sessions supervised?

Judge by results
- Your pet's condition and attitude at pick-up can be good indicators of how he was treated. This isn't infallible, however, since some pets dislike being away from home regardless of how well they are cared for.

Return trips
- How does your dog react when she returns to the kennel? Again, this isn't a surefire indication, but it's good to know your dog likes the staff - and they like her, too.