How to Choose a Boarding Kennel for Your Pet

If you work long hours during the day or will be away from home for any extended time, it's good to choose a boarding kennel for your pet. Keeping them cooped up in the house during the day is not good for their overall health, and you want to ensure they can relieve themselves and have access to fresh food and water as needed. It's good to visit any potential boarding kennel in person before making your decision; note a few tips for what you should be looking for during your visit.

Food and water

A boarding kennel may offer food and water for the animals, but note where it's placed. Is cat food well away from the litter box, and is dog food easily accessible even for smaller dogs, or do larger dogs tend to crowd them out? Is the food area clean or does it seem messy, with water and bits of food allowed to sit on the floor without being cleaned? This can allow for insects to get into that food and water, and it becomes very unsafe. Check the location and cleanliness of any food stations and how much food is available for the number of animals being boarded.

Resting area

Do the animals have a place to rest that is not just a concrete floor? Animal beds don't need to be elaborate and expensive, but there should be something padded and comfortable for them to nap on, and it should be sufficiently sized so that all animals at the facility have room.


Note if they require pets to be current with their vaccinations and what paperwork is required from a vet to board your animal there. You may think it's an inconvenience to bring in your own paperwork and have your pet's immunizations updated, but remember that this means the other animals in the kennel will also be up-to-date on their vaccines, making them safer to be around your pet.

Separate animals

Note if cats and dogs are separated; this should be in separate rooms and not just separate cages, as animals can become very upset and combative even if they're in the same room as another species. You also want to check if they board any other types of animals and how they're contained; a rabbit, ferret or lizard can become prey for a dog or cat if they're not properly contained. To ensure your pet is safe and isn't tempted to start chasing another animal, always note how those animals are separated.