Boarding kennels are a very useful option for those who need somewhere safe to leave their dogs or cats whilst they travel. Facilities of this kind can provide pets with a secure, comfortable environment in which they are well cared for, properly monitored and receive plenty of attention. Here are some steps that you should take prior to placing your pet in a boarding kennel.
Do your research and choose the right facility
Before arranging for your pet to stay in a specific boarding kennel, it's important that you feel confident that it is a suitable and safe place. The best way to determine this is to visit the accommodation in person. During your visit, check that the kennels are clean, with sufficient lighting, ventilation and comfortable bedding. It's also a good idea to inspect the outdoor exercise areas to ensure that these offer adequate protection from the elements and are secure, with no fencing gaps through which your pet might escape.
Make sure to speak to the staff members too; ideally, they should come across as friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. You may want to ask them about what type of feeding and exercise schedule they use for the animals, as well as whether or not they have an in-house veterinary service. If you have a long-haired dog or cat and they will be staying at the boarding kennels for more than a few weeks, it may also be worth asking the staff if they provide grooming and bathing services for the animals.
Prepare your pet
A lot of cats and dogs have no trouble adjusting to new environments; however, there are some who find the experience quite distressing. If your pet has a tendency to get anxious when separated from you, it's a good idea to take some measures to make their first few days at the kennels as stress-free as possible. Bring along a few of their favourite toys, as these will serve as a good distraction for them if they become upset. Additionally, if you have a dog, it may be helpful to leave an old garment of yours with them, as they may find the scent of their owner comforting.
If you have a particularly nervous pet and are very concerned about how they may react to being left in a different environment, it may be worth spending a few hours at the kennels with them before you head off. Most boarding kennels are familiar with this type of issue and are usually happy to allow people to spend some time with their pets at the facility to give the animals a chance to adapt to their surroundings whilst their owner is still present.