How to choose boarding kennels

All pet lovers know that leaving a beloved animal in someone else’s care can be an anxiety inducing experience. How can you be certain that your pet is content and taken care of when you’re not around and going into boarding kennels? How can you choose the dog boarding kennels  that perfectly suited to your pet from the large range of options out there? Thankfully, Sarah Mountford, an expert in pet care and owner of luxurious canine country club, House of Mutt, has given us all the advice we need to make sure our pet is happy and healthy in the ideal boarding option…

dogs by the fire

Unlike for people who are often berated for their second homes by out-priced locals, I believe all dogs should have a second home to call their own. Somewhere familiar to go when owners are away, logistics are tricky, times are tough. Choosing that ‘second home’ is generally regarded as being about as fun as finding a dentist, but times are a-changing and dog boarding kennels  and dog hotel opportunities are changing with them. Whether it’s a 5 star dog hotel, a 4-postered padded ‘chalet’, a home hearth in a country cottage or a live-in nanny, today’s dog owners have a veritable cornucopia of options available for their four-legged friend’s holiday home.

dogs running

Such a profusion of possibility requires a system to navigate.

First off is deciding what you want for your dog and what your dog would want for itself (given a free rein and the ability to speak, of course).  If s/he’s a crabby old soul who would soon as face the wall as a bundle of playmates and would startle at the prospect of open spaces, then a kennel with safely locked door and little by way of surprises would seem to be your best bet. But if yours is a typical family pet, accustomed to hustle, bustle, fun and frivolity, and used to exercise, open spaces and plenty of ad hoc cuddles, then home boarding may be the better option.

Once you’ve thus narrowed the field (think of it as being equivalent to sorting a child’s school – are you going day, boarding, state, private, city, rural?), then it’s time to work out how to tie down the specifics.

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Talk, ask, discuss, chat…

Dog owners tend to be the chattiest people at the party when it comes to talking-dog; so ask friends, fellow walkers (of happy-looking dogs),  or check out recommended dog boarding kennels businesses on PetsPyjamas Pet Services, to find out where they recommend.  You may be struggling with letting your buddy leave your side, but you can be sure that pretty much every other dog owner in the vicinity is feeling the same way so if they’ve found somewhere they’re happy with, you want to know about it.

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Research recommended companies then pick up the phone and chat to the hotel/boarding/kennel owner, asking the questions that are on your mind, and expecting a decent answer. My view is that if these people are going to have the honour of meeting your dog, they can jolly well earn it! Visit if you can, or see if they’ll come to you – it’s a long term relationship you are looking to start so time allowing, it’s not unreasonable to ask for some prior commitment on their part.

golden retriever

Finally, once the chat and research are over, trust your instincts. If you get a good vibe, then the chances are it’s a good place.  If you’ve got doubts, look elsewhere. There’s too much choice out there to have to settle for second best.  And besides, you’re out there looking for your dog’s second home, remember, not second best…

Click here to browse boarding options in the Pet Neighbourhood.

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