Once pets are part of the family, vacation planning takes on an entirely new form. Previously the first question would be: where are we going? But now the most important question is: what about the pets? Are the pets joining in on the holiday, or do they have to stay behind?
Choosing a boarding kennel shouldn’t be done in haste. There are many reputable boarding kennels across the country that take excellent care of pets and provide them with everything they need. But good facilities are often booked up months in advance, so make an appointment to see the kennel as soon as you know you are going away.
Finding a reputable kennel
Finding a reputable kennel that will ensure your pets get everything, from shelter and food to exercise and stimulation, does take some time. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Ask friends and family about a facility they have used.
- If you don’t have a word-of-mouth reference, visit the kennel in person. The facilities must be clean and dogs should be housed separately (unless they are from the same family).
- Do a safety check and make sure the kennels are well secured with triple gates to prevent animals from escaping and running away.
- Check on the policies regarding daily exercise. Stimulation is important. Your pets should not have to spend their entire ‘holiday’ in a concrete pen. Ideally, there should be a grass patch linked to the kennel, but if this isn’t provided, they must be exercised out of their night pen every day.
- Ask if food is included in the daily rate, and if so, what diet the animals are fed. Ask if you are able to supply your own food. This is important if you have a pet that is on a prescription diet.
- Once a booking is made, the boarding kennel will let you know what their policies are on vaccinations and veterinary check-ups. Vaccinations must be current, and some facilities do a deworming when your pet's check-in. See the resident vet at Family Pet Centre to make sure their programs are up to date.