Crisp mountain air, wide-open fields, and clear crystal lakes all present a fantastic vacation picture for a man and his dog. The opportunities for bonding over fresh fish are difficult for the dog lover and nature enthusiast to pass up. Unfortunately, not all vacations are as canine friendly as this one. The image of that same dog that would have so happily loped across the beach confined to a hotel room in New York City or in a car for three days on a coast to a coast road trip is not nearly as appealing. If you are planning on taking a vacation in a spot that would be unsuitable for your pet, it may be wise to consider boarding them while you are away.
Hundreds of boarding kennels are in operation across the country. The staff at these facilities have made an occupation out of their love for animals and would be happy to provide a temporary home for your canine companion. Anywhere from ten to one hundred dogs may be in residence at any given point in time, depending on the size of the facility, and costs vary by location. The kennel will provide feeding dishes, bedding, toys, and a place to sleep for the duration of your pet’s stay. As with many child care facilities, dogs are often asked not to bring their personal possessions with them in order to avoid the eventuality of them being stolen or damaged. All grooming equipment and supplies will also be provided.
The daily routine of a boarding kennel will include feeding on a regular schedule (if your dog has specific nutritional needs this should be discussed with the director prior to placing your dog), grooming services, including but not limited to shampooing, nail clipping, and cleaning of eyes and ears, and scheduled and unscheduled rest times for the dogs, as needed. Plenty of playtimes is provided, with one on one time with the staff, independent play, and group activities with the other pets in residence. Some kennels may provide time with a trainer as well; however, this is not guaranteed and should be discussed with the program director.
A good kennel should have a vet on call at all times, as well as trained staff to deal with any emergencies. When selecting a kennel, be sure to thoroughly check out the facilities firsthand. The animals should have plenty of personal sleeping space in an area where they are protected from the elements, as well as room to play inside and out. The grounds should be free of litter and waste, as well as any potential dangers to the dogs. This should include poisonous plants, sharp objects, or any electrical hazards.
Your local veterinarian should be able to assist you in finding a high-quality boarding kennel in your area, or you can contact the American Boarding Kennels Association. Once you have located a good boarding facility you can enjoy your vacation, secure in the knowledge that your pet is being well cared for.