Dog Boarding Kennel: Asking the Right Questions


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Sometimes you have to leave your house for the sake of enjoying yourself. For example, you might go on vacation for an extended period of time, but you do not take your pet along with you. In such situations, you consider and choose a good pet boarding kennel. These kennels provide services and take care of your pet when you have to leave them for a shorter period of time.

What Is a Boarding Kennel?

A boarding kennel is an entity that takes care of your pet when you are away from him. For example, you need to go out of the city for several hours or for one day. Then, you can board your pup in a good boarding kennel. Else, you have to take a break from your work, go for a tour, or enjoy holidays and wonder where you have to place your pooch if you do not want to take him with you. For such situations, dog boarding kennels are there to take your pet.

a boarding facility is designed in a way in which a dog can feel at home easily. A trained staff looks after your dog, takes care of his food schedule, and plays with your pooch. Kennels are holding pet dogs of many dog owners at a time, so they have enough rooms and space to keep all the dogs in great comfort.

A boarding kennel has grounds for the dogs to play and walk. Many kennels provide additional services such as training and grooming classes to your dog and make them learn new things.

Questions to Ask Before Boarding Your Dog

Whenever you need to board, your dog ask a boarding kennel all the possible questions you need to ask. Clarify everything and take all the possible details from them in the aspect of how these boarding kennels work. This is very necessary, so you will feel free to worry if you have chosen a good kennel for your dog.

Can I Take a Tour of the Pet Boarding Facility?

For your satisfaction from your dog’s side, you need to check and assure yourself that this boarding facility is best for your dog to stay. Then, ask the boarding kennel staff if they allow you to take a tour of the facility where you will leave your pup. If they allow you, go and observe the rooms, playing area, walking grounds, vaccination centers (if any), feeding area, and toilets too.

How Clean Is the Dog Kennel?

Before paying a fee to kennels, just make sure first about the cleanliness. Check out if the facilities are clean or not. Next, ask them about the cleaning and sweeping routine in the facility. Many dogs are kept in the same boarding facilities, and it is very likely the area smells bad, so it is very necessary to ensure neatness, cleanliness, good odor, and fresh air there. Ask them how many times they wash the floors and how long the grounds remain wet. Is a litter box present within every room, and how often are the kennels cleaned?

Does the Dog Boarding Facility Require Vaccinations?

Most dog boarding kennels require vaccinations. Before boarding your pup there, ask about the vaccination. Some facilities require additional vaccinations as per their rule of safety for animals. On the other hand, a few kennels do not require vaccines for your dog’s boarding. For such facilities, you need to ask them about the methods of quarantine and sensitization so you can make sure that your pooch is safe.

How Many Dogs Are at the Boarding Kennels?

Most kennels hold many dogs from multi-dog families and are kept together. Count the dogs in the given facility where you are present and also ask operators about the number of dogs. See if they are telling exactly what you have counted or not. All the dogs play together there. It is very likely when you return from your tour. You will see that your pooch has made many new friends.

How Many Staff Members Are on-site?

As a pet boarding kennel holds multiple dogs at a time, it is very important that a staff member should present with them all the time. Some dogs have aggressive nature. So, unfortunately, when two such dogs confront each, it is possible they quarrel and hurt each other. For keeping an eye on them and for dogs’ aid, it is necessary that staff members are present there. Ideally, one staff member is enough for ten dogs at a time.

Are the Kennel Staff Members Trained & Certified?

Many kennels try to betray you by keeping inexperienced and uncertified staff members. So before boarding your dog at a pup boarding kennel, ask the kennel operator about the certification of staff members. Also, check their previous experience and services duration. So you can easily make a decision about the kennel and the staff.

Are There Play Areas at the Kennel?

Every kennel must have spacious play areas for the dogs to play in. One of the questions to ask is about the playing areas. All the dogs in the kennel, either large dogs or small dogs, play together. Take a glimpse of these play areas during your tour to the kennel. Keenly observe the ground and walking track.

Many kennel operators take extra charges from the dog owner for the special needs of the animals, such as playing sessions. According to operators, this is the extra time and look after given to your family pet. They may even charge $4 for 15 minutes of the play session. But to dismay, pet owners pay extra charges, and their pet family members do not even get the regular play session.

Does the Staff Members Interact & Play With the Dogs?

It is very necessary that how dogs interact with other dogs and stay in the kennel instead of the house without you. In a good kennel, the staff is very expert in engaging your dog’s interest in the kennel and with other dogs. Ask a boarding operator whether the staff is interactive with the dogs or not. Or they play or spend time with the pet dogs who stay here.

Can I Meet the Staff Who Will Be Looking After My Dog?

Do not leave your pup in a boarding kennel without meeting the staff who is on duty to take care of your pet. Ask them about their expertise and also try to read their behavior. For example, ask them how the staff interacts with the dogs, whether they provide regular food in time, keep the dogs clean, nail trimming the dog is done on time, and whether they play with them. Is enough room also provided for your dog?

How Are the Dogs Identified?

Many dogs live in the kennel at a time, and it is quite possible that your dog gets mixed up with another similar dog. For example, maybe your pet’s eatables have also been exchanged with another dog who looks similar to yours, and your dog has some kind of allergy to that food. Also, an unknown person will take your dog with him, confused that his dog looks like yours. So both of you might get your pets exchanged. To avoid any such mishap, ask the kennel operators how they identify dogs. Do they use any kind of label or picture or a microchip?

How Secure Are the Kennels and Fences?

It is one of the very important questions to ask about the safety of the pet. Does the playing area has a proper fence. Is it a safe place for the pup to stay for certain hours or for long? How do they keep the animals within the boundary of the ground?

How Do You Deal With Dogs Who Have Kennel Boarding Stress?

When you meet with the staff, ask them how they handle a dog who is having boarding kennel stress. Do they have any plans for the dog to effectively engage them in their kennel? If they say yes and explain you, then it is a good choice. But if they do not know how to cope with this situation, then it is a huge red flag as they are not experienced. Just leave immediately.

Will My Dog Have Access to the Toilet and Sleeping Areas at All Times?

The dogs are usually moody. When they want to play, they play. When they want to sit still, they sit so. In the same way, the dogs must be given complete liberty to sleep when they want. For that, the dogs must be given complete access to the sleeping area in the kennels. Also, they must have access to the toilets at the time of urination.

Is There Webcam Access to My Dog’s Kennel?

Webcams are used by many facilities. Your pet is your family member, and you want to see what your pet is doing and how he is from a long distance when you are not near him. Most kennel operators give webcam access to your best friend so you can easily see him and can say hello.

What Is the Procedure for Medications?

If your pup has a kind of health problem or is sick, ask the facility if they provide medications or not. When you get a positive response, then let them handle this problem with your pup. But if your pup has a very serious issue, it is not a good sign. You need to consult boarding at your vet clinic.

Do You Have an Emergency Plan?

An emergency situation can arise anytime and anywhere. For example, your dog may get into a fight with some other dog. He may get sick. In that situation, ask the kennel staff would they contact you? Would they consult a vet or not? Ask about the emergency plans they have.

Should I Use a Pet Sitter Instead?

A pet sitter can be the choice when your pup does not like to leave the home territory. If your dog does not feel comfortable with other animals under a single ceiling of a kennel, then you are good to go with a pet sitter. But you should be very careful in choosing a pet sitter. You can consult with your vet in this regard, or any of your friends who have experienced any such situation can guide you better. Do not forget to take all the possible information about the sitter, such as his address, phone number, and other contact information.


Do not hand over your dog to a boarding facility without your complete satisfaction because you cannot leave your pet in unsafe hands. Instead, after getting satisfactory answers to your queries, book the place of your pet in the facility.

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