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Published: Dec 01, 2011

Many owners reject the idea of leaving their dog at a kennel or some sort of boarding facility while they go on vacation. Many pet owners opt for leaving their dogs with a sitter or taking their pups with them as often as they can. Sometimes, situations arise when a dogsitter can't be booked or lodging that accommodates pets can't be found, and in these cases, boarding may be necessary.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports that owners should check out all local options in order to select the one that is the best fit for their dog and that they feel most comfortable with. The kennel must be safe, secure and have a highly-educated staff.

VCA suggests that dog owners ask friends and families, as they will give honest answers regarding what they like and dislike about the kennels they use. When checking out companies, observe the neighborhood - is it on a busy street or in a quiet area? Once inside, look around to make sure the space is clean and orderly and feel free to ask about the education of the staff.

Ask about the daily routines—are dogs given outdoor time, group playtime or other daily activities? What are the sleeping arrangements? Is the facility able to accommodate dogs with special needs—such as medication or a special diet? Is there a veterinarian on staff or on-call in the event of emergencies? Inquire if the kennel has had problems with any infectious diseases—such as outbreaks of diarrhea or respiratory illness (kennel cough or flu). Ask what the health policies are to ensure your dog’s safety—such as minimum vaccination requirements or preventative medications. These are all basic questions that a facility should be willing to answer. In most cases, owners will know when they find the kennel that suits their standards and the needs of their dogs.