How to pick a boarding kennel for your dog

The Criteria For A First Class Dog Boarding Kennels

If you decide to leave your dog in the care of a local boarding kennel while  you go away you’ll want to find the best possible “home from home” for your four-legged friend.

The proprietors of a well-run, reputable boarding kennel will always be happy to have you visit the premises before you book a stay, and because every dog is different its wise to view a few before you make a decision on which would suit your dog best.

Don’t even consider a kennel which cannot prove it is licensed by the local authority.

Here’s a list of factors to consider when you’re choosing a dog boarding kennel:

  • Accommodation

The enclosures should be spacious enough to allow room for the dog to move around, with access to a comfortable sleeping area at all times. The space should be temperature controlled and well ventilated so no matter what time of year it is the temperature is not too hot or too cold, and it shouldn’t be in full sun or exposed to wind and rain. Each dog should have its own kennel – unless you specifically want to board two or more dogs together – and be separated from contact with neighbouring dogs, particularly if your dog is not very sociable or inclined to stress.

Cleanliness of the facilities is, of course, very important, so take note of the condition of the premises in general and the dog runs and enclosures.

  • Care & Staff

Check what the regular regime is at the kennels, such as when and how often the dogs are fed, how often they are walked, exercised and groomed. Check whether special diets or favourite foods are catered for, and that there is enough stimulation to prevent boredom.

Chat with the owners and staff and try to judge whether they are likely to give your dog sufficient individual care and attention, and that you feel at ease with them. Are they experienced at handling dogs and happy to play with them?

You should ask questions about what the procedure is in the case of an emergency, access to a vet, and what protocols are in place to prevent the spread of disease. (Vaccinations at licensed kennels are mandatory, but its worth checking that all dogs admitted have up to date vaccinations against infectious diseases, including kennel cough.)


  • Safety and Security

It’s important that all areas of the kennel facilities are securely fenced, with locks and alarms in place to prevent dogs from escaping or being stolen.


  • Recommendations & Reviews

One of the best ways to judge a boarding kennel is to discern its reputation from others who have boarded their dogs there. Read online reviews and speak to other dog owners to find out which local kennels they recommend. Your vet is also a good source of information when it comes to finding suitable boarding kennels.

All being well your dog will have a happy, healthy holiday in the care of the boarding kennel you choose. Don’t forget to book well in advance of when you plan to be away because the top kennels tend to have limited availability, especially during school holidays.