So Long, Farewell: Tips for Dog Boarding

Sometimes my human surprises me and my family by dropping us off at the local hound hotel for a couple days of rest and relaxation.

There we are; enjoying the five-star accommodations and having the time of our lives, while I’m sure he just spends all day pacing around, worrying about running the ShednPooper operations without us.

I always wondered how he found such a great place for us – looks like he got some advice from my buddies at the Humane Society.

What to look for in a pet resort (ahem…kennel)
Ask a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, animal shelter or dog trainer for a kennel recommendation. You can also check the Yellow Pages under “Kennels & Pet Boarding.” Once you have names, it’s important to do a little background check. Visit the final few that make the cut and ask to see all the places your pet may be taken. Pay particular attention to the following:

•    Does the facility look and smell clean?
•    Is there sufficient ventilation and light?
•    Is a comfortable temperature maintained?
•    Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring?
•    Are pets required to be current on their vaccinations, including the vaccine for canine kennel cough (Bordetella)?
•    Does each dog have his own adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or an indoor run and a schedule for exercise?
•    Are outdoor runs and exercise areas protected from wind, rain, and snow?
•    Are resting boards and bedding provided to allow dogs to rest off the concrete floor?
•    Are cats housed away from dogs?
•    How often are pets fed?
•    Can the owner bring a pet’s special food?
•    What veterinary services are available?
•    Are other services available such as grooming, training, bathing?
•    How are rates calculated?

How to prepare your dog for being boarded
•    Be sure your dog knows basic commands, is well socialized around other people and pets, and is up to date with vaccines.
•    Accustom your dog to longer kennel stays by first boarding him for a short time, over a weekend or just a few days.
•    Before you head for the kennel, double-check that you have your pet’s medications and special food (if any), your veterinarian’s phone number, and contact information for you and a local backup.
Avoid long, emotional partings, which may upset you and your dog. If your dog has a particular toy he is fond of, be sure he has that too!

Bonus Tip: Traveling with a Canine Co-pilot

If you’re planning to travel with your dog this summer, be sure to take the proper precautions! As much as I love to sit shotgun, it’s safest to be secure in a crate or carrier. Before any long drives, make sure your dog is comfortable in the car by taking him on a series of short drives – trust me, he’ll love it! Finally, never feed your dog in a moving vehicle. Always stop for dinnertime, as eating in a moving car can pose a choking hazard (and we dogs appreciate a little more ceremony around our meals anyways!).

Products: Dog Bowl


Hogan, ShednPooper’s go-to mutt advocate, offers a wealth of canine facts, tips and resources that strengthen the bond between people and their mutts.