6 tips for picking the best pet boarding kennels for your fur baby

We know you wish that you could take your precious pooches with you everywhere you go, of course, there are some awesome places in South Africa where you and Bruno (or Mittens) can stay together, but sometimes, you have to book your furry members of the family into boarding kennels.

Finding the pawfect place for your pets can often be a scary and daunting task as finding a home away from home for your pet is not easy. You want to make sure that your pet is going to be well taken care of, loved, and looked after so that your they can also have a bit of a holiday while you have yours, and more importantly, you can leave your precious one knowing you have made the right choice.

Related: 4 Tips for Picking the Pawfect Doggy Daycare

We have put together 6 top tips for finding the perfect kennel for your cat or dog while you’re on holiday:

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1. Ask online community forums and friends

The first step to finding the right kennel is actually finding one. Post on Facebook groups in your area and ask friends for their recommendations. This is a great way to hear from other people and their experiences of the kennels rather than basing your search purely on Google and private kennel websites.

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2. Chat with the staff

Once you have found a few places, phone them and ask if you can come and check them out. When you are there, chat with the staff – these are going to be the people who look after your pet so you might want to see what they are like before booking and whether they even like animals or not – you never know!

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3. Ask about what personal items your pet can have

For a number of pets, staying at a kennel can be a very scary experience. Speak to the staff and ask about what personal items such as blankets or toys your pet can have with them. These will help in reminding your loved one of home, but not all kennels allow for this.

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4. Investigate the outdoor play area

There should be an outdoor play area for your dog to explore and run around in. These are more beneficial for dogs who love to socialise and play. This area should be big enough for your dog to run around in and get some exercise in. Make sure there is also some shade and water bowls in this play area.

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5. Check out how clean the boarding kennels are

Walk around and make sure that the kennel is kept clean. Find out when poop is cleaned up inside the kennel and have a look at the overall appearance of the place. See if the grass is cut and the buildings are in good order, make sure the place doesn’t smell like a doggie doodoo bag. If the place is messy, there is poop everywhere and you don’t get a good ‘feel’ about it, then move on.

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6. Find out about vaccination proofs

Because kennels contain so many animals in a contained area, it can be easy for certain diseases to spread. That’s why health concerns are always a big factor when choosing the right kennel for your pet. You need to find a place that takes pet health very seriously.

All kennels should ask potential pet owners whose pets will stay there for a vaccination before they accept their pet. If you are looking at a kennel that doesn’t ask for this kind of paperwork, this should be seen as an immediate red flag – it’s a NO GO!

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7. Bonus tip – go with your gut

The best thing you can do, above all else, is to go with your intuition. Even if a place checks all the above-mentioned boxes but it doesn’t ‘feel’ right, then move on. Just make sure that it’s not your guilt of leaving your precious pet for the holidays getting the better of your decision-making process.

Of course, the last cherry on the top, and also the most important is to make sure you have pet insurance. If anything were to happen to your furry bestie when they are in a kennel (if they get sick or get in a fight) then make sure you are covered for vet care by our fur-nominal partner, Oneplan Pet Insurance. The best part is that they pay you BEFORE you see the vet!

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