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Things To Ask Your Pet Boarding Kennel

February 15, 2024

Are you headed out of town soon? If so, you may have booked your pet a stay at a local pet hotel. We know, it can be stressful to leave your beloved furry friend in the care of others! If you’ve never boarded your pet before, you may be fuzzy about some of the details and processes involved. In this article from your Beaufort, NC local kennel, we suggest some of the things you may want to ask.  

How Often Do The Kennels Get Cleaned?

Good kennels are very diligent about keeping their facilities clean. This is one of the best things they can do to prevent the spread of disease!

Can I Board My New Kitten/Puppy?

This can be a tricky one. Very young dogs and cats should never be left alone for extended periods of time. In fact, many kennels will not accept puppies or kittens that are younger than 9 weeks.

Your little buddy’s vaccine schedule may come into play as well. Pets need boosters for certain vaccines, so they will not be fully protected until they’ve finished their series. If little Fido or little Fluffy hasn’t completed all of their vaccinations, the kennel may refuse to keep them. Or, they may board them in quarantine. 

Can I See The Facility?

It’s also normal to expect some areas to be off-limits. You don’t necessarily have to inspect every nook and cranny of the kennel. That said, you should absolutely be able to take a look at the area where your beloved pet is going to be housed. If the kennel says no, it’s generally a huge red flag. (There may be exceptions during outbreaks.) 

When taking the tour, there are also some warning signs to look for:

  • Dirty kennels
  • No water
  • No climate control
  • Dirty/small outdoor areas with no shelter
  • Dirty pets
  • Refusal of request to see premises (without a valid reason)

What Are Your Emergency Procedures?

This one is also crucial, as kennels may also have different operating procedures. You may also need to make a few decisions here. Read your paperwork carefully! The kennel may ask you to decide if they are authorized to seek veterinary care or if they need to contact you first. There may also be some shades of gray here. The kennel may not take Fido to the emergency clinic if he breaks a toenail. However, if something serious were to happen, then you would reasonably expect them to take him in.

You may also need to provide backup contacts, especially if you’re going somewhere that will put you out of cell phone range. For example, if you’re headed to a cruise, the kennel may only be able to reach your emergency contact.

Is There Climate Control In The Kennels?

One would think that this is a given, but unfortunately, it’s better to be sure. You don’t want your furry best friend being uncomfortably hot or cold while you’re out of town.

How Much Does Pet Boarding Cost?

This is an obvious one, and is one of the first things many customers ask. That said, it’s definitely worth including on the list!

What Should I Pack For My Pets?

Kennels all have their own ways of doing things, so you may get some variation on this one. For instance, some pet boarding kennels will allow you to bring your furry pal’s bedding and toys, but others prefer to use their own things. This is often because this allows them to ensure that everything has been properly cleaned and disinfected, which will in turn help prevent the spread of things like fleas or viruses.

What Hours Is The Kennel Going To Be Open For Dropoff/Pickup?

This one is very important! For instance, it’s easy to assume that there will be someone at your pet’s boarding kennel over the weekend. However, while staff may be coming in to care for their furry wards, that doesn’t mean there’s anyone manning the front desk. In fact, many pet kennel offices are only open during standard business hours. You definitely don’t want to find out at the last minute that you can’t drop Fido or Fluffy off on your way to the airport!

What Extra Benefits Or Features Does Your Pet Resort Offer?

Many kennels now offer options and sometimes upgrades for their furry wards. Of course, every place is different. That’s why you want to ask! 

How Often Will The Kennel Staff Walk/Play With My Pet?

Most kennels include at least a walk or two with their daily rates, unless Fido has his own separate run. However, there is some variation here.

Keep in mind that our canine buddies all have their own unique needs. Generally, dogs need to go out at least 3 times a day, or roughly every 8 hours. However, that is an estimate, not a  universal schedule. Puppies need to be walked at least every few hours. Seniors also often need shorter but more frequent walks.

Where Is My Dog Going To Be Walked?

Some kennels walk their furry wards on leashes, while others use runs or pens. Find out where they take Fido.

How Far In Advance Should I Book My Pet’s Kennel Stay?

The answers may vary based on the location and time of year. Kennels tend to get busiest around popular travel times, such as around the holidays and summer vacations. 

What Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?

One piece of advice that applies universally when boarding pets? Run from any kennel or facility that does not require proof that your pet is current on key vaccinations. Kennels should all require that pets be current on their core vaccines. (The exception is if you board with your Beaufort, NC veterinary clinic, as they would have the information already.) 

These include the following:

Canine Core Vaccines

  • Canine Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Feline Core Vaccines

  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus  
  • Rabies

Then there are the non-core vaccines. The most important ones here are the vaccines for Bordetella, Parvo, and the canine influenza vaccine, which protect against kennel cough and other contagious diseases. Canine leptospirosis vaccine, canine Lyme vaccine, and the Western diamondback rattlesnake vaccine are some of the non-core options for dogs. For cats, the non-core vaccines include Bordetella and chlamydia. 

Are Dogs And Cats Boarded In Separate Areas?

Fluffy and Fido sometimes do get along, but this usually only happens when they’ve gotten to know each other. If you’re boarding your cat, you don’t want your kitty spending the week sitting next door to a huge, active dog!

Additional Questions

These cover the most pertinent questions, but there are also many other things you may want to find out about, such as how often the water is changed, what feeding schedules are like, and whether they have an emergency vet on call. You may also want to find out whether the kennel is loud or if they have things in place to reduce noise or anxiety.

Do you want to schedule boarding? Do you have any questions about our facility or procedures? Contact us, your local Beaufort, NC pet hotel, today! We’re always happy to help! 

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