Travel During The Holidays? Choose The Right Dog Kennel

Travelling During The Holidays?

Choosing the Right Dog Kennel

Written by:  Andrew Fujii

The holidays are upon us. For many, that means a lot of traveling is about to happen. Whether it is traveling to four Christmas dinners on one day or flying to a different state, you can be sure that you’re going to be busy.

Choose the right dog kennel
License: Creative Commons

However, just because you are busy does not mean your dog won’t expect to have some sort of routine. In many cases you won’t have the time your dog deserves. In situations like these, consider boarding your four legged family member.

How to Choose the Right Dog Kennel

Boarding your dog in a kennel can be quite nerve-racking. To give you peace of mind, you should always look for a quality kennel. In order to screen your kennels, here is a list of things that you should check prior to booking your dog’s stay.

Tour the Facilities

This is probably the most important step to take before boarding your dog in a kennel. If a kennel will not allow you to tour the facilities, remove it from your considerations. Other than being able to see the facilities firsthand, touring the facility will also give you a good idea of what your dog can expect.

The ideal kennel is bright, clean, and relatively quiet. As quiet as a place can be that houses numerous dogs. Sanitation is one of the biggest things to keep an eye out for. The areas for dogs should smell clean and be free from waste. A sanitary kennel is important because it helps to prevent the spread of diseases.

As you’re touring the facility take note of how many staff members there are and if they seem to be overwhelmed or adequately staffed. You should even feel free to ask what the staffing ratio is per animal. Anything greater than one staff member per ten dogs is too high.

Also watch the body language and how the staff interacts with dogs. They should seem confident and knowledgeable, as well as caring. It is surprisingly easy to pick out the kennels with highly qualified staff members as opposed to those who staff anybody.

See also: 5 Reasons to Try Dog Daycare – Check it out

Staffing Hours

In addition to learning about the staffing ratio, find out how long the kennel is staffed. The longer the kennel is staffed the better. If the kennel is staffed twenty-four hours per day, like Camp Diego Canine Daycare and Boarding Center, that is ideal.

Veterinary Assistance

In addition to the kennel’s staff, you should ask questions about the kennel’s veterinary assistance. It is unlikely that the kennel will have a vet staffed but it is a positive if they have a vet on call.

If the kennel has a vet on call, you will also want to know the hours that they are on call. Again, twenty-four hours is ideal. If a kennel can reach out to a vet at any hour of the day, you can ensure that your pet will receive prompt treatment if something were to happen.

Exercise/Play Programs

The whole purpose of leaving your dog at a kennel during the holidays is so that they can exercise, play, and receive attention. The kennel should have some semblance of a program for your dog. For example certain types of dogs should be separated. The obvious separation is with size, where larger dogs only play with other large dogs and smaller dogs are will other small dogs.

Additionally, separating puppies is usually a good idea as well. Just because puppies are smaller dogs, does not mean they have the same playing habits as older small dogs. For example a boxer puppy and full-grown chihuahua have very different playing styles. Separating them creates a safer atmosphere.


If you are going on vacation, it is important that your dog maintain its current diet. The kennel that you are boarding your dog at should allow you to bring your own food, along with the feeding regimen. You should be able to specify how much and how often your dog should be fed.

Medical Requirements

Finally, you should always find out if the kennel has medical requirements. When it comes to kennels, having medical requirements is a very good thing. For example the kennel should require that dogs have basic vaccinations such as rabies, DHPP, and Bordetella.

There should also be policies in place for flea control and dogs that are not spayed or neutered. While these policies will differ from kennel to kennel, it is important to know what those policies are.


“Travel During The Holidays? Choose The Right Dog Kennel”

Guest Author BIO: Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more. Find Andrew on Google+



What do you look for when searching for a good place to board your pet?

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25 thoughts on “Travel During The Holidays? Choose The Right Dog Kennel”

  1. You mentioned checking staffing hours when choosing a dog boarding facility. I’m going to be visiting family this Thanksgiving, so I want to find somewhere for my dog to stay the week. I’ll definitely make sure that the staffing hours are appropriate for my dog.

  2. I am happy to have found this information about choosing the right dog kennel. It is good to know that the service should offer quality exercise and play programs for your animal. I did not know that in these facilities, dogs should be separated by size. It would be good to find a kennel who has experience boarding dogs like yours to ensure a successful stay for your pet.

  3. I love your advice to tour the facilities. I think that a lot of people just go with the first boarding place that they see. However, you want to be sure that you are dong what you can to know where you are leaving your pet. Do you have any other tips about finding a good pet boarding company?

  4. Getting that tour is sooooo essential! Often people will just show up and drop their dog off without ever seeing where they’re going to be playing and sleeping for the week. Always blows me away. I mean honestly, would you leave your child for a week without seeing where they’ll be spending their time? Exactly!

    • I agree with you. I would never just drop off my pet to a boarding facility without having ‘the tour.’ Our pets deserve serious consideration in all aspects. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

  5. Thanks for the great tips on picking the right dog boarding facility. We are planning a long vacation soon, and we have never left our dog alone before, so I needed some advice. I think I’ll just get a list of potential boarding places and go take some tours, like you suggested.

  6. I’m going away for a couple of weeks during the summer, so I should know what kind of criteria I should use to look for a dog boarding facility. I liked your comment about how a kennel that’s staffed twenty-four hours per day is ideal. It would be comforting to know that a kennel would always have staff on hand to take care of my dog during all hours of the day and night. Thanks for the tips!

  7. It is interesting for me to learn a little bit about finding the right dog kennel. I think that it is important to be able to find the best kennel for your dog. I personally like luxury kennels.

  8. When my family leaves on vacation, we usually have my niece come by to watch our border collie, but she is getting busier with work. Because of this, we have been considering taking our dog to a dog kennel the next time we leave home for a few days. It’s scary to leave our dog in a stranger’s care, but following this article’s suggestions will bring some peace of mind. We’ll definitely make sure to tour any kennel we’re interested in, and we’ll get to know the staff a bit better and ask lots of questions brought up in this article (especially concerning food and medical requirements) so we know our pup will be in good hands.

    • Thanks for your comment, Hazel. I agree that it’s scary to leave your pet in a stranger’s care while on vacation. I’d almost rather cancel my vacation altogether, and in fact, have done just that. It’s so important to find someone you know you can trust. I’m glad you stopped by, and hope you’ll come again soon. Take care.

  9. That’s a good idea to tour the facilities before you trust them with your dog. That way you have a feel for the place. I hadn’t realized that some places aren’t staffed 24 hours a day. I’ll have to make sure that I ask about that when I’m looking for a place. It’s important that they are there for a longer period of time in case there are emergencies.

  10. Our veterinarian has a dog boarding service that is amazing! At any point, you can call and ask for an update on what they’re up to. When we called, our dog was out for a walk with 2 other dogs and they played fetch in the enclosed back yard!

  11. I love dogs and it makes me sad to think of leaving my dog however I know there are so many great places out there that will make my dog feel right at home. I’m sure it won’t be exactly like my home, however going your research on where you would leave your dog seems key. When I go anywhere I make sure to get references and check out the reviews, dog boarding is no exception. thanks again for the great read. I will be sure to try out some of these tips!

  12. Thanks for sharing this advice on choosing the right dog kennel for your pet. I definitely agree that it is good to look at the kennel’s medical requirements and emergency services. You need to make sure your pet is in good hands in case anything happens. In my opinion, it isn’t worth it to not check for those things!

    • That’s right, Delores. I would never ever leave my dog with just anyone. I would have to check everything out to my satisfaction first. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Come back soon!

  13. Thank you for the tips on how to find a good kennel for my dog. I like the idea to visit and tour the facility. That way you can see for yourself how your dog would be treated. Also, I would agree that price matters. If you want to place your dog in a good kennel, then it will most likely cost a little bit more than other kennels. However, you can be rest assured that your dog will be taken care of.

    • That’s all true, Ted. I would never kennel my dog without checking out the facilities first. Or a sitter either, if I was to go that route. I’m so glad you took the time to read my post and to leave a comment too. I appreciate you. I hope you’ll come visit us again sometime. Take care!

  14. This is wonderful. I remember I wanted to leave my chihuahuas in a “reputable” dog kennel with vet and 24/7 staff on site. Luckily I spoke to other patrons and read reviews online. I came to discover that many of the animals weren’t walked and were kept in crates too small for the animal. Most weren’t fed adequate enough meals throughout the weekends and were covered in feces. When the parents came home, the dogs and cats were sick resulting in additional fees in which the on duty vet said needed immediate treatment, blood work ups, etc. So a simple weekend away ended up costing thousands of dollars. So please, do your pet the honor and effort of LOOKING and not just checking out a place online. Go to somewhere your friends have tested and they have PROVEN AMAZING. Talk to other pet owners. Read reviews in length and detail. Don’t be afraid to ask. This is the health and life of your furry friend, your mate!

    PS: I love that its snowing on your page!

    • I’m glad you do your research before committing to a kennel for your beloved Chihuahuas, Danielle. It really is important to dig deep and to get recommendations from people you know and trust. It would break my heart to learn that my dog was not fed properly, or not taken for exercise. We have a great kennel around here, luckily. They love what they do, and that’s important.

      P.S. Thanks. I love that it’s snowing too. 🙂


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