There are lots of kennels out there, making it hard to pick just one of them. If you have friends with dogs, ask them where they’ve boarded their pets and what they thought about the facility and staff. You can also ask professionals like veterinarians and dog groomers in Seattle. They are sure to know about kennels that they’ll be happy to recommend.
Visit the Facility
A key step in choosing the right kennel is visiting it in person before you leave your dog there. Most kennels offer tours to the public, but be sure to call ahead to make sure you come at a convenient time. While you’re there, pay attention to the following:
Does the whole facility look clean and well maintained?
Are the kennels and fences secure?
Are the kennels set at a comfortable temperature?
How big are the kennels?
How much supervision do dogs have throughout the day?
Do kenneled dogs have access to an outdoor run or exercise area?
While you’re taking a tour of the facility, be sure to ask the staff members questions about daily kennel routines such as eating and potty breaks. If your pet is on medications, make sure there are staff members who can administer them as needed.
It’s also important to ask questions concerning the safety of your dog. For example, find out if staff members are certified in canine first aid and learn what their policies are in case of an emergency. Ask what vaccinations are required for your dog to board–these prevent your pet from picking up diseases during his stay and are required by any reputable kennel.
You can also find out what other services the kennel offers. Most offer basic services such as dog grooming in Seattle, so your pet can go home smelling fresh and clean. Many kennels also offer Seattle dog training. This allows a trainer to work one-on-one with your dog to master basic obedience or overcome problem behaviors.
Bring Your Dog
If you like what you see during your visit, schedule an appointment to bring your dog to meet the staff. This meeting is often required and usually includes a temperament test to make sure your dog doesn’t display any aggressive behaviors. If your dog will be attending doggie day care in Seattle during his boarding stay, this initial visit will also include a meet-and-greet with some of the daycare dogs to make sure everyone gets along.
Bringing your dog to visit the kennel is also a good way to get him used to the new environment before leaving him for an extended period of time. If your dog has separation anxiety or has never been away from home before, consider dropping him off for a half day of daycare before you leave in order to see how he does and reassure him that his stays at the kennel are only temporary. Ask the kennel staff if there’s anything else you can do to make his stay as easy and fun as possible!