Each year over 30 million pet owners in the United States and Canada
utilize boarding kennels to provide temporary shelter for their pets
while they are on vacation or otherwise unable to care for them.
Most boarding kennels house primarily dogs or both dogs and cats, but
there are some kennels that also board horses, birds, reptiles, and other
exotic pets. In addition to boarding animals, many kennels also
sell pet supplies and provide grooming services and training classes.
When looking for a boarding kennel, first call around to find one which
has openings available for the time frame you need. Keep in mind
that you may need to make a reservation far in advance if you will be
traveling during a busy holiday season. Make an appointment to
visit the kennel prior to making a reservation. Pay attention to
levels of sanitation and ask about feeding, medication, and veterinary
procedures. Some kennels have a veterinarian on staff, while others
will use your pet's own veterinarian if the need arises. Sleeping
quarters, where your pet will spend the majority of his or her time,
should be clean, dry, and large enough for the pet to comfortably move
around. Kennels often offer a group exercise time, but may also
offer one-on-one play time with your pet for an additional fee.
Once you are comfortable with a particular kennel, make your reservation
and be sure your pet has had all the required immunizations prior to
boarding. Bring along necessary items such as food, bedding, toys,
and any medication. Leave the kennel your contact information and
that of your veterinarian. Try not to be overly dramatic with your
good bye so that your pet will not be subject to any unnecessary
anxiety. Lastly, relax and trust that your family member is in the
care of well-trained professionals who will love and care for him or her
for the duration of your absence. Remember that many pets adjust
very well to this new experience and are even excited to meet new
friends. By following these simple guidelines you can be confident
that your pet will be well taken care of while you are away.
The American Humane Society website includes this article about
choosing a boarding kennel, and you can learn about
jobs in the kennel industry on the WorkWith Animals.com website.
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