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gray puppy sitting in front of its kennel 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.

Kennels in each State and Washington, DC

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About Kennels