Pet Wellness Guides > 7 Signs of a Bad Boarding Kennel - Pet Insurance Review

7 Signs of a Bad Boarding Kennel

Posted: 07/03/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Pet care , Top Tips

Many families want to take their dog with them on family vacations, but it’s not always practical. Leaving your pup at home and asking a friend or neighbor to look after them, or hiring a professional pet sitter is okay for a few days. But dogs don’t like being alone, so leaving them at home for weeks isn’t fair. This is why so many people decide to go with a boarding kennel.

Boarding kennels allow pups to be around other dogs and get much more attention from doting humans. But not all boarding kennels are the same. In fact, some are downright horrible. 

Keep reading to learn the common red flags that a boarding kennel is no bueno and you should look elsewhere!

Reluctant Tours

Don’t trust a website to give you an honest view of a boarding kennel. The images on there may look perfectly fine, and the write-up may sound great. That’s not enough. You really need to go there in person to get a sense of whether or not your pup will be safe and well cared for in your absence.

Good boarding kennels are proud of their operation and are more than happy to show it off by giving tours to prospective customers. Show up unannounced and ask for a tour. This gives you an idea of how the business operates on a day-to-day basis. If you are told no, take this as a red flag and find another kennel.

Bad Odors

Dogs have accidents at home and they have them at boarding kennels as well. However, a good facility will keep the place clean and sanitary so you really should not smell anything unpleasant when you walk in. 

No Required Vaccination Paperwork

 Ask if they require paperwork that proves your pet has been vaccinated for things like rabies and kennel cough. If they don’t require paperwork documenting your pup’s vaccination history, then that means they don’t require anyone’s vaccination history, which means your fur baby is at risk for contracting a potentially serious illnesses. 

No Emergency Plan

You absolutely need to ask about their emergency plan and the staff should be able to offer a detailed plan. As an example, if you live in a flood-prone area of your state, they should know exactly how they will evacuate the dogs in their care.

Something else to ask them is if they have staff there 24/7. Don’t’ assume all boarding kennels do, some do not. If no humans are there overnight, what happens should a fire break out or a storm causes a tree to fall on the roof? You need a facility that has staff there ‘round the clock.

Untrained Staff

 And speaking of staff, you absolutely want a boarding kennel that hires experienced professionals, or takes the time to train their staff themselves.  The people that work at boarding kennels should be knowledgeable on dog behavior and dog health, and should also simply love being around dogs. 

Poor Outdoor Spaces

 It’s not enough that dogs “have access” to the outdoors. You want to make certain the boarding kennel has plenty of space for dogs to romp around. There should be a double-fence system to prevent escape and the fence should be high for those dogs that are jumpers or climbers. The area should be clean and have shade and numerous water bowls that are always filled with cool, clean water. 

Dangerous Playgroups

 You want to be sure your pup will have plenty of opportunities to play and socialize with other doggos while at the facility. But you also want your pup to be safe, which is why it’s necessary for kennels to divide playgroups by size, age and temperament. 

Final Thoughts

Leaving your beloved pet behind can be stressful, but choosing the right boarding kennel can ease your mind significantly. By recognizing red flags like uncleanliness, understaffing, or a lack of safety measures, you can ensure your furry friend has a comfortable and secure stay. A reputable kennel will provide a loving and stimulating environment, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation knowing your pet is in good hands.

Pet Insurance, for Extra Peace of Mind

Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, even while you’re away on vacation. By having a pet insurance plan, you can gain peace of mind knowing you’ll have help paying those vet bills.

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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