Woodinville dog trainer Joan Fetty answers this week's question.
Question: A couple needs to kennel their dog for the first time for a weekend while they are out of town. How does an owner shop for a boarding kennel? What questions should they ask? What things should they be aware of when examining the facility and talking with the operators? What kind of checklist should they craft?
Answer: Many dog owners struggle to figure out what to do with their dogs when they go on vacation and must leave their pet behind.
First, start planning early because many boarding facilities book months in advance.
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Begin by talking to friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, dog groomers, veterinarians, dog-training schools and dog-equipment stores for ideas and references.
Consider the age of your dog: puppies and elderly dogs often do not do well in large boarding facilities, so you might have to consider other options, such as hiring someone to stay in your home with your dog.
Talk with your breeder; some breeders will take in their puppies while you are gone. And many veterinary assistants will care for client dogs in the home.
There are also experienced small home-boarding kennels that take just a few dogs.
Explore all your options.
Remember dogs stress in new places, especially when left alone.