Pet boarding: 10 questions to ask

Angie's List offers advice to pet owners

Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:21:47 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 04 2013 09:00:29 AM EST

Pet boarding is a service lots of pet parents end up needing. How do you make sure your pet’s needs are handled properly and the experience is safe and appropriate for your pet? Before you spend money and worry, there are some questions to ask staff and things to check with your own eyes.


10 Questions to ask before you board your pet:

  1. Are your facilities a doggie daycare or kennel?  There is a difference in most cases.  Doggie daycares offer more time outside of cages and dogs interact and play together.  Kennels keep dogs inside separate enclosures most of the time and may allow for exercise at scheduled intervals.
  2. Are you a member of the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA)? PCSA members must commit to quality pet care, comply with all applicable laws and ordinances, and follow the PCSA Code of Ethics.
  3. Do you offer cageless options? Most dog owners don’t want their pets cooped up in a cage for extended periods while they’re away.
  4.  If pets are primarily caged, how often are they let out for exercise? It’s likely that your pet will not have the same freedom you allow him or her at home. But it’s important that pets are let out at least a couple of times daily.
  5. Are all the facilities outdoors, or do you have indoor facilities? You don’t want your pets exposed to the elements all the time.
  6. If there are inside facilities, is there climate control? Chances are if your pet stays indoors with you at home, he or she may be used to climate control.
  7. How often are the cages or rooms cleaned? Your pet’s kennel space needs to be cleaned.
  8. How are emergency situations handled? You want to know that the kennel has access to veterinary services and that you’ll be notified if something goes wrong.
  9. Do you have webcam access? You may want to check in on your pet while you’re gone, and webcams allow you to monitor what’s going on.
  10. Are you really for my pet?  Even though a kennel or daycare might seem great to you as a human, keep in mind that animals’ wants and needs are different.  Check if the facility is really catering to you, the pet parent, or to your pet who is the one who really needs care and attention while you are away.


3 Cat-specific questions:

Angie’s List Tips: Choosing a pet boarding facility:

Angie’s List Tips:  Preparing Your Pet for Boarding:

As always, get three estimates; check animal boarding kennel reviews on Angie's List; and verify a kennel's insurance and, if necessary, licensure information before hiring.

4 reasons a boarding facility might not be right for your pet: