If you are going to board a dog for the first time and you aren't sure which kennels can be trusted, there are a few things that you should look into. You want to be sure that your dog is in the hands of professionals, and that the facility will be safe and clean when you leave. You want to drop in for an unexpected tour of the facility, so they don't prep before, and so you can see what the kennels are like on a daily basis. Here are some things to ask about when you get to kennels, and things to do.
Get the Canine Influenza Shot
Not all dog kennels require that dogs have the influenza shot, but you want your dog to have it before they go to the kennels. There are a lot of diseases and illnesses that can be passed around, but you don't want a dog that is vomiting, coughing and ill if it could be prevented with this vaccination. Ask the kennel you want to try if they require all dogs to get this vaccinated. A local animal hospital can help you make sure your dog is up to date.
Look at Exterior Areas
You want to see the exterior areas where the dogs are taken to go to the bathroom, and where the dogs will play. Check to see if the area is cleaned up when you go to visit, if there is a lot of feces or a heavy smell of urine, or to see if they are caring for the area properly. You will know right away if you want your dog playing in that area or not.
Ask About Cameras
If you can see what your dog is doing throughout the day, in their individual kennel or in the play area, then this can give you some peace of mind that they are safe and having fun. Ask if they have cameras throughout the facility that you can watch online or through a smartphone.
Talk with the staff about how they clean the facility each day and night, how much time the dogs are able to play and when they are in their kennels, and what activities they have. You want your dog to be able to interact with people and other dogs while you are away, and you want to know that they are with other friendly dogs in a clean environment, so you don't come home to a sick or upset pet.