Home > Travel Blog

Best boarding kennels - how they must look like

Sometimes when you travel it is not always possible to bring along your cat or dog. If your four-legged family member must stay at home, it is important to find a high-quality kennel to look after your pet. While there are several kennels in operation, unfortunately not all kennels are run with the same level of dedication and care. Luckily, to an astute pet owner, there are some telling signs of a quality kennel to board your cat or dog.

Staff

One of the best indicators of a good kennel is a quality staff. When looking for a suitable kennel to board your cat or dog, be sure to talk to ask many staff members as possible. Members of the kennel team should be caring, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about pet care. There is not a pet care certificate required to work at a kennel, but a staff member's attitude can tell you a great deal about the level of care you can expect at the kennel. Staff members should be positive and welcoming to both you and your pet. When leaving your pet, staff members should take detailed notes about your pet's care requirements.

Cleanliness

A boarding facility should be clean and well-kept. Be sure to examine the public spaces, sleeping quarters, and play area for animals. Any messes should be quickly cleaned, and there shouldn't be an overwhelming animal smell. Play areas should be well maintained, with any holes in the yard repaired. Fences for dog runs should be in good condition without any loose wires or holes in the fencing.

Dog Care

For dogs, it is important for each animal to have enough room to comfortably move within his or her kennel, and have access to the outdoors. Inquire about the times the dog can wander freely between the interior and exterior areas. Examine where the dog will sleep. Is there a bed in the kennel, or must this be provided by the owner? Is there room to run? How are the pet's meals distributed?

Likewise, playtime is equally important for your dog. Ensure there is some sort of managed playtime while staying at the kennel. This can be time to socialize with other dogs, or simply to go out in the yard to run. Sometimes staff members will play with the dog or will organize longer walks and hikes. Be sure to ask about how general socialization with other dogs at the kennel is handled. Ideally, there should be a screening process in place to ensure all dogs are friendly and play well with other dogs.

Cat Care

Cats also have specialized care requirements while at the kennel. While a cat does not need as much room to be happy, he or she will still need plenty of room to roam and stretch. Cats enjoy multiple levels to explore, so a kennel with room to roam is ideal. Examine the sleeping arrangements and areas where litter will be kept for your cat. All areas should be clean, large enough to roam, and comfortable.

Playtime is also important for cats to stimulate their brains and release some energy. There should be opportunities for your cat to socialize with other cats, pending thorough vetting processes for compatibility. The cat should also have enrichment opportunities within the kennel to either view other animals or have a dedicated area to relax.

Comforts of Home

While you are away, your pet will undoubtedly miss the comforts of home. Quality kennels will typically allow multiple pets from the same household to stay together in a larger area. This will allow your pets to remain with their brother or sister from home. Being able to stay together will often make the boarding process less stressful for your pet. Ask the staff members at the kennel about the possibility of including home routines while your pets are visiting. This can include favorite toys and beds, a playtime routine, or even administering medication or special pet food.

Possible Warning Signs

Unfortunately, not every kennel is alike, and there are some kennels that do not meet quality standards. There are warning signs to look for when doing a walkthrough of potential kennels to board your cat or dog. Some of these warning signs can include:

  • Not asking for proper veterinary care records or proof of vaccinations
  • Dirty living quarters for the animals
  • Unwilling or reluctant staff members when asked questions or asked to tour the facility
  • Any bad odors within the space
  • Unkept kennels which can include damaged kennels, peeling paint, or blocked drains

Finding a quality kennel that has your pet's best care in mind can be difficult. If possible, try to examine several kennels in Hong Kong to ensure you are making the best choice for your pet. Remember that it is alright to ask questions and take a tour of the facility to examine the overall cleanliness and comfort of the animals. Your pets are part of your family. Making sure they are well cared for while you are away will give you comfort and peace of mind.