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Top 15 Things To Ask Your Dog Kennel

January 15 2024

If you’ve never boarded your pet before, you may be fuzzy about some of the details and processes involved. We always welcome questions from new clients. We know, it can be stressful to leave your beloved furry friend in the care of others! In this article from your local Rialto, CA pet kennel, we suggest some of the things you may want to ask.  

How Much Does Pet Boarding Cost?

This is probably an obvious one, and is one of the first things many customers ask. That said, it’s definitely worth including on the list!

Can I Combine Dog Boarding With Doggy Daycare?

While not all kennels offer doggy daycare, this is a great perk. It can be particularly beneficial for puppies, as this can help with socialization. Dogs that are very social and love to play with other pooches may also benefit from these services.

What Should I Pack For The Pet Hotel?

Kennels all operate a bit differently on this one. For instance, some allow you to bring your furry pal’s bedding and toys, while others prefer to use their own things. This is often because this allows them to ensure that everything has been properly cleaned and disinfected, which in turn helps reduce the spread of things like fleas or viruses.

What Hours Are You Open For Dropoff/Pickup For Pet Boarding?

This is a big one. For instance, it’s easy to assume that there will be someone there over the weekend. However, while staff may be coming in to see their furry wards, that doesn’t mean the front desk is open. Many kennel offices are open during standard business hours. You definitely don’t want to find out at the last minute that you can’t drop Fido off on the way to the airport!

What Features Does Your Pet Resort Offer?

We’ve been friends with Fido and Fluffy for quite a long time. Research suggests that we first domesticated dogs about insert years ago, and kitties about insert years ago. We’ve gotten to know our canine and feline friends quite well in all that time, but we’re still learning about them. One thing that has recently come to light is the importance of stimulation and playtime. Pets need enrichment to stay happy and healthy! Many kennels now offer options and sometimes upgrades for their furry wards.

Here at Valley Pet Hotel, we offer the following:

  • PupCup 
  • Doggie ice cream
  • Extra group play time
  • Bath Time 
  • Nail trim  
  • Dog Cuddle Time
  • Private Playtime
  • Vigorous Playtime
  • Stuffed Kongs

We want your pet’s stay at our Rialto, CA dog boarding facility to be pawesome! Of course, every place is different.

How Often Will You Walk/Play With My Pet?

Kennels generally will include at least a walk or two with their daily rates, unless Fido will have his own separate run. However, there is some variation here.

Keep in mind that dogs all have their own unique needs. Generally, dogs need to go out at least 3 times a day, or every 8 hours. However, that isn’t universal. A puppy, for instance, should be walked every few hours. Young dogs can basically only hold it for about an hour per each month of their age. Seniors also often need shorter, but more frequent walks.

Where Is My Dog Walked?

Some kennels walk their furry wards on leashes, while others use runs or pens. Find out where they take Fido.

How Far In Advance Should I Book?

This is a big one, and the answers may vary based on the location and time of year. Kennels tend to get busiest around popular travel times, such as holidays and summer vacations. In some cases, you may very well be able to get your pet in quickly, but it’s ultimately going to depend on if they are booked or not.

What Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?

One piece of advice we can say applies universally when boarding pets? Run from any kennel or facility that does not require proof that your pet is current on key vaccinations. Kennels should all require that pets be up to date on their core vaccines.

These include the following:

Canine Core Vaccines

  • Canine Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Feline Core Vaccines

  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus  
  • Rabies

Then there are the non-core vaccines. The most important ones here are the vaccines for Bordetella, Parvo, and the canine influenza vaccine, which protect against kennel cough and other contagious diseases. Canine leptospirosis vaccine, canine Lyme vaccine, and the Western diamondback rattlesnake are also non-core for dogs. For cats, the non-core vaccines may include bordetella and chlamydia. 

Can I Board A Kitten/Puppy?

This can be a tricky one. Fido may be considered a puppy until he’s a year old, even after he’s reached his adult size. However, very young dogs and cats should never be left alone for extended periods of time. Most kennels will not accept puppies or kittens that are younger than 9 weeks. Your pet’s vaccine schedule may come into play as well. Pets need boosters for certain vaccines, and will not be fully protected until they’ve finished their series. If your pet hasn’t completed all of their vaccinations, the kennel may refuse to keep them. Or, they may board them in quarantine. In any case, you’ll want to check and find out.

Can I See The Facility?

You don’t necessarily have to inspect every nook and cranny of the kennel. It’s also normal to expect some areas to be off-limits. That said, you should absolutely be able to take a look at the area where your pets are housed. In fact, if the kennel says no, it’s generally a huge red flag.

When taking the tour, there are also some warning signs to look for:

  • Dirty/small outdoor areas with no shelter
  • Dirty pets
  • Dirty kennels
  • No water
  • No climate control
  • Refusal of request to see premises (without a valid reason)

What Are Your Emergency Procedures?

This one is also crucial, as kennels may also have different operating procedures. You may also need to make a few decisions here. Read your paperwork carefully! The kennel may ask you to decide if they are authorized to seek veterinary care, or if they need to contact you first. There may also be some shades of gray here. The kennel may not take Fido to the emergency clinic if he breaks a toenail. However, if something serious were to happen, then you would reasonably expect them to take him in.

You may also need to provide backup contacts, especially if you’re going somewhere that will put you out of cell phone range. If you’re headed to a cruise, the kennel may only be able to reach your emergency contact.

Are Dog Boarding And Cat Boarding Areas Separate?

Fluffy and Fido sometimes do get along, but this usually only happens when they’ve gotten to know each other. If you’re boarding your cat, you don’t want your kitty spending the week sitting next door to a huge, active dog!

How Often Are The Kennels Cleaned?

Good kennels are very diligent about keeping their facilities clean. This is one of the best things they can do to prevent the spread of disease!

Are The Kennels Climate Controlled?

One would think that this is a given, but unfortunately, it’s better to be sure. You don’t want your furry best friend being uncomfortably hot or cold while you’re out of town?

Additional Questions For The Kennel

These cover the most pertinent questions, but there are also many other things you may want to find out about, such as how often the water is changed, what feeding schedules are like, and whether they have an emergency vet on call. You may also want to find out whether the kennel is loud, or if they have things in place to reduce noise or anxiety. We’ll cover more of those in a later blog.

Do you want to schedule boarding? Contact us, your local Rialto, CA pet hotel, today!

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