How to Choose the Right Kennel for Your Pets

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

As much as pet owners may want to take their furry or feathered friends with them where ever they go, sometimes you can’t take them with you.  Finding a kennel or pet care service you can trust is paramount.  If you are planning to travel this Fall, do your homework before reserving kennel space for your pet.

Every year, BBB receives hundreds of complaints from pet owners about kennels. Common complaints include disputes over billing, but also over the treatment of the pet. Owners say their pets came back from poor boarding kennels severely dehydrated and malnourished or rife with fleas, ticks, and even maggots. Worst case scenarios include pets that became extremely ill from their stay at poor facilities which resulted in lengthy stays at the animal hospital.

If you are looking for a reliable kennel, keep these tips in mind:

  • Check the kennel out with the BBB first to make sure they have a good track record for keeping customers satisfied.
  • Ask your friends, neighbors, veterinarian or local animal shelters for recommendations.
  • Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and offensive odors, and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages.
  • If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel has taken to make their facilities escape-proof.
  • Ask about how your pet may come in contact with other animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times.
  • If your state requires inspections look for the certificate on the wall and make sure the kennel is properly licensed.
  • Ask about the feeding schedule, water accessibility and frequency of – or fees related to – exercise.
  • Note the friendliness of staff members and how they interact with the other boarding pets. Ask about their background and experience.
  • Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization and ask about their policies regarding flea and tick control.
  • Ask about the hours for drop off and pick up and make sure you understand their billing policy.
  • Finally, ask what happens in the case of a medical emergency or other unexpected situation.

For more information on choosing the best kennel for your pet, go to How to Choose a Boarding Kennel for Your Pet from the Humane Society of the United States.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to