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    What to Ask about Dog Boarding

    Dog boarding can make any dog owner nervous. Your dog is your beloved companion, and leaving him for any period of time is going to be hard. If you must go on vacation or on a business trip, there are ways to make him comfortable, however. Instead of forcing him to endure long plane or car rides, hiding in a hotel room where he may not be welcome, there are kennels that specialize in overnight stays for dogs. These kennels are staffed by people who love dogs as much as you do, and they will take care of your furry friend while you're gone. If you're in need of a kennel, ask these questions to help you choose the one that's right for you and your pet.

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    Does this kennel come recommended by my friends or my vet?
    When you begin planning your vacation, ask your vet or your friends and family where they board their dogs when they're away. Your vet especially might know of the safest, cleanest kennels in the area. Any kennel recommended by your vet is bound to be a good bet.
    Does this kennel meet state inspection standards?
    If your state requires kennels to undergo annual or periodic state inspections, make sure that the one you've chosen has had no problems passing those inspections. If the kennel routinely fails, perhaps you should try another location.
    Is there a certified vet on staff 24/7?
    You want to know that your dog will be safe in the event of an emergency. A kennel should have a veterinarian on staff. If they don't have one on staff 24/7, make sure you ask what they do if they find a pet in distress outside of business hours.
    Is this kennel well ventilated?
    Dogs need air and space. They can be territorial. You want to make sure that your dog won't be forced to sleep in a stuffy concrete room on top of other dogs. He needs to be comfortable.
    Will my dog get time outdoors while they are there?
    Under no circumstances should a dog be kept indoors for days at a time. Ask the kennel how frequently and for how long they allow the dogs outside, then take a look at the outdoor area. Make sure there is room to run around so he can stretch his legs.
    Will my dog get a bed or will he have to sleep on concrete?
    A kennel isn't the dog pound. Your dog should be comfortable while he's there so he doesn't succumb to stress. Inquire as to whether the kennel offers bedding for your dog, and if you can bring his blanket with your scent on it to make him feel safe.
    Is my dog comfortable in strange situations?
    If you're unsure if your dog can handle being boarded, try boarding him for one or two nights before your vacation as a trial run. Getting him used to the place (and showing him that you will return for him) may ease his anxiety for the second time he has to go in there.
    Are there other services available such as bathing and grooming?
    If you have the budget for it, some kennels offer premiums services like bathing, grooming, and even dog training. These simple pleasures could keep your dog comfortable while you're away and may be worth the additional fees.