Finding a Trustworthy Kennel to Board Your Pets

November 17, 2010
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 and finding a kennel or pet care service you can trust is paramount. That’s why the Better Business Bureau has created a checklist to help pet owners choose a safe and reliable home-away-from-home for their pets.

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.

“For many of us, our pets are like family and leaving them in the care of someone else can be nerve-wrecking and the stress can overshadow your whole trip,” said Fred T. Elsberry, Jr., President & CEO of the BBB Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia. “Taking a few moments to do your research and find a kennel you can trust will make your time out of town much easier for you and your pet.”

If you are looking for a reliable kennel, the BBB recommends the following checklist:
• 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. Also, the Pet Care Services Association website has a pet service locator that may be helpful in your search.
• 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 advice on finding reputable businesses around the holidays, visit us online at