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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Southern Piedmont/Charlotte, NC
BBB Tips on Boarding Fluffy and Fido
Be sure to make plans for your pets early. The best kennels board up quickly.
May 20, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As summer vacation travel begins, be sure to include the family pets in your vacation plans. 

Whether you choose an in-home pet sitter or a boarding kennel, the BBB urges you to start the selection process early!  Top-notch facilities can book up fast during the holidays and popular vacation times.

The BBB offers has this advice to help pet owners choose the best care for their four-legged family members.

Pet Sitters - If you believe your pet would do better in the comfort of your home, you may want to hire a professional pet sitter.  

The BBB offers these guidelines:

  • Recommendations - Ask friends, neighbors or your veterinarian if they can recommend a professional pet care giver.
  • Training - Services can vary widely. Interview prospective pet sitters to find out what services they will provide and whether they are trained to administer any necessary medications or emergency first aid.
  • Fees and services - Find out what their fee includes and their payment requirements. Some pet sitters are willing to do non-pet related chores, such as bringing in the mail, watering plants, turning lights on or off or even staying overnight.
  • References - Ask the pet sitter for personal references and call them to inquire about the quality of pet care they received.
  • Security - The pet sitter will have access to your home, so you will want to find out if they are bonded and whether they have commercial liability insurance coverage. 
  • Record - Check the pet sitter out with the BBB.

Boarding - If you are boarding your pets at a kennel, the BBB suggests that you take these nine steps:

  1. Recommendations – Get recommendations from your veterinarian or check with the American Boarding Kennels Association.
  2. Personal visit - Check the facility for cleanliness and safety of the kennel and cages. 
  3. Licensing - Ask if the kennel is properly licensed. Research your state’s specific animal-to-staff ratio and animal-to- square footage requirements to see if the kennel you are considering meets those requirements.
  4. Staff - Note the friendliness of staff members and ask about their experience.  Be sure to ask if anyone is on the premises overnight.
  5. Vaccinations - Make sure the facility requires all pets to have proof of immunizations and ask about their procedures for flea and tick control.
  6. Drop-off/pick-up policies - Facilities may not allow you to drop off or pick up your pet on weekend days which may extend the stay of your pet and increase the cost.
  7. Regular updates – Find out how the facility will keep you updated. Many top-notch facilities offer live web cams so you can see your pet via their website.
  8. Emergencies – Ask about procedures in case your pet has a medical emergency.
  9. Research - Check the kennel out with the BBB.

For more information, please visit BBB or call 1-877-317-7236 toll-free in N.C. and S.C.