Seven Tips to Protect Your Pet While You Go on Vacation This Summer

July 12, 2016

Summer is in full swing, and families are on vacation enjoying the time away from home. If you are a pet owner and planning a summer vacation, now is the time to find a safe place for your “best friend.”

Your Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties offers information about pet boarding and kennels; and may help with your decision on where to house you’re pet while vacationing. Boarding facilities, billing issues and treatment of pets are just some of the information BBB has to offer.

1) Plan ahead to make sure you get your first choice. You'll probably need to make a reservation well in advance, especially if you want to board your pet during holidays or popular vacation times.

2) Ask for recommendations. Turn to friends and family members who own animals, or ask your veterinarian for recommendations. Check BBB's Accredited Business Directory to find an Accredited kennel. Make sure to check out their Business Review on before making a final decision.

3) Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages. Ask to see all the places your pet may be taken. If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel takes to make the facility secure.

4) Ask about interactions between animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times. Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization and ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control.

5) Take notice of the staff. Ask about the staff's experience working with animals and take a few moments to watch how they interact with the pets being boarded.

6) Ask if you can bring food or toys. Bringing your pet's own food to a kennel may reduce the chance of diarrhea or upset stomach. Also check to see if the kennel allows you to bring any special toys, blankets, treats, or bedding for your pet.

7) Thoroughly read the boarding agreement. Verify that it includes a feeding and exercise schedule as well as pick up and drop off hours. Some facilities offer bathing, nail trimming and immunization as additional services. Make sure these, and any other additional fees, like medical emergencies or other care, are included in the agreement.

Remember to have a backup plan. Make sure you have a local friend, family member or veterinarian you can trust in case of emergencies. Visit to check BBB Accredited pet boarding facilities and kennels. If you have any questions, give us a call at (858) 496-2131.