All your plans are in place for your next family adventure to explore Australia, the kids are excited, travel dates secured and a rough itinerary to lead the way, all the family members are excited, except perhaps the family dog.

While there are many Australian travel experiences that allow you to take dogs on holiday, there are times when you’ll need to leave your much loved canine companion in the care of someone else. Where you leave them is a decision that many pet owners struggle with.

There are some pro’s to having pet carers look after your dog, and a range of options that allow your animals to stay at your own home or at the home of a carer. This option may suit some, but there’s definitely a worry when it comes to leaving animals at home alone even if they have visits daily. Leaving them at the home of someone else, also brings worry about security and dangers you may be unaware of.

For many pet owners, this means that the best care option for your dog is a good Dog Boarding Kennel while you travel.

If you don’t have a regular boarding kennel that you use for your pets, or if you’re travelling with your pets and need to leave them somewhere safe in a new town, then here are some things to look for and some questions to ask to help find the safest kennel for your dog.

How to Find a Good Dog Boarding Kennel:

1. Ask friends, family members, clients, workmates anyone you know who may have some experience with pets and kennels in the local area. If someone has had a bad experience with a kennel, or knows someone who has, they are very likely to tell you if asked. Keep an open mind with any feedback that you hear, and be sure to note the type of dog or pet they have. Another good place to ask for recommendations is your vet, or a local vet. They tend to know a little about what goes on at local area kennels and can probably offer some advice.

2. Research Available Options: Hit the internet or the phone book and make a list of available kennels in the region. There may be some you’ve not heard of from people you’ve asked, and they may be just what you’re looking for. Note down all the kennels and their contact numbers, this will help with the next step.

3. Using your previous research and contact list, contact each of the kennels and ask about their suitability and availability for looking after your dog. Do they cater for large/small/medium breeds, what exercise programs do they have as well as any dietary requirements your dog may have. If they have availability for your requested time period and seem suitable over the phone, the next step is to schedule a visit to check out the facilities. Ask if this is a possibility, and if so, make an appointment to visit. If a kennel won’t allow you access to take a look at their facilities, this may be a warning sign of problems.

4. What to Look For When Visiting a Kennel for Suitability:

  • Does the Kennel appear clean and healthy?
  • Is there heating and/or cooling for animals?
  • Do the staff seem caring and interested in the animals?
  • Is vaccination a requirement of the pets staying there? (This helps to protect your dog)
  • Are dogs housed in their own indoor/outdoor run or if only an indoor run are they exercised daily?
  • Is there adequate lighting and ventilation?
  • Are beds provided for dogs to keep them up off the concrete?
  • Are cats housed away from dogs?
  • How often are dogs fed?
  • Can special food be supplied to meet dietary requirements?
  • What veterinary services are available?
  • Are other services on offer such as grooming, training, bathing?
  • How are rates calculated and are discounts available?

5. After talking to and visiting available kennels it’s time to make your choice, knowing that your pet will be kept in a safe, healthy environment. Sure they may miss you while you’re gone, but you’re doing them a favour keeping them in a suitable, safe environment where they’ll be looked after.