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Tips for Finding a Great Pet Boarding Service By Beth A. Stevens

There’s a reason many people refer to their four-legged friends as their “fur babies.” Dogs and cats aren’t just pets, they’re furry family members. No matter how much people love their fur babies, there are times when bringing Fido and Fluffy along when you have to leave just isn’t an option.

If you have to be away from home for an extended period of time, it can be tough leaving your pet behind. For many owners dog or cat owners, pets are furry, four-legged family members. When it comes to deciding what to do with your fur baby while you’re gone, knowing the right thing to do can be tough. You could hire a pet sitter, but letting a stranger into your home can be nerve wracking. Even if you have someone you know and trust who can come by, your pet is still going to be alone for extended periods of time. Leaving your furry family member in a boarding facility is an ideal option.  You can be sure someone will be on the premises for most of the day, if not around the clock. But how do you know which kennel is right for you and your pet? How do you know if the staff is qualified? That your cat or dog will be treated well? That they will be happy? The good news is finding the answers to those questions is easy, once you know what to look for in a pet boarding facility. The following tips will help you find a kennel you and your pet will love.

* Ask around. When you’re trying to find a pet boarding service, start by asking for recommendations from friends and family. People who have had firsthand experience can give you the lowdown on which kennels they love and which you should avoid at all costs. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, look around online at sites such as Yelp for reviews of kennels in your area.

*Know your pet’s needs. Does your cat or dog have a special diet or require medication? Does your pet need lots of attention and exercise? Do you have multiple pets and if so, do they prefer to stay together or separately? Knowing what your pet needs and the types of services you want can help you narrow your search to boarding facilities that can meet those needs and provide those services. Some kennels provide extras such as sheepskin bedding, climate control, background music and even spa treatments. Webcams are also becoming a popular option so you can check on your pet 24/7.

*Decide your budget. A high quality kennel doesn’t have to break the bank, but it’s a good idea to decide how much you’re able to spend ahead of time. Look for a kennel that offers the services you need at a price you can afford. You may be surprised at how far your dollar can go.

* Do your homework. Check around online for kennels in your area and visit their websites. A good website will have photos of the facility as well as a list of services provided and their prices. While a website is a good source of information, there’s nothing like picking up the phone and speaking to an employee. How you are treated will go a long way toward indicating how your pet will be treated. Call at least two or three promising kennels and if you like what you hear, schedule a time to tour the facilities.

*Visit the kennel. Any reputable boarding facility will be more than happy to give you a tour. Make sure you see the type of run or enclosure you cat or dog will be in and what’s included such as bedding, and access to food and water. Note the cleanliness and condition the facilities are in, as well as the condition of the animals staying in them.

Finally, go with your gut. If you feel good about a place, chances are you pet willScience Articles, too.

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