Picking the right boarding kennel for your pet

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to start looking for a suitable kennel for your pet.

While you are away skiing down the slopes or enjoying the summer sun on the other side of the world, you want to know your pets are safe at home. If you don’t have a friend who is happy to house sit and look after your furry friend, then a kennel is the way to go.

Finding the right facility for the first time can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on what you need to look out for and questions to ask on your first visit.

Visit the facility

Visiting the facility for an inspection and meeting the staff gives you a great opportunity to check out what the company has to offer. Keep an eye out for how clean and spacious the facilities are. If the staff refuses to show you the premises you should take your pet elsewhere.

Your pet is a member of your family so you need to go with a company that holds a comfortable level of hygiene and care for your pet. It is in these cases where you need to trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right it is best to speak up or walk away.

Emergencies and treatment

One of the most crucial questions to ask the management is what is their process when it comes to medical emergencies and treatment. Enquire about the protocols and procedures

they have in place to help manage emergencies. Often kennels will be located near a vet or will have a veterinarian on site. The key factor here is if the vet has 24/7 availability.

It is often ideal for the staff have the training to administer pet first aid. This will give you the peace of mind knowing if something goes wrong, your furry friend will be in safe hands. Ask for a breakdown in costs in the case of a medical emergency or treatment takes place.


While you are chatting to staff, ask what level of training each member of their team has undertaken. You may also ask how many staff will be on duty and how many pets are in the facility at one time. Typically there should be at least one staff member for every ten dogs. Ideally, there should also be someone at the facility 24 hours a day in case of emergencies outside of business hours.

Inspecting enclosures

When inspecting the enclosures, cages, and kennels you will want to keep the following safety and cleaning measures in mind.

  • When are the enclosures cleaned and are they disinfected?
  • Do you notice any unpleasant or abnormal smells during your tour?
  • What bedding is provided and what state is it in? You may prefer to bring your pet’s own bedding and toys — ask the kennel owners about their policy
  • Are the enclosures sheltered from the weather, such as extreme rain or uncomfortable temperatures?
  • Is the enclosure safe and can you foresee your pet being able to escape?
  • Do the areas have enough space for your pet to move, stretch, and rest comfortably? Remember dogs need more room than cats.
  • For cat owners: is there ample space between their food bowls and litter box?
  • Look for animal identification practices, as is can be easy for staff to accidentally misidentify the animals.


You want your pet’s diet and food hygiene maintained. Most boarding facilities have their own food and nutritional plan. If you are unhappy with what they provide enquire if you can provide your pet’s own food with feeding instructions. This will cost you extra. Check how the food is stored and ensure the food storage facilities and kitchen are clean and hygienic.

Enquire about meal times, when and how often they are fed. Check for fresh water bowls in both the enclosures and play areas. Ask how often they clean the food bowls — ideally this should be after every meal.

Daily routine

Look into what your pet’s daily schedule will look like, pay close attention to exercise breaks, toileting etc. Additionally, remember while cats do not require as much social interaction, dogs are highly social animals. Do the staff have a current process they implement when it comes to managing your pet’s stress (separation anxiety)?

When examining the play area, look at how secure the fencing is, ensure no dog or cat will be able to break through. The equipment available should be in a good condition and safe. Meanwhile, the surrounding area should be clean and a decent size. Ask if the play area is shared amongst the animals at one time, and if so how many will be in there.

Some kennels will charge extra for play and activity time, so consider this when booking.

Finally, ask the staff to give you a cost breakdown including surcharges if you are booking in peak season. You want to know all the inclusions you are paying for as well as any extra fees for additional services.

If you aren’t sure where to start your search check out the Hanrob Pet Hotel Brisbane for all your Doggy Daycare needs.