August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Boarding-Your-PetDear Dr. Furry,

My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe. We’ve decided it just isn’t practical to take our little Mollie along with us. Can you tell us about boarding pets?

Harry, Council Bluffs, IA


Dear Harry,

I agree that taking a pet out of the country on long flights may not be the best thing to do. I also know that pet owners worry about the care of their pets if they decide to board them.

The first piece of advice would be to do your homework. The American Boarding Kennels Association, the non-profit trade association for the pet boarding industry in the United States and around the world, offers information, publications, education and facility accreditation.

Their mission is two-fold: To provide a happy and safe pet boarding experience and to provide peace of mind for you assuring that your pet is receiving the best possible care in your absence. Some kennels are even like resorts or Spas!!

  • Find a good kennel by word-of-mouth from friends, the Better Business Bureau or through the Yellow Pages or newspaper listings.
  • Evaluate the kennel: phone, visit, assess its safety and security, cleanliness and sanitation, supervision, health care (food, water, veterinary services, immunization and medication requirements or procedures, including parasite control, etc.)
  • Be prepared to work with the kennel staff by informing them of any particular quirks or behaviors your pets may have and by providing their own special food or treats, if necessary and/or allowed.
  • You may want to leave the contact information of a friend or family member with kennel staff if a problem arises.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and maybe even take your pet to the kennel before boarding, to familiarize him/her with the environment.

Happy landings! (And don’t forget to bring a souvenir home for Mollie.)

~ Dr. Sigmund Furry