Heading off for a holiday but want to ensure your fur family have been well looked after?

Garth Jennens, animal behaviourist and owner of The Pampered Pooch Motel, said pet owners planning a trip had several options if they were unable to leave their pet with friends or family, including an in-home pet-sitter, a dog carer who takes in groups to their home, or taking your pet to a licensed boarding kennel.

“For many dog owners, kennelling their dog while they are on holiday is the preferred option, ” he said. “While the standard of kennels may vary, along with the services offered, all have to be licensed and are inspected annually.”

Dr Jennens said kennels could vary from the very basic to the luxurious.

“While some owners do prefer deluxe accommodation with air-conditioning and TV, most just want a kennel that provides space, is sheltered in winter and well ventilated in summer, and a comfortable bed for their dog, ” he said.

Tim Scrine, of All Breeds Pet Retreat and K9 Bootcamp, said boarding services had done away with their gloomy reputation, with many now offering additional services and creature comforts to ensure your pet was happy.

“We service their rooms twice daily, feed them twice daily, exercise and have play groups twice daily for the dogs, ” he said.

“The option of having your dog boarded with the addition of behavioural and obedience training is very popular and fulfilling for the dog, too.”

All kennels have a boarding contract, and Dr Jennens said this should be read carefully. “The contract generally outlines the conditions for boarding and responsibilities of both kennel and dog owner, ” he said.

Factors to inquire about included the experience and knowledge of owners and staff; provision of adequate supervision, including vet visits; fees and any possible additional costs; whether the property looks clean, comfortable and secure; the service’s insurance; and type and quality of food on offer.

Mr Scrine said All Breeds’ only requirement from pet owners was a current vaccination certificate, with the company supplying all bedding, food and toys.

Left it to the last minute?

For busy times of year, it was best to book well in advance to ensure a space, Dr Jennens said. Most kennels had availability at short notice during most of the year, however, many were booked out for holiday periods months ahead.

Mr Scrine agreed. “We only accept previous clients during holiday periods for general boarding due to the demand for our services, ” he said.

He recommended getting your pet into a reputable boarding home or finding a reputable pet-sitter by checking the boarding-facility reviews on dogbook.mobi.


© The West Australian

More Lifestyle news at thewest.com.au