Don’t leave your furry friends in the wrong hands

Going on a trip? Someone has to look after your critters while you’re gone. One handy solution is to board your animals in a local kennel. If so, it’s important to find one you can trust.

Nationally in 2013, BBB received over 400 complaints last year against pet day care, boarding and kennel facilities. Complaints allege problems with billing, as well as concerns about the treatment of their pet. Some owners allege their pets were severely dehydrated, malnourished or covered with fleas, ticks and even maggots after staying with these facilities. A few even allege their pet became extremely ill from their brief stay at certain kennels.

Your BBB advises pet owners looking to board their pets to take these precautions:

  • Ask for recommendations. Turn to friends and family members who own animals for recommendations on where they take their furry friend. Additionally, check out any recommendations at to see their BBB rating and history of complaints.
  • Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages. If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel takes to make the facility secure.
  • Ask about interactions between animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times. Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization. Also ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control.
  • Take notice of the staff. Ask about the background and experience of company staff and take a few moments to see how they interact with the other pets that are being boarded.
  • Thoroughly read the boarding agreement. Verify it includes the feeding and exercise schedule, as well as pick up and drop off hours. Some facilities offer bathing, nail trimming and immunization as additional services. Make sure these and any other additional fees, like medical emergencies or other care, are included in the agreement.
  • Have a backup plan. Make sure you have a local friend, family member or veterinarian you can trust in case of emergencies.