Before booking a stay at a kennel, consider other options: taking your pet along, leaving him with a friend, having a friend or neighbor pet-sit, or hiring a pet sitter. Each of these options has important pros and cons to consider.

If you decide a kennel is the best option, the ratings from other pet owners, shown on our Ratings Tables, of area kennels will help you find one that provides top-notch care. (We’re still working on methods to survey pets.)

Some of the kennels listed on our Ratings Tables received “superior” ratings overall by almost all of their surveyed customers. But a few kennels didn’t exactly wow clients with stellar service.

There are also big price differences, as shown on our Ratings Tables. Fortunately, some of the higher rated kennels charge below-average prices.

Carefully check out any kennel you are considering:

  • Be wary of any kennel that won’t let you inspect its facilities unannounced during regular operating hours.
  • Check whether dogs have an indoor and outdoor run—large enough and with protection from the sun, rain, cold, and heat.
  • Make sure animals are protected from one another and that there is proper fencing to keep your pet in and other animals out.
  • Make sure the kennel has proper health protections—that it is clean and not excessively smelly, that all admitted pets must have proof of proper vaccinations, and that pets are carefully examined for signs of disease or parasites at check-in.
  • Size up staff members. Do they answer your questions? Show affection for the animals? Are they available 24 hours per day?