As families gear up for their summer vacation, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona has advice for pet owners looking for a safe place to house their furry friend.
BBB receives hundreds of complaints from consumers every year about boarding facilities, also known as kennels. Complaints allege problems with billing, as well as concerns about the treatment of their pet. Some owners allege their pets came back from the kennel severely dehydrated, malnourished or covered with fleas, ticks and even maggots. A few even allege their pet became extremely ill from their brief stay at certain kennels.
BBB advises pet owners looking to board their pets to plan accordingly and thoroughly research local kennels.
Consumers should use the following tips as a guide to finding a trustworthy kennel:
- 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 bbb.org 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.