The holiday travel season is here and if you plan to board Fido and Fluffy while you're out of town, the Better Business Bureau says you need to first check out your kennel to ensure your pets' safety. Complaints to the BBB about pet kennels and boarding facilities have more than doubled in the last five years with nearly 500 complaints nationwide made last year, according to the organization. Some pet owners said their pets were treatedly poorly, malnourished and even became severely ill. Here are tips from the BBB to help choose a safe and reliable home-away-from-home for your pet:
- Check with the BBB to make sure they have a good track record for keeping customers satisfied and treating animals well.
- Ask your friends, neighbors, veterinarian or local animal shelters for recommendations. The American Boarding Kennels Association's Web site has a pet service locator that may be helpful in your search.
- Personally visit the facility. Check for cleanliness and offensive odors, and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages.
- Observe the staff. Do they seem friendly? How do they interact with the other boarding pets. Ask about their background and experience.
- Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization and ask about their policies regarding flea and tick control.