McHenry County Dog Boarding and Finding a Kennel for Boarding Your Dog

Your dog is a member of the family, which is why going out of town and leaving your pet behind can be stressful.  Finding a kennel for boarding your dog that puts your mind at ease is important.  McHenry County Dog Boarding options are slim, but there are a couple good choices. Here, boarding your dog will be discussed.

What is a Boarding Kennel?

There are many options available when it comes to leaving your dog in someone else’s care.  Most commonly, dog owners choose boarding facilities called kennels.  A boarding kennel is a business that has been licensed to care for animals.  Unlike at-home dog sitters, boarding kennels are subject to a number of rules and regulations to ensure the health and safety of your pet.  

How to Find a Kennel

Finding the kennel that fits your needs is important.  Three ways to search for a kennel include:

Word of Mouth

Ask your friends and canine professionals for recommendations.  Veterinarians, dog store owners, and trainers can all provide trusted recommendations.  

Phonebook / Internet Search

Next, search in your phonebook or online for kennels in the area.  You can also find reviews and ratings for the facilities that you find.  

Choosing a Kennel

Once you have a list of possible boarding kennels, do some homework.  Suggestions include:


First and foremost, inquire with the kennels about their availability for the dates you will be gone.  There is no use going through the  hassle of interviewing a facility if they are unable to accommodate your pet.

Personal Tour

Next, schedule a walking tour through the kennel.  Avoid any facility that does not allow personal tours.  During your tour, make notes and ask questions about the following key points:

  • Appearance:  is the kennel well-kept, neat, and orderly?  Are there any offending odors or obvious messes?
  • Security:  are fences high enough to contain your dog?  Are animals supervised when they are outside of their living quarters?  What protocols are in place to prevent escape?
  • Relaxation:  are there dividers between pets to minimize noise and distraction?  Is the kennel loud and chaotic, or relatively peaceful?
  • Safety:  are kennel personnel trained in pet First Aid and CPR?  How often is the well-being of each dog checked?  
  • Health:  are the dogs provided clean water?  What are the feeding procedures, and what type of food will your dog be fed?  How are instances of illness and injury handled?  Which immunizations are required?  Can medications be administered?  How are parasites controlled?
  • Comfort:  is the temperature inside the kennel comfortable?  Are dogs protected from the elements?  Are ventilation, lighting, and bedding appropriate?  
  • Exercise:  is the exercise area an appropriate size?  How much exercise time is provided?  Is exercise time solo or in a group of other dogs?

Preparing your Dog

When you have chosen a kennel, the next step is to prepare for your trip.  First, be sure to make reservations well in advance, as many kennels run out of availability.  Next, make sure your dog’s immunizations are up to date.  Some vaccinations require boosters, so it is important to make sure you schedule immunizations well in advance.  Finally, prepare your dog for your absence.  If your pet has never been boarded before, consider dropping off your pet for a short overnight visit, or for kenneled day care, if available.  When you drop off your pet at the facility, do not treat the visit as anything out of the ordinary to avoid alarming your dog.

Picking up your Pet
Always pick up your pet during normal business hours and be sure to call if your travel plans change.  Don’t forget to ask about your pet’s visit.  Did he or she show stress or anxiety, or have an upset stomach during the stay?  If your dog is hyperactive and excited upon your return, limit access to food or water in order to avoid the possibility of bloat.  In addition, understand that your pet may be tired for the first 24 – 48 hours you are home, as there was probably lots to do, see, and sniff while you were away!

Finding a kennel for boarding your dog is not always an easy decision but your search for McHenry County Dog Boarding can be resolved with call to us here at Bull Valley Retrievers & Kennels.