Choosing kennels with confidence

Jul 2, 2022 9:03:17 PM

If you’re going on holiday you want your beloved dog to enjoy a mini break too, right? It’s important to know that, whilst you’re away from home, your pet is happy and being well cared for. Instead of it being a leap into the unknown, here is our handy guide to choosing great kennels – so you can both relax and enjoy a change of scenery.

Note: if you are new to kennelling your pet it’s a good idea to get them used to it with a few shorter stays, even just overnighters, so they get used to the idea and know that it’s a friendly place where they get lots of attention. It makes the separation much easier for everyone.

Advance booking

Kennels are reporting record numbers of bookings this year so it’s wise to get your booking in as soon as you can. Even if you’re too late for this year, think ahead and book next year’s holiday around kennel availability.

“The problem of trying to find a place for a pet has been caused by a ‘perfect storm’. A lot of people got dogs during the pandemic,” said Donal Delaney from Beech Grove Boarding Kennels in Upper Glanmire in Cork. “They are an asset to any family and some people got dogs to help with Covid loneliness. Coupled with that there are families trying to catch up on their holidays and see people they missed during lockdowns. It has all led to increased demand for kennel spaces.”

[The Independent, May 2022]


Book a visit

You can find kennels by doing an online search or by asking friends and other dog owners who they recommend. Draw up a shortlist of dog boarding facilities near you and have a few questions ready in advance of your tour.

Ask to see the sleeping area, exercise space and if they have any access to outdoor space from their main boarding area. Ask about their typical day’s routine and what your dog will be doing. You want to know they are having a day with some variety, exercise and interest and not left alone for too long. Look around and see what the dogs are doing.

If you have more than one dog, check they can board together. This will provide them with the comfort of their ‘sibling’ and you might get a slightly discounted rate as well.


There’s nothing to say that your holiday provision needs to be near your home. If your vacation is UK based you could keep your dog close and opt for a place near your holiday base. You will be able to include him in part of your stay, especially if you are near dog-friendly beaches (we have a blog with a list of these) or good walking areas. This gives you the best of all worlds – you are free to do whatever you like but with the flexibility of kennels when you need them. This is a great idea if you’d like your dog with you but your accommodation doesn’t allow pets.

Doggy dining

Within reason, a good kennels will feed your dog approximately when you do so that their routines aren’t disrupted. We’d recommend sending your dogs on their mini-break with their own food (obviously Trophy!), again to minimise disruption to their routine and digestion. Sticking to an established diet and eating pattern is an important part of kennel care and essential for your dog too. Maintaining a good food routine is an especially important consideration if you have an anxious dog as the familiarity helps to reassure them.


Kennels all operate quite differently and so you need to enquire about their approach to exercise. Some places have outdoor space off the boarding area; enclosed, safe social spaces for off-lead fun with other carefully chosen dogs; and regular on-lead walks. Your dog might not want all of that so you might be looking for somewhere that mirrors your home life with a couple of daily walks. Be sure to match your dog with the kennels that suits his needs and you’ll both be happy.

Pet sitters

With the increase in dog ownership and the number of holidays being taken, the demand for pet sitters is increasing. These are wonderful people who look after your pets in your home, or sometimes in their own. This is a great alternative, and also it might be better for more anxious dogs who will be more settled in a quieter environment.

Before booking a pet sitter, do your research and check out any references. Personal recommendations are always best when you’re entrusting your precious pet with someone new. Your local social media sites should have some conversations about pet sitting. There are also sites such as and who match vetted pet sitters in your region with your needs. Again, like kennels, it is worth getting them used to each other before you take your main holiday.  These shorter sessions will help you decide whether you want to leave your dog with them for longer periods of time.

We have some really useful articles that help with a few aspects of dogs and holidays including: avoiding separation anxiety; dog-friendly holidays in the UK and travelling with your dog. Whatever you decide to organise for your dog this summer, if you’ve done your research and prepared him well, it’ll be a fantastic break for all of you. Send us any holiday photos of your dogs at – we’d love to see them.





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