• From time to time even the most devoted dog owner will want to take a vacation that is just not suitable to take a dog on, and at the point good local dog boarding will be invaluable. A good boarding kennel will try to make your dog's time away from you as happy and easy as possible.

    The best way to assess what a boarding kennel is like is to visit it. Keep your eyes open and have a good look around when you visit, and ask the staff lots of questions. Find out what a typical day holds for a dog - do they get exercise, and if so how often and does this include free running, or just on lead walking? To make the switch from home to boarding kennels easier, can you bring your dog's bedding from home, and maybe a few toys too?

    A change of food can be very unsettling for your dog daycare boulder dog's digestive system, so a good dog shelter will let you supply food for your dog. The time at which your dog is fed is a big part of his routine too, and a good boarding kennel will try to replicate what your dog is used to at home. Make sure that the kennels will ensure that your dog will have fresh water available constantly.

    If you have more than one dog, a good boarding kennel will allow them to stay together -within reason. For example, it's reasonable to expect two or three dogs to be able to board together, but an establishment that could accommodate five or six dogs all together may be rarer. This should not be taken as an indication of a lack of quality of care, and a good dog boarding kennel will try to allow your dogs at least some time together if they are used to living together at home.

    If you have a friend who boards their dog at a particular kennel, ask them what their experiences have been; have they come back from vacation to happy, healthy dogs, and has the staff been friendly and helpful? If you don't know anyone locally who kennels their dog, visit a local dog club or log onto an online forum.

    A good local dog boarding kennel will be registered with a local vet just in case any of the dogs needs treatment, so ask about this. It's also worth asking if the kennels is a member of any professional body, and what animal care qualifications staff members have, as theses all help to recommend a business as one that will take good care of your dog.

    One of the latest developments in dog boarding is the use of webcams which will allow you to keep an eye on your dog while you are enjoying your vacation. These are by no means standard though, so don't be alarmed if your chosen facility doesn't offer this.

    Ultimately, you should rely on your instincts about a dog boarding kennel. Ask all the questions you have, look around and seek the opinion of other clients, but trust your own feelings; if you don't think you can trust a place to look after one of the most precious things in your life, the keep looking. After all, you won't enjoy your vacation unless you have found quality dog boarding for your dog.