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Ensure a Barking Good – and Safe – Boarding Experience for Your Dog

Dog Boarding in Illinois

 July 24,2020

As state restrictions in Illinois and Wisconsin continue to ease, you may find yourself in need of a safe, reliable boarding kennel for your dog. With a little pre-work, you can help ensure the best possible boarding experience for your dog.

When is Boarding the Right Choice? 

There are a wide range of instances when boarding your dog is the right choice. Examples include:

  • Whether the resort isn’t pet-friendly or you just need a little human time, periodically there are trips where taking your dog along just isn’t an option.
  • Remodeling your home. Beyond the obvious disruption to the physical surroundings and noise, the mechanics of a home remodel pose a variety of dangers to your pet that you’ll want to avoid – everything from machinery to dust and debris.
  • Hosting large parties. After months of no gatherings outside of those individuals living within the four walls of your home, even small, socially distanced gatherings of 10-50 people (depending on your local restrictions) can seem like massive crowds to your dog.

Whatever the reason, with some research into local boarding kennels, you’ll be sure to find the best spot for Spot.

What to Look for in a Boarding Kennel

Finding the right boarding kennel ensures the health, safety and comfort for your dog. And reduces any anxiety you may feel too. Here are a few important items to consider when selecting a kennel.


  • Gather referrals. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers who they use when boarding their dog. Don’t forget to ask your veterinarian too – they may even offer boarding services.
  • Do a background check. Even if you’re using the same kennel as your neighbor, it’s important to confirm that the kennel adheres to – and displays current versions of – any required state licenses. You’ll also want to understand what specific Covid-cleaning protocols have been added to the kennel's existing routine.
  • Conduct a site visit. Once you’ve narrowed your options to the top two or three and confirmed they have space on your required dates, arrange to visit the kennel with your dog. Pay attention to details like:
    • General atmosphere. Are the light and ventilation good? Does it look and smell clean? Are comfortable temperatures maintained throughout the space?
    • Staff interaction and amenities. Is the staff knowledgeable and caring? Is there plenty of indoor and outdoor space for your dog to run and play? Are the outdoor areas covered to protect from wind, rain and snow? How often are pets fed and can you bring your own food?
    • Additional services. Are other options like grooming, training and bathing included in the boarding fee – or available for an additional fee?
    • Rates and fees. What are the boarding rates for your selected kennel? How are they calculated and charged?

Five Simple Steps to Prepare Your Pup

Whether your dog is Ms. Social or Mr. Socially-Anxious, consider these five simple steps to help ease their transition to a kennel stay.

  1. Have a trial visit. If you're boarding your dog for the very first time, consider a short visit of 24 hours prior to a longer boarding time. This will get you both comfortable with the kennel’s surroundings and procedures.
  2. Adjust your pup’s sleeping patterns. If your dog sleeps with you in your bed each night, he or she will most likely be upset when sleeping alone at a boarding kennel. Help alleviate this stress by having him or her sleep alone at home more frequently – especially in the days leading up to his or her kennel stay.
  3. Ensure the comforts – and care – of home. Bringing your dog’s favorite toy, blanket or rug with them to the kennel will help create a sense of home and make them feel more secure in this new setting. You might even consider asking the kennel if you can bring your dog’s bed. And don’t forget to pack all the important medications your dog may be taking so the kennel team can help keep Fido strong and healthy.
  4. Drop off bright and early. Dropping your dog off at the boarding kennel first thing in the morning gives them the entire day to adjust to their new surroundings before bedtime.
  5. Visit your vet beforehand. Most kennels will require you to ensure all of your dog’s vaccinations are updated at least two weeks prior to boarding. You’ll also want to be sure your pup is de-flead and wormed.

Alden’s Kennel Offers a Spa-like Retreat for Your Four-Legged Friends

At Alden’s Kennel, the joy and comfort of your dog is as important to us as it is to you. Our state-of-the-art “pet hotel” features cedar style bays with radiant heat floors to maintain the perfect climate year-round, as well as stainless steel doggy doors so your pup can easily head to our outdoor enclosure complete with overhang to protect them from the elements.

Our pet “guests” enjoy a wide range of activities from training, playtime and nature walks. We also offer pet guests 50” HD TV’s playing 24/7 at soothing volumes for those moments when your dog just wants to relax.