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Why Trust Diamond Certified Pet Boarding Company Rated Highest in Quality?

A Diamond Certified pet boarding company can ensure that your beloved pet is well taken care of while you're away. You can feel confident choosing a pet boarding company listed above because each has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned Diamond Certified. For more information on how best to choose and work with a pet boarding company in Marin County, read the following articles. Photo: Bridewell Hilltop Kennels (2015)

TIBURON-You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an auto oil change service that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified automotive oil change shop. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated car oil change service and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Marin County – Pet Boarding CATEGORY

Dana Garduno is a kennel attendant at Bridewell Hilltop Kennels, a Diamond Certified company since 2014. She can be reached at (415) 231-2087 or by email.

Dana Garduno

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Dana Garduno: Canine Compassion

By James Florence, Senior Writer

NOVATO — Dana Garduno always had an affection for dogs, but she hadn’t planned to make a career out of it until she moved next door to a kennel. “I was looking for a place to live and found one located on the same campus as Bridewell Hilltop Kennels,” she explains. “My sister had actually worked there, so I was familiar with the business. Considering how close I was and the fact that I loved animals, I thought working there would be a great fit. I applied and was hired, and I’ve spent the last few years working as a kennel assistant.”
Dana says her favorite part of her job is simply being around dogs. “I enjoy hanging out with our dogs, whether in play groups or one-on-one. Sometimes we get dogs that are too shy or aggressive to be in playgroups, and I make sure they get special attention.” Dana says she also gets a little help from her sidekick. “My dog, Perseus, is a wonderful companion for new dogs at the kennel. Any time a dog is unsure about being here and isn’t getting along with the other dogs, Perseus will befriend them.”
A resident of Novato, Dana says she appreciates the convenience of her location, as well as its pleasant natural setting. “I like being so close to where I work. Plus, it’s a really nice area to live—it’s up on a hill and surrounded by all kinds of trees and nature. It has a wonderful view and it’s very peaceful…other than the dogs barking.”
Outside of work, Dana spends most of her time with her own dogs, including Perseus, a dachshund-terrier mix, and Hercules, a terrier-Chihuahua mix. “I also foster dogs—currently, I’m fostering two miniature schnauzers,” she adds. “Not surprisingly, most of my time revolves around caring for them all.” While her dogs keep her busy, Dana also enjoys hobbies like painting and cooking.
As a pet boarding professional, Dana says while it’s good to be proactive and organized, she also needs to be able to adapt to unforeseen scenarios. “I’m always thinking ahead, but if something unexpected comes up, I do my best to put everything else on hold and deal with it. Working with animals is fun, but it can also get a little hectic and unpredictable, so it’s important to be flexible.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Dana says she’d take her animal involvement to the next level. “I would probably open an animal rescue. That’s always been a dream of mine, and hopefully I’ll get to achieve it someday. Of course, I’d also do some traveling, especially through Europe.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first pet?
A: A miniature dachshund named Sparky.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: Oldies. I love Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole, and my favorite band is The Beatles.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: A stuffed walrus named Mr. Wally.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Banana ice cream.

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Preparing for Your Dog’s First Kennel Stay

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NOVATO — When boarding your dog at a kennel for the first time, there are a couple of things you can do to help ensure a positive experience. First, it’s a good idea to acclimate your dog to the kennel… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Tips for Your Dog’s First Kennel Stay

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Complete Video Transcription:

NOVATO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Prior to your dog’s first kennel stay, there are a few things you can do to ensure a positive experience. Today we’re… Read more

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Marin County – Pet Boarding
Know What You Want
Decide the Type of Pet Boarding Services You Need

Before calling or visiting local dog kennels, cat boarding facilities or other pet care locations  near you, think about what type of services you want for your pet.

Write down any special items that you want to remember or look for as you continue your search. This list will help keep you focused on the important parts of your search, and it will help ensure that the kennel or pet boarding facility where you end up taking your pet will meet your needs and those of your dog, cat or other pet.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I want to take my dog or cat to a Diamond Certified pet boarding facility that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. Do I want in-home pet sitting services or pet boarding/kenneling services?
  3. What pet/s do I need to board? (Various pet kennels in Marin County can accommodate dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, pocket pets such as hamsters and rats, reptiles including snakes and iguanas, birds and others.)
  4. How long will my pet need to be kenneled?
  5. Does my pet have special needs (such as food or medication, incontinence or medical problems, daily grooming or brushing requirements, anxiety or other issues) that the Marin County pet boarding facility will have to take into account?
  6. Are there any special services I’d like from the local pet kennel at which I board my dog, cat, bird, rabbit or other pet? (These may include socialization with other animals, social playgroups, one-on-one time with kennel staff, grooming or bathing, training classes, medication application, inside-outside access, playtime, feeding of their own food, etc.)
  7. What professional and personal attributes do I want from the staff who will be caring for my dog, cat or other pet? (These may include experience with animals like mine, kindness, honesty, reliability, patience, veterinary experience, behavioral experience, etc.)
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What To Ask In Person
Visit Local Pet Boarding Kennels in Marin County

Once you’ve interviewed several local pet boarding kennels in Fairfax, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur or areas near you, you will be able to winnow down your list to only the Marin County pet care kennels that can best meet your needs.

Now is the time to make an appointment to visit these facilities so that you can take a tour, meet the staff, and see how the program works. You’ll want to bring along another list of questions to ask in person to verify that the facility can adequately care for your dog or cat, and that the kennel provides the services you need.

Some facilities may ask you to bring your pet along for the tour, others may want to arrange a different time to meet your dog or cat. So confirm whether to bring your pet before you show up for the arranged tour.

  1. Do you recommend a shorter stay or day visit for my pet before he or she stays for a longer visit?
  2. Will someone be on the premises 24 hours a day?
  3. What are your policies regarding illness or changes in my pet’s health while he or she is boarding at your facility?
  4. How do you organize the feeding and medication administration?
  5. If I can bring my pet’s own food, how do you want me to do that (one big bag of food, individually-measured portions, etc.)?
  6. Can my pet bring a toy, belongings (such as a blanket or t-shirt from home) or special treats?
  7. What can I do to prepare my dog or cat for this stay?
  8. If you provide playtime, will you show me where my dog will be playing?
  9. How do you select the other dogs/cats that will be boarded with, playing with or interacting with my pet?
  10. Where will my pet be sleeping at night?
  11. What is your protocol for misbehaving, unhappy, upset or ill pets?
  12. If my pet becomes ill, will you call me right away? Will you take him or her to my own veterinarian, or do you have a local vet you use?
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  • What To Ask References
    Get Reference Contacts from Local Pet Boarding Services in Marin County

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified pet boarding facilities because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality pet boarding facilities in Marin County, you will have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    You can read all about the companies in your area online. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers in Novato, Mill Valley, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera and beyond.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified dog kennel or cat boarding facility near you, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your pet boarding facilities.

    Remember, references provided to you by Marin pet boarding facilities are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. Most local kennels cherry-pick satisfied references instead of randomly selecting names from all their customers.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the Marin County pet boarding kennel’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    Then, call and interview each of these clients. Have a list of questions written down, and ask them to share their impressions and experiences with you.

    Sample questions you may want to ask include these:

    1. What type of pet did you board with ____(Marin County pet kennel name)____?
    2. How long did your dog/cat/bird/horse/etc. stay at this pet care facility?
    3. How long have you been trusting this kennel to care for your pet(s)?
    4. Do you feel your pet was well cared-for during his or her stay?
    5. What did you like best about this kennel?
    6. Did you have concerns about this kennel or the way they cared for your pet?
    7. Would you bring your pet back to this kennel the next time you need to board your dog or cat?
    8. Have you recommended this facility to friends or family who have pets?
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  • Review Your Options
    Think About Your Choice of Marin County Pet Kennels

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Now you’ve talked with the owners and staff of several local pet care facilities in Marin County, you’ve visited and toured the facilities, and you’ve heard first-hand accounts of the type of care you and your pet can expect from recent customers.

    When you consider all of the facts and information, you should have a good idea of which boarding kennel is right for your pet.

    But before deciding on the best pet boarding facilities in Marin County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    1. Did one Marin County pet boarding kennel stand out from the rest in terms of pet care, facilities, staff, dates, cost and amenities?
    2. Is the staff at the local pet care kennels knowledgeable about your pet and his/her needs?
    3. Did one of the kennels make you feel more comfortable about boarding your pet there?
    4. Is the pet boarding center sensitive to your pet’s special needs and comfort?
    5. Did you like the staff and structure of one kennel more than the others?
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  • How To Work With
    Looking for the Best Pet Boarding Kennel in Marin County for Your Pet

    Many pet owners don’t think about their dog boarding or cat boarding options until they need to go out of town on vacation or to visit family, have extensive remodeling done on their homes, or need emergency pet care.

    But it’s better for you and your pet if you think seriously about pet kennels and pet sitting options before you need last-minute pet boarding or long-term pet boarding services.

    That’s because the best dog kennels and cat boarding centers in Marin County, including the more populous cities of San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere, often fill up weeks ahead of time, especially around peak boarding times. It’s also true that many pets can feel nervous the first time they board at a facility, so they may need some time to settle in and feel like they’re at home.

    You may want to start with a daycare visit (if the kennel you’re considering offers doggie daycare or cat daycare options) or a single overnight visit. This will allow your pet to get to know the facility, the staff and the routine before you drop him or her off for a longer visit.

    A single day or short-term stay is also a good chance for you to experience the care you and your pet receive and get a better feel for the pet kennel staff and services without risking much. You can experience a shortened replica of a longer stay without a large investment of money or time. You will see how the staff treats your pet and how your pet feels at the facility.

    Keep in mind that some pets may need several short stays before they feel at home in a new environment. Nervous, older or shy pets may take some time to adjust to new surroundings. If you feel that boarding may be a challenge for your pet, talk with the kennel staff about how your pet acted while in their care (pets often settle in once their owners are out of sight) and whether they would recommend another short stay before a long stay.

    Now That You’ve Found a Local Pet Boarding Facility in Marin County
    Once you’ve found the Marin County dog kennel or cat kennel that best suits your needs and those of your pet, you’ll want to secure the dates you need to board your pet. This is usually as simple as calling and reserving the dates. Some kennels in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur and beyond require a down-payment or a credit card number on file (especially for very long stays or over holidays or other busy times of year), others only ask for a range of dates.

    At this point, your boarding kennel should share with you any requirements for boarding (often proof of vaccinations), optional items you may bring (food, toys, belongings), and a list of items you should not bring (certain toys, treats or other items). They may also give you a range of times for drop off and pick up. Many kennels also offer optional services, such as training or grooming.

    You may also be asked to sign a contract for boarding services that protects you and the Marin County pet boarding kennel you’ve chosen. These contracts often include a list of expectations and requirements for both you and the kennel, and may release the kennel from accidental injury or illness. Be sure you carefully read the contract and agree to all terms before you sign. You deserve to completely understand the terms and details written in all contracts and paperwork you are asked to sign, so be sure to ask for clarification or explanation if there is anything you don’t understand.

    Simple Ways You Can Make Your Pet’s Stay More Comfortable
    Good kennels and pet care facilities in Marin County are skilled at caring for pets with various needs. However, there are a few things you can do to make your pet’s stay more comfortable and help the staff provide a higher level of care.

    • Include a list of emergency contact numbers (cell phone numbers if you’ll be in range, or a friend or family member who is authorized to make medical and care decisions in your stead) that will be available the entire time you are boarding your pet.
    • You may also want to include written instructions in case of emergency (including how much veterinary care to provide in case of illness or injury). You should include your veterinarian’s contact information, especially if your pet has known medical problems.
    • If allowed, bring your pet’s own food. This can help prevent digestive issues and can make your pet feel more at home. You may be asked to measure out daily portions or provide an approximate measure of how much your pet eats per day. Keep in mind that your pet may need more or less food than normal while boarding, especially if their activity level will be drastically different while you are gone (for example, they may need more food if they will be playing in social playgroups, or less food if they will be more sedentary than they are at home). You may want to provide a few extra portions in case of a delayed return or if the kennel staff feels your pet is looking thin.
    • If allowed, consider bringing a special chew, compressed rawhide, bully sticks, treats, Kongs or busy bones for evenings or times when your pet will be kenneled. This may help them feel more at home. Remember, though, too many new treats may cause tummy upset, so ration them accordingly.
    • If welcomed, consider bringing a toy, blanket, t-shirt, or another belonging that smells like home. This can help pets—especially anxious pets—feel more at home in a new place.
    • Ask if there are any items or information you can provide to ease your pet’s transition. There may be simple things you can do or bring to make your pet more comfortable and ease the kennel staff’s care of your pet.
    • Remember that the Marin County kennel staff are professionals. You can share some details about your pet and how you care for him or her at home, but trust the pet care facility to do their best to care for your dog or cat. Pets usually slip into new routines at kennels easily, especially pack animals like dogs, so they may act differently when you’re away. If you’ve done your homework and found a good kennel at which to board your pet, you should feel confident in their ability to care for your pet.
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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Pet Boarding Facilities Customer?

    It’s your pet boarding kennel’s responsibility to care for your dog, cat or other pet while you’re out of town. But you also play a big part in the success of your pet’s kenneling experience.

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County pet boarding facilities.

    • Be frank with the pet boarding facilities. Let them know what you expect from the pet kennel and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, remaining calm, friendly and understanding can help build and maintain a positive working relationship with your dog kennel or cat boarding kennel.
    • Before you make reservations at pet care facilities in Marin County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate your understanding of the agreement, including drop off and pick up dates and times, rates and any special instructions or promises made. Most problems with local pet boarding facilities occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your pet kennel if you can call for updates on your pet’s stay or if they will call you with updates.
    • Be sure the Marin County pet kennel at which you’re boarding your dog or cat has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your pet is in their care. If you are going to be unavailable by phone, give them the name of a friend or family member that can make decisions in the rare case of an emergency.
    • Pay for the pet boarding services promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Pet kennels in Ross, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito and Fairfax and throughout Marin County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work

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Written Warranties
Choose Pet Kennels Backed By the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

All Diamond Certified companies, including Marin County pet kennels in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur and beyond, are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

If the pet boarding facility you’ve booked is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve a disagreement by talking with the owner, contact the American Ratings Corporation mediation department at [email protected] or call 800-738-1138.

Easy Ways To End Conflict with Marin County Pet Boarding Facilities
You’ve done your part in carefully researching and choosing a good pet kennel in Marin County, so chances are good that your pet will have a safe and fun stay and you will be pleased with the service you’re given.

But not every business is perfect, and even the best can sometimes fall short of your expectations, especially when beloved pets are involved.

Remember these tips to increase your chances of getting a good result when handing a disagreement or conflict with your pet boarding center:

  • Meet with the pet boarding facility owner or kennel manager in person immediately when you have a complaint or a concern with the service you’ve received or the care your pet has received. You may want to have a telephone conversation to address your questions if you are away and your pet is still kenneled at the time you become concerned.
  • Review the pet boarding contract and try to verbally resolve the problem based on your initial agreement.
  • Write down your complaint. Document the times you contacted your Marin County pet boarding kennel and the staff’s responses to your concerns / complaints.
  • Set a deadline for the resolution. Be up front with your pet boarding facility staff that you’re upset and willing to work toward a mutually-beneficial solution.
  • If your pet is ill or has health problems after their boarding stay, consult a veterinarian.
  • You may legally withhold payment until the dispute is resolved.
  • Contact your state attorney general if you are considering pressing charges against the kennel for serious grievances about the health or well-being of your pet.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Pet Boarding Services in Marin County

Each dog kennel or cat boarding facility in Marin County offers a different range of services, which may include pet boarding, training, grooming and playtime, among others. You’ll want to ask the local kennel of your choice which services and amenities they offer. To give you an idea of what’s available, the list below includes the 10 most commonly-requested pet boarding services in Marin County, including Fairfax, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur, Lucas Valley, Lagunitas, San Geronimo, Santa Venetia and Sleepy Hollow.

Dog Boarding in Marin County
Dog boarding is traditionally at a dog kennel location that accepts dogs for short-term and long-term boarding. Customers may take their dogs to Marin County dog kennels when they need to house their dogs while on vacation, during home remodeling when their pet can’t stay in their home, when guests are visiting, if they have to have medical care and temporarily can’t care for their dogs, and other times when their dogs can’t stay at home with them.

Cat Boarding
Catteries, or cat boarding facilities accept cats of all ages for long- and short-term boarding. Most pet owners board their cats while they are on vacation or during home remodeling that makes it impossible to keep their cats at home. Marin County cat boarding kennels may also be able to house together cats from the same family so that they feel more comfortable during their stay.

Small Animal Boarding
Small animals such as ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small pets including pocket pets are accepted at some local pet kennels in Marin County, including those in Novato, Mill Valley, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera and other areas. Kennels that offer small animal boarding services often have special areas that separate small animals from larger pets for their comfort.

Specialty Pet Boarding in Marin County
Pet owners who have specialty pets such as lizards, snakes, iguanas, sugar gliders, tarantulas, birds such as parrots and songbirds, hedgehogs and other rare pets may have a harder time finding boarding facilities in Marin County to accept their pets. However, some facilities may be available.

Dog Training
Board-and-train for dogs is a popular choice for dog owners who want intensive dog training or those who want their dogs to have more mental stimulation while they are kenneled. Some Marin County dog boarding facilities offer dog training for boarding dogs and during daytime visits. Call the local dog kennels and training facilities near you to find out of they offer the dog training services you want.

Doggie Daycare / Social Playgroups for Dogs
Dogs are pack animals by nature, and most enjoy the company of other dogs. For this reason, some dog kennels in Marin County offer social playgroups and doggie daycare. You may be able to arrange for dog daycare only, or for dog play sessions while your dog is boarding. If you choose a doggie daycare or social playgroup kennel facility, you’ll want to find out how the staff select the dogs that play together and how the groups are monitored.

Marin County Petsitters
Some dogs, cats, or rare pets are not good candidates for pet boarding. This may be due to age, temperament or illness. These pets may be best served by Marin County petsitters and pet sitting services in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere, Marshall, Muir Woods, San Quentin, Kentfield, Kent Woodlands and Point Reyes Station. Depending on your needs, local pet sitters may stay in your home with your dog or cat, come to your home for scheduled visits to feed and walk your pet, or take care for your pet in their home.

Dog Grooming
Dog grooming, including bathing, blowdrying, brushing, trimming, clipping, ear cleaning, nail trimming, tooth brushing and dematting, may be offered as a stand-alone service or as part of a pet boarding package. Some dog owners like to add grooming to boarding stays so that their dog is fresh and clean for pick-up. Other dogs may need daily brushing depending on their coat.

Cat Grooming
Cat grooming services include dematting, brushing, nail trimming, tooth brushing, seasonal trimming, shaving, and even bathing. As with dogs, these may be stand-alone services or paired with boarding.

Pet Hotels
Many Bay Area cities offer upscale pet boarding in the form of pet hotels. These may be luxury pet boarding kennels that include private rooms and specialty care for dogs, cats and other pampered pets. These facilities may include spa treatments, innerspring mattresses or raised beds, personalized temperature control, piped in music, personal attention and catered meals. Some even have cameras so you can view your pet’s activities while you are away.

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Glossary Of Terms
Associations and Agencies for Pet Boarding Services

There are many different options for pet boarding facilities and pet care services in the Greater Bay Area. The following glossary will help you better understand the terms—and, therefore, the options—available to you when you need to board your dog, cat, bird or exotic pet.

bird boarding
Bird boarding facilities include aviaries, bird boarding centers, bird sitting services (either in your home or in the bird care service provider’s location) and even veterinary offices. Bird boarding services include feeding, medical care, wing trimming, beak trimming, nail trimming, overnight and daytime bird sitting, and long-term bird boarding for parrots, African Grey parrots, parakeets, songbirds, lovebirds, and other pet birds.

Also known as: parrot boarding, long-term bird boarding, bird boarding facilities

bird sitting services
Like bird boarding, bird sitting services offer feeding, medical care, grooming and overnight care for pet birds. Bird sitting services tend to be short-term, including bird daycare services. Bird sitting services most commonly occur in your home or in the home or facility of the bird sitter or bird care professional, which can help sensitive birds from becoming stressed or sick.

Also known as: in-home bird sitting, parrot sitting, in-home bird care, short-term bird sitting

cat boarding
When you go on vacation, have home remodeling completed, or can’t keep you cat at home for other reasons, you may choose a local cat boarding facility to care for your cat or cats. Good cat boarding locations offer comfortable accommodations for your cat(s), feeding and medicine services, grooming, playtime and socialization. Many cat boarding facilities will allow your cats to stay together so they feel more comfortable.

Also known as: cat care, cat boarding services, cat sitting, cattery

cat sitting
While cat boarding often takes care at a pet boarding facility, cat sitting often happens at your house or at the home of a professional pet sitter. Cat sitting services often take a limited number of pets, so the care may be more personalized. These services may be short visits to feed and check on the pet’s well-being, or may be 24/7 pet sitting. Cat sitting may also be a better choice for elderly cats, or cats that don’t deal with change well, since the cat may be able to stay in your own home.

Also known as: cat boarding, cat care services, professional cat sitter

cattery
Catteries are professional housing for cats. They are usually divided into cat boarding catteries and breeding catteries. Boarding catteries, also known as cat kennels, are usually used to temporarily house cats that cannot stay in their own homes either because their owners are on vacation, having house work done, or need to have their cats cared for in another location.

Also known as: cat boarding facilities, cat kennels, cat care facilities, cat care centers

dog boarding facilities
Dog boarding facilities, sometimes called kennels, are dog care facilities where dog owners board their pets while they are on vacation or unable to keep them at home.

Also known as: dog kennels, dog boarding, pet boarding facilities, pet kennels

dog playgroups
Some dog boarding facilities and doggie daycare centers offer dog playgroups. These are social playgroups where dogs can play with other dogs. If you choose a dog kennel that offers dog playgroups, ensure that your dog will be with similar-sized dogs, only well-socialized dogs and that the playgroups are well-managed by competent professionals.

Also known as: social playgroups for dogs, dog playground, social dog boarding

doggie daycare
Dogs that cannot be left home alone, whose owners work long hours, that need extra socialization or that need temporary daytime care may be good candidates for doggie daycare. Local dog daycare centers offer daytime care for dogs of all ages and sizes, and many provide dog playgroups and other socialization.

Also known as: doggy daycare, doggie day care, social dog day care

dog sitting
Dog sitters provide short-term dog care services that can include daytime and overnight. Most dog sitting services are provided in your home, but some dogsitters prefer to bring your dog to their home. Dog sitting may be 24/7 care or can be daily visits to your home to care for pets while you are on vacation or need monitoring for your pet after vet care or during days you cannot be with your pet.

Also known as: dog daycare, in-home dog sitting, dog boarding, daytime dog sitting

dog training classes
Local dog boarding facilities and doggie daycare’s may offer dog training services. These classes should be taught by professional trainers who understand dog behavior and effective behavior modification.

Also known as: dog behavior classes, dog training, in-house dog training, train-and-board, board-and-train dog training

dog walking
Some dog owners require regular or intermittent dog walking services. These are usually provided by a dog walker coming to your home to walk your dog in your neighborhood or general area. Other dog walking services offer off-site dog walking in local parks or scenic areas. Professional dog walking services may be a good fit for individuals who work during the day and want additional stimulation for their dogs, for dogs that need more exercise, or for dogs that enjoy additional exercise and socialization while owners are gone. Dog walkers can also help keep dogs exercised for customers who have long-term or short-term medical conditions, disabilities, injuries or issues that prevent them from walking their dogs regularly.

Also known as: professional dog walking services, at-home dog walkers

grooming services
Grooming services for pets include bathing, brushing, hair trimming, blow-drys, nail cutting/nail trimming, expressing anal glands, and other personal-care duties as needed, including wing trimming and beak trimming for birds. Grooming services may come to you (mobile dog grooming, mobile cat grooming), but most are based in brick-and-mortar buildings.

Also known as: pet grooming, dog grooming, cat grooming services, dog groomers, cat groomers, mobile pet grooming services

large animal boarding 
If you own horses, livestock or other large animals, you may need special care for these animals if you can’t keep them at your home or if you go on vacation. Large animal boarding facilities accept horses and other large animals, while large animal and farm animal sitting companies provide in-home pet care for large animals so they can stay in your barn or home.

Also known as: horse boarding, farm animal boarding, in-home large animal sitting

live-in pet services
Boarding may not be possible for some pets, especially elderly pets, unsocialized pets, pets with health problems, anxious pets, pets that are too young to board, or exotic pets that aren’t accepted at most kennels. Live-in pet care services might be a good option for these pets. Live-in pet care professionals will come to your home and stay with your pet while you are gone so that your pet can be comfortable and relaxed in their own environment.

Also known as: pet sitters, in-home pet sitting

medication administration
Pets that require medication need to be in the care of a professional kennel or petsitter that will reliably and carefully administer all medication on time and in the correct manner. Most kennels offer medication administration for free or at a minimal cost, depending on the boarding facility and the medication needs. Check with your boarding facility to ensure they can give your pet his or her medication correctly and reliably.

Also known as: giving meds

pet care services
Any type of pet-related service can be considered a pet care service. These may include dog boarding, cat boarding, in-house boarding, pet grooming, dog walking, pet training and auxiliary pet care to keep pets safe, comfortable and healthy.

pet hotel
Pet hotels are luxury boarding facilities that often include private suites, innerspring mattresses or raised beds, couches and chairs, piped-in music, individualized heating and air conditioning, spa treatments and other high-end pet care services.

Also known as: pet hotels, pet resort, dog hotels, cat hotels, animal hotels, luxury pet boarding facility

pet resort
Like resorts for people, pet resorts encompass full-scale boarding, grooming, playtime and other pet care needs. Most pet resorts include playtime, such as social playgroups, swimming and exercise time. Be sure you understand all additional fees and requirements before making arrangements.

Also known as: pet hotel, pet camp, dog camp

pet sitting
In-home pet care services for dogs, cats and exotic animals. Pet sitting is a good option for pets that aren’t good candidates for traditional boarding services.

Also known as: dog sitting, cat sitting, exotic pet sitting, in-home pet sitting

pet taxi services
Pet taxis are pet transportation services that shuttle pets to and from vet appointments, kennels and boarding facilities, training appointments and other locations and appointments. Pet taxis are usually an affordable and convenient way to get your pet where he or she needs to go without having to personally shuttle him or her yourself.

Also known as: pet transportation, pet shuttles, veterinary shuttles for pets

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Dog Kennels and Cat Boarding Houses

The following questions are those most commonly asked of local pet boarding facilities, kennels and pet hotels. The answers will vary depending on facility, so be sure you ask the vital questions of each pet boarding center you’re considering.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified pet boarding kennel?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a pet kennel for your dog, cat or exotic animal with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only pet boarding facilities rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified pet boarding facilities.

Q: Can I bring my dog or cat’s own food?
A: Answers will vary depending on the kennel you choose. However, most kennels want you to bring along the food that your pet normally eats. This can prevent gastrointestinal upset and keep  your pet healthy and happy while they are boarding. Ask your dog boarding or cat boarding facility if they will allow you to bring your pet’s own food and, if so, if they prefer it in one large bag or in individual servings. You may also want to pack a few extra servings in case you are delayed in picking up your pet or if your pet is more active during their kennel stay and needs increased servings.

Q: Will you give or apply medications that my pet needs?
A: If your pet needs medications or supplements, talk with the boarding kennel about their ability to give medications. If your pet requires injections, pills, topical or other types of medications, ensure that the kennel staff are able to give the medication appropriately. You may want to show the staff how you give complicated medication, and include a schedule if your pet requires many medications or has a difficult schedule.

Q: Will you allow me to tour the kennel before I bring my pet for a stay?
A: Most kennels will allow you to tour the kennel and meet some of the staff before you book a stay. During this visit, the kennel personnel should tell you if they want you to bring your pet or leave him or her at home. Some kennels may require a day of daycare or a single overnight stay before a lengthy stay.

Q: Do you recommend a shorter stay or day visit for my pet before he or she stays for a longer visit?
A: Some kennels may require pets to visit for a day or an overnight before a longer stay. This can help your pet feel more at home when he or she stays for a longer span of time, and can help the staff get to know your pet so they are able to better care for him or her during the long stay. Talk with the pet boarding kennel of your choice about their requirements so that you know what you need to do upfront.

Q: Is your kennel temperature controlled?
A: The best local kennels have temperature controlled kennel spaces to keep dogs, cats, and other pets comfortable during their stay. This may be less important in temperate California climates than other parts of the country, but it is still wise to know if the kennel you are choosing has heat, air conditioning and adequate ventilation to keep your pet comfortable and safe in the case of extreme or inclement weather.

Q: Will my dog have indoor/outdoor access during the day? What about at night?
A: Some dog kennels offer 24/7 indoor-outdoor access. Others offer indoor-outdoor access during the day but not at night. Some only provide outdoor access during supervised walk times. You should know what kind of access your dog will have and how long he or she will be indoors without outdoor access. This is especially important if you have an older dog, one with incontinence issues or a puppy that is being potty-trained or is newly house-trained.

Q: Do you offer social playtime with other dogs?
A: Dogs are pack animals that often enjoy the company of other dogs. Many local dog kennels offer social playtime with other dogs. If that is one of the amenities offered by your pet boarding facility, you should ask careful questions about the size of the play groups, how long the dogs get to play, who decides which dogs play together and how they make that decision, how the dogs are supervised while at play, and what charges (if any) are incurred by adding playtime to your dogs schedule.

Q: Is the fee all-inclusive, or are there extra charges for playtime, feedings, medication and special extras?
A: Some pet boarding kennels offer all-inclusive services for a set fee, while others offer a la carte options that cost extra per choice. For example, playtime with other pets and people, rounds of fetch, personal dog walking, feeding your own food, medication administration, grooming and special treats may be part of the package or may each cost extra. Ask during your interview process how fees are incurred, what is included in the flat fee and what options are available. You may find that kennels with a higher flat fee but no extra charges for playtime and feedings are less expensive in the end than cheap kennels that charge for every feeding and outing.

Q: Will someone be on the premises 24 hours a day?
A: You should know if someone will be with your pet on the premises 24-hours, or if there are times when the kennel guests are unattended. If the pets are unattended, what is the kennel’s procedure for identifying and dealing with emergencies that occur during off-hours?

Q: What are your policies regarding injury, illness or changes in my pet’s health while he or she is boarding at your facility?
A: Pets can become accidentally injured or ill at even the best pet boarding facilities. What’s important is that the kennel have a policy and procedures in place to deal with injuries, illness or changes in pet health while they are boarding. Your pet kennel should be able to tell you how they handle illnesses and injury, and how they deal with pets that appear to be becoming ill or unsafely stressed during their stay. Most kennels have a relationship with a local veterinarian, although some may be able to work with your own vet if they are in close proximity. You should also confirm if the kennel will call you (or an authorized friend or family member) in case of injury or illness.

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