Leaving your pet in the care of another is always a tough decision. If you’re heading out of town for a business trip, vacation, or to visit friends and family for the holidays, the unfortunate truth is that you may end up having to board your pet. When boarding is the only option available, it is important to carefully vet your options. Trusting your boarding center will go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable when you drop your furry companion off before catching your flight. First, ask around. Your friends, neighbors, and dog park companions will likely have experience with boarding kennels and can make recommendations. Second, determine whether your state requires inspections of boarding facilities. If so, double-check that the kennel you’re checking out has passed its inspections and is properly certified. Next, schedule an in-person tour of the facility. While on your tour, check for cleanliness, behavior of employees toward pets, temperature control, light and ventilation, separation of cats and dogs, bedding options, and vaccination requirements. It’s also good to find out if pets can have their own food brought in, and how the staff handles medical emergencies. Once you’re sure about the location, you can book your appointment. Remember that boarding facilities book well in advance during high-traffic seasons (like the holidays), so start your search early.