If you are struggling financially due to COVID-19 then please call us on 0344 557 0300 or visit our FAQS.

Animal Friends Blog


Choosing the best kennels & dog sitters

a poodle and its owner

While we wish our dogs could go everywhere with us, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There are times where our dogs have to stay behind or have a sleepover and you want to make sure you find the best accommodation for them, whether it’s a sitter or boarding kennel.

How do I choose a suitable dog kennel?

Licensed dog kennels in England are required to meet certain standards following some Regulation changes in 2018. There are still things to look out for and consider before booking your dog’s stay at the local kennel.

As a guideline your dog should:

  • Have access to their own, clean, sleeping area
  • Be looked after by sufficiently trained staff
  • Have a kennel that’s big enough for all dogs to sit and stand at full height, lie down fully stretch out, wag their tail, walk and turn around
  • Enjoy one walk a day outside of their kennel
  • Have their own kennel unit unless your dog is sharing with another dog from your household
  • Have access to toys
  • Eat a suitable diet and have access to clean water
  • Expect protection from suffering
  • Have been vaccinated

a beagle listening for commands

How do I pick a suitable dog sitter?

Just like kennels, licensed dog sitters have guidelines to follow that benefit the pets they care for, too.

If your dog stays at a home boarding business, they must have/be:

  • Have their own room in the house if they need to be separated from other dogs
  • Have their own, clean, warm and comfortable area within a room
  • Be exercised at least once a day
  • Have been vaccinated

How to assess a kennel or home boarder?

Always visit

It’s a good idea to visit the potential boarding service you’re thinking about using and meeting the person or staff that will be looking after your dog. This way you’ll be able to see where your dog will be staying, and you’ll be able to ask questions or raise any concerns you may have.

Validate the business

If you’re unable to find or have no been provided, an address for the boarding service or things are a little too vague for your liking then check with your council to see if the business exists and if they’re licenced.

Check the licence

It’s not rude to ask to see a copy of their licence, after all, you’re just doing what’s best for your dog. All licensed kennels or home boarders will have a paper copy of their licence, but this can also be emailed to you.

Ask the community

Asking your friends, social communities or your vet for recommendations can give you a good idea for the best kennels or sitters in your area but remember, the best ones are usually booked up quickly.

Follow your gut instinct

You know your dog better than anyone else – if you feel uneasy about kennel or dog sitter, or there’s just something that doesn’t sit right then walk away and look elsewhere… Your dog’s happiness is the number 1 priority when considering someone else to look after them, so take your time and make sure it’s the best it can be.

Keep an eye out on our blog for more charity visits, product reviews and pet advice or head over to our Facebook page for updates on our latest campaigns and giveaways.

We have a range of pet insurance policies to suit your needs

Get a quote


Hello, lovely readers, I'm Catrin George. I'm a treat dispenser and walk giver to Marvel, the border collie. I'm here to give you the latest updates and low downs on anything and everything pet related, whether they miaow, woof, or neigh. The blogs will be filled with news, reviews, and charity visits with some discounts and giveaways squeezed in-between. So, keep your eyes peeled here!

You may also like