Angie's List: Pet boarding

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Boarding your pets overnight or for a longer stay can help them avoid the stress of a long car or plane trip to your destination.

Branna and Dennis Shores love Riley, but they don't want him tagging along for their first anniversary trip out of town.

"We needed to find boarding for him for the first time," Branna said.

Riley was adopted and the couple knows he was abused in his past. Picking a boarding facility that understands Riley's fears is important for the Avon couple.

"His temperament was somewhat unknown to us, if they would just keep a real eye on him before integrating him with the other animals there. We were told that they would do a temperament testing on him before they ever integrated him with the other dogs so that really put us at ease," Branna said.

"Once you have it narrowed down to a couple of kennels you like go visit even take your pet with you to visit so you can find out whether it's going to be a good match for your pet," said Angie Hicks with Angie's List.

Hicks reminds pet owners to know the difference between a doggie daycare and a kennel. Daycares offer more time outside of cages to play with other dogs, while kennels keep dogs separated, with times blocked out for exercise. It's also important to know what vaccinations all the dogs must have and be sure to ask about food.

"Dogs do better if they stay on the same diet, so we ask people to bring the dog's food and if not, we have our house brand," said pet boarder Robin Herman.

If you're afraid you will miss your pet too much and are tech savvy, ask if the boarding facility has a webcam on their website. Many now do and you can watch your pet from your computer where ever you are.

Once you pick a boarding facility, be sure to get a written contract outlining the price you are expected to pay and who is responsible for vet bills if you dog gets hurt or sick.

For cat owners, there are specific questions you should ask prior to boarding, such as, "Are cats housed away from dogs?" and "Is there enough space for the cat to move around comfortably and access the litter box?"

Again, it's best to test a boarding facility for your cat or dog with an overnight stay before you head out on your long trip.