7 On Your Side: Picking the perfect animal kennel

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Since we consider our pets part of the family, many of us don't want to go away for a few days, have a great time and think about dogs being bummed out.

Finding the right kennel that is a fun place for our companion animals is important. But how do you find a good one?

"There are a lot of great kennels here in the Bay Area and most of the kennels that we evaluated in our last report rated very highly by their customers for quality," said Kevin Brasler, with Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook.

Wunderbar's Pet Hotel in Walnut Creek is owned and operated by Mindy Coath. She says take a tour before selecting a kennel.

"It shouldn't smell. It should have a clean smell because animals are clean. Look for a staff who is really into the animals," advised Coath.

"When they go on tours, they should be able to bring their pet along so they can take a tour, meet the staff, check out the play yard and see if it is a perfect match for them," she said.

In Checkbook's latest edition, Wunderbar's Pet Hotel was one of only two kennels to get check marks for both price and quality.

"Some kennels charge twice as much as their nearest competitors for the same stay and this adds up to a lot of money, especially if you are going to be a way for a week. It is a couple hundred dollars per dog, these price differences," explained Brasler.

Also, Brasler says to check to see which days the kennel is open. Many are closed on Sunday, which means you can be billed for an extra day's stay since you can't pick up your pet that day.

Through special arrangement with KGO-TV, Bay Area Consumers' CHECKBOOK is providing, for a limited time, our full report and ratings of kennels to KGO-TV viewers at no charge. CHECKBOOK's mission is to help consumers find service providers that provide high quality work at reasonable prices. To access your free report on area kennels, click here.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
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