The following articles were originally posted on the American Boarding Kennel Association web site. While the ABKA is no longer an active organization, these articles help answer many of the questions we hear from pet owners, so we wanted to share them with you!

Let’s Talk About the ABKA

Because your pet care provider believes that your pet deserves the most attentive, knowledgeable and conscientious care possible and that your pet care facility should be an ethical, professional business, he or she has joined with other pet care providers across the country who share that belief through ABKA membership. What is ABKA? ABKA is the nonprofit trade association for pet care professionals. Founded in 1977 by a group of concerned individuals within the boarding kennel industry, ABKA now unites almost 3,000 individuals and businesses providing a variety of pet care services throughout the United States and around the globe. What does ABKA do? ABKA is dedicated to upgrading the pet care industry and educating the public … [Read more...]

Boarding Your Dog

Today, more and more concerned pet owners are choosing to board their dogs at boarding kennels. Kennel managers who belong to ABKA are professional pet-care providers who make a public commitment to quality pet care and who subscribe to the ABKA Code of Ethics and the Bill of Rights for Pets in Boarding or Daycare Facilities. Their kennels often offer a variety of pet care services such as daycare, pet sitting, special exercise programs, cat boarding, grooming, retail sales, training, and pet shipping. What are the advantages of boarding your dog? The vast majority of dogs adapts well and enjoys their stay at the kennel. For some dogs—puppies which have not had their immunizations, extremely old dogs with chronic illnesses, very aggressive … [Read more...]

Boarding Your Cat

For a variety of reasons, more people are discovering the delight of living with cats. In urban areas, apartment dwellers find that cats offer companionship, without the need for frequent outdoor exercise periods. In rural areas, cats still fulfill their function as rodent catchers for many households. If you are a cat owner, you are undoubtedly very attached to your furry roommate. However, there will be times when you will have to make arrangements for your cat’s care when you are traveling on business, vacations, or when you host out-of-town guests who are allergic to cats. Therefore, you should examine some of the facts about cat care that will help you to understand the advantages of boarding your cat with an ABKA member pet care … [Read more...]

Boarding Geriatric Pets

Being away from home can be more stressful for older pets than for younger ones. They are more set in their ways, and their patterns more deeply ingrained. Dogs and cats love patterns—knowing what is going to happen, and when—and changing those patterns can upset them. Additionally, geriatric pets are more likely to have underlying health problems. Deafness and blindness are not uncommon in senior pets. Kidney, heart, and liver disease are often associated with age. Arthritis and other degenerative conditions can make it difficult for them to get around. Boarding, especially if your pet has never been boarded or boarded infrequently, may cause these conditions to become apparent or worsen. Caring for older or stressed pets Most pet care … [Read more...]

Dog Day Care

The trend in American society today seems to be work, work, work, and this requires leaving the loyal family dog at home for extended periods of time. Owners then come home to find a stressed out pooch, rampant destruction, either of the house, or the yard, and neighbors who complain of barking and howling due to separation anxiety. After working your 10 to 12 hours, you then need to exercise your pet—even in inclement weather. You’ve heard about dog daycare. You’re thinking about it, but are you sure it’s right for you and your dog? This article is designed to give some insight into the growing trend of dog daycare facilities and their benefits, to help you decide if daycare is for you and your dog, and to help you choose the best option … [Read more...]

Canine Cough

One of the public relations problems for pet care facilities continues to be a much misunderstood disease in dogs called “canine cough,” tracheobronchitis, or often improperly referred to as “kennel cough.” As a dog owner you should be aware of some of the facts about this disease. What is “Canine Cough?” Infectious tracheobronchitis is a highly contagious, upper-respiratory disease that is spread by any one of three infectious agents (parainfluenza, adenovirus, or Bordetella) or any combination thereof—most often passed on through the air, it can also be transmitted on hands or clothing. The incubation period of the disease is roughly three to ten days and an infected pet may be contagious for three weeks after showing the first signs … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Bloat

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), commonly called “bloat” (also sometimes referred to as a gastric torsion), is a life-threatening emergency that commonly affects dogs. It occurs primarily in large, deep-chested breeds. GDV occurs without warning and is very difficult to treat. What is GDV? Gastric dilatation-volvulus is an acute swelling of the stomach. The stomach fills rapidly with excessive gas, which distorts and enlarges it. The stomach is not able to rid itself of the excess gas and may twist on its axis, causing obstructions at each end of the stomach (“volvulus’’ refers to the twisting motion). Therefore both the esophagus and intestines may become twisted shut. A dog may appear uncomfortable, pace or salivate at this time. … [Read more...]


Grooming is an extremely important, but much-misunderstood art and science. Your ABKA professional groomer would like you to understand more about this service that can improve your dog’s health, appearance and social acceptance. The following questions are the most frequently asked, and the answers should help clarify some of the more common misconceptions about grooming. Why should I have my dog groomed? Most pet owners confuse “grooming” with “clipping.” Clipping (which is commonly done to poodles, spaniels, terriers, as well as to mixed breed dogs), is only one procedure in the grooming process. Grooming also includes combing and brushing, cutting nails, plucking hair from ears, and parasite control. (Many groomers feel that teeth … [Read more...]

Respiratory Infections in Cats

Upper respiratory infections (“colds”) are the most common cat disease. In fact, the feline distemper vaccine protects for the most common and widely recognized forms, although there are new viruses and bacterial infections being evolved constantly. As a cat owner you should be aware of some facts about these infections. What is an upper respiratory infection? Commonly abbreviated to URI, upper respiratory infections are often highly contagious diseases spread by airborne viruses. The incubation period is approximately three to seven days from exposure to the first obvious symptoms. Sneezing, eye discharge, and nasal discharge characterize URIs. Depending on the virus causing the disease, signs may last from a few days to a couple of … [Read more...]

Puppy Warts

Dogs that lead social lives are exposed to various viruses, bacteria’s and parasites more frequently than their counterparts that lounge at home in solitude. This includes going to the dog parks, dog daycare, boarding facilities, puppy socials, training classes—even the aisles at the local pet store! Just because Fido lounges at home does not mean he is safe from all illness only that he has a lower probability of exposure. What are puppy warts? Puppy warts (Canine Papilloma Virus) are typically benign. They can be compared to chicken pox in humans. Generally, once the dog is exposed to the virus and presents with warts, the dog does not get them again. Don’t worry, you can’t catch puppy warts from your dog! Commonly the virus is found … [Read more...]