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 about proper pet care. All ABKA members must affirm their commitment to quality pet care, comply with all applicable laws and ordinances, and subscribe to the ABKA Code of Ethics, which establishes standards of conduct in all aspects of their professional lives.
How does ABKA help upgrade the pet care industry?
First, ABKA produces and distributes monthly publications that help your pet care provider keep abreast of the latest developments in pet care and facility management. ABKA also produces and distributes informational pamphlets and brochures and conducts seminars that help educate the public about proper pet care. ABKA’s state-of-the-art Web site offers a wealth of information and resources including pet health tips, industry suppliers, contacts with whom you can discuss pet issues, and more.
Second, ABKA maintains a complete network of national, regional, and area representatives that provide the pet care provider access to the combined experience of experts throughout the industry.
Third, ABKA conducts national and regional meetings for the pet care industry, drawing speakers and exhibitors from throughout the country. Attendees not only network with each other at these meetings, but also hear from veterinarians, suppliers, and the most respected experts in the pet care industry on the most current topics and latest products to improve pet care service.
Finally, ABKA sponsors a variety of professional programs that enable pet care facility operators and their staffs to increase their knowledge and professional competence. ABKA’s three-level education program covers a breadth of subjects from animal behavior and anatomy, to animal diseases and first aid, to personnel and business management, providing the opportunity to achieve the designations of Certified Pet Care Technician, Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician and Certified Kennel Operator. The Voluntary Facilities Accreditation Program requires applicant facilities to meet or exceed over 200 standards of compliance in 17 areas of facility operations. This extensive and exhaustive evaluation process distinguishes participating facilities as having met the highest industry standards.
What does all this mean to me and my pet?
To you, your pet care provider’s membership in ABKA means that you are dealing with a business that is committed to professionalism and a high level of ethical conduct. Through membership in ABKA, your pet care provider demonstrates a commitment to continued service improvement through support of the association’s educational programs and eagerness to be measured by ABKA’s Code of Ethics. If you should ever feel that your member facility has fallen short of this standard, your pet care provider encourages you to contact ABKA for assistance. You do not have the security of this type of public commitment unless your pet care facility is an ABKA member.
To your pet, an ABKA facility means clean, friendly accommodations, exercise, a chance to see other pets vacationing from their owners, and yet enough maintenance of the pet’s routine to be comfortable and relaxed during a visit. Most ABKA member facilities also offer a variety of other quality services, such as grooming, training, and pet supplies.
Look for the ABKA membership certificate and Code of Ethics proudly displayed in your pet care facility’s office. It’s your assurance of professional care by people who love pets as much as you do, and who stand behind the ABKA Code of Ethics.

ABKA Code of Ethics
All ABKA member kennels subscribe to and are governed by the following Code of Ethics. The ABKA Ethics Committee enforces this code and encourages inquiries should these standards not be met by a member kennel.

As a member of ABKA, I recognize that, in order to fulfill my obligations to the animals in my care, to my customers, to the pet care services industry, and to my community, both my business and personal life must be governed by honorable standards. Therefore, I solemnly pledge:

  • To provide conscientious care for the animals entrusted to me, being constantly attentive to their security, safety, and well being, and to place their welfare above all other business considerations.
  • To take every opportunity to learn more about my profession and to improve my services.
  • To deal honestly and fairly with the public, and to avoid misrepresentation of my services.
  • To respect the confidence of every customer served.
  • To place service to my customers and to the pet care services industry above personal gain.
  • To avoid unfair competitive practices, any slander or defamation of my competitors, and actions or business practices that would result in dishonor upon or distrust of my competitors or of the pet care services industry in general.
  • To support my association, its policies and programs, and to participate as fully as possible in its activities.
  • To be respectful of, and to cooperate with the other professions and trades which operate within the pet industry, in every way consistent with my other responsibilities.
  • To obey all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing animal care and business practices.
  • To operate my business in such a manner as to reflect honor upon the pet care services industry within my local community.
  • To encourage responsible pet ownership, and to promote, especially through the charitable programs of ABKA, an increased public awareness and acceptance of humane and noble animal programs.