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Tips for finding the right kennel

Monday - 4/2/2012, 6:19am  ET

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Make sure you know the kennel's pick-up procedures. They could have an impact on when you return from your vacation. (AP)

WASHINGTON - Summer is just around the corner, and unless you're taking your dog or cat with you on vacation, you're probably looking for a kennel.

Washington Consumers' Checkbook says it's important to shop around before you decide on which kennel to use.

To board a medium-size dog, Checkbook's secret shoppers received quotes from $119 to $406. Extra services, such as more exercise or giving pets medication, add up quickly.

Consumers' Checkbook says it's important to see the facility before you decide to leave your pet there.

You need to size up the staff and make sure the proper health protections are in place.

It should be a total deal-breaker for you if the kennel won't let you see the facilities, especially if it won't let you see where your pet will be staying.

There are options other than kennels as well. You can always take your pet with you, or you can have friends or relatives watch your pet at your home or theirs.

Consumers' Checkbook, which requires an online subscription, rates 90 kennels in its latest edition. The magazine is available at area newsstands.

WTOP's David Burd, who owns a kennel in Urbana, Md., contributed to this report. Follow David and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Tags: petsdogscatskenneldavid burd