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Is there still time to board your dog for the holidays?

Thursday - 11/1/2012, 9:41am  ET

holly (WTOP Photo/Colleen Kelleher)

For pets: Boarding and post-Sandy flooding

Katie Nelson, WTOP's Dr. Paws

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Randi Martin, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - If you're thinking of boarding your dog for the holidays, you may be too late.

"I've had to turn away, I'd say, a half dozen new people," says Diane Wood, with Wag-a-Tail Vacations in Upper Marlboro.

At Dogtopia in Alexandria, owner Jeff Lutten tells WTOP, "We have one or two slots left for Thanksgiving. And for Christmas, we're about three-quarters of the way booked."

Both Lutten and Wood say they started taking reservations in the summer. And both kennels are only dealing with their regular rovers and not taking in any new dogs.

Lutten says most reputable facilities will fill up early.

But WTOP's Dr. Paws, Katie Nelson, says it is still possible for pet owners to secure a spot for their favorite friend.

But pet owners have options, says WTOP's Dr. Paws, Katie Nelson. But there are things you can do, says WTOP's Dr. Paws, Katie Nelson.

"But my recommendation is to start looking today, do not delay," Nelson says.

Remember all vaccinations need to be up to date. You may try pet sitters that will stay at your house. Or try dogvacay.com, a new service in D.C. that trades dog-sitting.

"There are lots of options out there, you just have to look for them," she says.

She also suggests asking your vet about boarding options for the holidays and be sure to check out any new facilities online. Read reviews before leaving your dog there, Nelson says.

Nelson also recommends owners ask to see where your pet will be boarded. She says it's a red flag if they won't. Even if they hesitate to grant you access, walk away, she says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)