By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —Before many of us plan a vacation, we do our homework. We can read reviews of hotels before we book them and even find out how often our airline is on-time. But when it comes to where your pet will be spending your vacation, chances are you’re flying blind.
Traveling can be stressful enough without worrying about how your pet will fare without you. So we teamed up with non-profit Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook to find out which Delaware Valley kennels pet owners can trust.
When it comes to leaving your pet with strangers, all kennels aren’t created equal.
“There are big differences in the quality of these kennels, and you want to choose a good one,” says Robert Krughoff, President of Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook.
When Checkbook surveyed its readers on kennel quality, according to Krughoff, “Many kennels were actually rated superior by more than 90 percent of their customers. But there were quite a few kennels where that was in the 40 to 50 percent range.”
Prices can vary significantly, too. For example, Checkbook researchers were quoted between $119 and $315 to board a Springer spaniel for a week.
“There is no reason to pay twice as much, because you can get great service at a low priced kennel,” says Krughoff.
Of the 66 kennels rated by Checkbook, seven kennels were rated tops for quality and price, including Breezewood Kennels in Medford, New Jersey.
“Make priority number one the care of the dogs, and you’re not going to have to do a whole load of advertising, because word of mouth is going to travel,” says Breezewood’s co-owner Jeff Clements.
The six other Delaware Valley area kennels that received Checkbook’s top rating for quality and price are:
Halo House Animal Resort in Franklinville, NJ
Barney’s Kennels & Grooming in Mount Holly, NJ
Ben-Jee Kennels in Tylersport, PA
West Chester Animal Hospital in West Chester PA
Lums Pond Animal Hospital in Bear, DE
Pike Creek Animal Hospital in Newark, DE.
Checkbook warns customers to be wary of any kennel that won’t allow you inspect its facilities unannounced during regular operating hours.
Complimentary access for CBS 3 viewers to check the full list of the 66 kennels that Checkbook rated is available until 3/19 . After that, membership on the site will be required. Simply visit: www.checkbook.org/cbs3/kennel