Preparation Tips to Ease Pet Parents, plus Adorable Photos to Share

People are crazy in love with their pets, as evidenced by the cute photos received when readers were asked to share images of some of their favorite times with their fur babies. However, several of the adored pets had feathers rather than fur, which was so fun to see! Whatever your preferred pets, we agree with the value received from the unconditional love they provide. Please give your pet an extra hug today for us!

Due to our close bond with pets, we all realize it’s challenging to not worry about them when we have to part ways, either for a brief planned or longer unplanned stay away from the home. Getting mentally and emotionally prepared may be the key. One local pet facility caters to the hopes, questions and concerns pet parents have. 

Kennelwood Pet Resorts’ credo embodies trust, commitment and loving care. And Kennelwood team members provide all three deliverables to pets and their humans from eight locations, including one at Chesterfield at 4 Clarkson Wilson Center.

“We know how important it is to find the right caregiver for your pet,” says Meghan Dyonzak, Kenelwood marketing director. “You want to know your pet is safe, comfortable, and most of all cared for, just like they are at home. We understand that and take great pride in our professional staff, ongoing staff educational and training programs and our 24/7 care 365 days a year.”

Serving the Greater St. Louis area since 1974,  five of the Kennelwood locations offer on-site boarding, grooming, day camp and training services.

Meghan says the Chesterfield Kennelwood facility provides on-site grooming, day camp and training, along with complimentary FETCH Shuttle services to and from the company’s resort at Page and Lindbergh for boarding.

She says they also specialize in pet care services, such as SHED-X treatments, Invisible Fence pet containment solutions, and home pick-up and delivery options.

The Kennelwood Spa located inside of the Humane Society of Missouri’s headquarters at Macklind Avenue offers grooming services for both customers and rescue pets being cared for at the facility. A portion of this spa’s proceeds helps the shelter pets there.

Knowing how gut-wrenching it can be for pet owners to part with their fur babies, Chesterfield Lifestyle asked Meghan about tips for softening the blow.

People are so close to their pets, it’s difficult to feel completely OK about boarding them. What should pet owners consider and do prior to speaking with a boarding facility about a reservation?

We recommend a tour of our facilities. We don’t require an appointment for tours, as we are tour-ready at all times and are completely transparent with customers about the care we provide to their pets. Our professionally trained staff are present in all five of our overnight boarding resorts. We believe it’s important to have staff present and actively caring for the pets around the clock. Not all boarding facilities provide that level of care! Kennelwood requires all dogs and cats to have current vaccinations, including Bordetella and Canine Influenza vaccination for dogs. We strive to provide a safe and healthy environment, and we feel our vaccinations requirements help to ensure all the pets in our care are protected.

What type of paperwork should be secured or updated before boarding?

Current vaccination records, for sure, and a detailed list of medications your pet is currently taking. This is most important if Kennelwood will be administering these medications during your pet’s stay. Contact information is also important to update. If pet parents are leaving the state or country, it’s good to have a local contact in case of an emergency as well. It’s also important to make sure your pet’s veterinarian contact information is current.

Are there ways to prepare the dog at home for boarding, essentially making it less stressful for them? What should be taken along, such as favorite toys or blankets?

We suggest pet parents take their pet in for a day at the spa or a day camp at the Kennelwood facility the pet will be staying as a way to acclimate themselves with our staff, the facility and the other sights and sounds of a boarding facility. At Kennelwood, we alleviate any anxiety that may occur for both you and your pet when they board with us for the first time. That’s why we offer our free Pet SleepOver Orientation prior to your pet’s actual vacation. Remember your first time going to sleepaway camp? It can rattle the nerves, and pets can experience the same emotions when being boarded for the first time. At Kennelwood Pet Resorts, we understand this and want to alleviate any anxiety for both pet parents and pets. That’s why we provide free pet sleepovers for pets to test-drive the experience. Your pet will spend the night with us and be treated to a personalized play time, a Yappy Hour, a Bizzy Bone and even a visit to the spa for a complimentary bath. When you pick up your pet the next day, you’ll receive a thorough report on their overnight visit. We welcome your pet’s favorite toys, treats, blankets and other bedding, too.

There are many amenities and boarding choices these days. What’s the best way to decide among them?

You know your pet best. Is your pet a social butterfly, or does he or she prefer to relax? We recommend that while your pet stays with us, he or she keep a similar routine to the one at home. Activities such as day camp, training and personal play time will help to keep your pet active and entertained during the stay. For pets who prefer more one-on-one time, training sessions or personal play times are best suited for them. You can keep your pet looking and feeling great with a visit to the spa before going home, or keep up on brushing with scheduled maintenance brushes throughout your pet’s stay. Treats are always a fun amenity. Our Yappy Hour treat is a specially formulated probiotic frozen yogurt designed to be easy on your pet’s stomach. Our Bizzy Bone is a fun and entertaining treat of mashed potatoes stuffed inside a Kong toy. We want your pet to feel at home when they stay at Kennelwood, and our amenities are designed to pamper your pet while you’re away.

Once a dog is boarding, how often do you recommend pet owners check webcams or call in to see how their baby is doing? How often is too often?

We welcome pet parents to check in on their pet as often as they would like. We’re happy to provide updates to pet parents during our regular business hours. Our webcams are on from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., after which most dogs are asleep in their room for the evening and lighting is dimmer. Our private villa accommodations come with a personal attendant who will email or text photos and updates as often as pet parents wish. It’s important for pet parents to trust their pet care provider, so they can actually relax and enjoy their vacation, too.

What tips do you have about drop-off? In other words, how do we pet owners do it without tearing up?

Don’t wait until you’re in a time crunch to drop your pet off. Give yourself plenty of time to go over instructions, have any questions answered and to say goodbye or see you later to your pet before we take them to their room or activity. If you haven’t already been on a tour, ask to meet the manager, trainer or other staff member who will be responsible for caring for your pet.

What’s the No. 1 question people ask your Kennelwood team about pet boarding?

Is he/she going to be in his room the whole time? Of course, we offer many activities and treats to keep your pet entertained during their stay. Our accommodations are more like a room in your home rather than a cage. Potty breaks happen often as well. However, even if a pet parent didn’t sign their pet up for day camp or other special activities, our professionally trained staff are pet lovers. They will treat your pet just like family. As an example, when our staff goes into your pet’s room to give them fresh water or turn down the covers, this is also an opportunity to interact with your pet—pet them, love on them, talk to them and provide the attention your pet is used to receiving at home.