A holiday is coming and you need to find a good canine kennel nearby where you can board your dog. The good news is that there are a number of good dog boarding kennels that you can choose from. But how do you decide which one to pick?
We’ve put together a list of 5 very important things that you should look into in choosing dog kennels.
1. How is the dog boarding kennel run?
How many staff are in the facility?
Does the facility operate 24 hours a day?
Usually, boarding kennels do not have personnel supervising the place at all hours. Each kennel follows a different set of standard operating procedures. Some may have a staff checking on the pens at some point during the night or monitor through surveillance cameras.
Ask the prospective boarding kennels about:
- How they generally operate during the day and night? Will there be staff keeping an eye?
- What is the staff to animal ratio? Ideally, it should be 1 staff to 10 dogs maximum.
- What they usually do when there are pet emergencies, like sudden sickness?
- How they check on your dog, the frequency of the monitoring, and what things are monitored?
- How often are the dogs fed, can they follow your feeding rountin?
- What other services are included? Do they provide appropriate services for dogs with special needs?
- How often do they give updates about your pooch during his stay?
2. What are the kennel staff like?
Are the staff well trained, patient and knowledgeable about dogs and pet care? Formal certification is not required for dog kennel staff. However, they should be knowledgeable about their job and the dogs under their care. Observe their attitude and their attentiveness. Are they friendly and patient?
Good dog boarding facility staff are genuinely interested in dogs.
- Are they confident when communicating with your dog?
- Do they ask you details about your dog and his likes and dislikes?
- Do they show interest in knowing about your dog’s routine, favourite toys, and diet?
- Do they ask about medications and vaccination history?
- Are they attentive to the animals in their facility?
3. What are the dog kennel’s credentials?
Does the pet boarding facility have the required licence? Is it up to date? Does it have accreditations? Is the establishment insured? Request to see the kennel licence and certification if they are not displayed prominently.
In selecting a pet boarding facility, it is recommended that you choose among duly licensed kennels. Such establishments have already gone through checks and inspections by the local council or a vet. You can search online based on your location. You can ask for recommendations from family and friends or fellow dog walkers who have gone through the same process.
4. Will my dog be comfortable there?
The dog kennel must be clean, warm, well ventilated, and has sufficient lighting. You must check the canine living area and see whether:
- Each run has sufficient room for a dog or whether each dog is in an adequately sized unit.
- Indoor runs have bedding and boards to allow dogs to lie without touching the concrete ground. Each run should accommodate only one dog.
- Outdoor runs are shielded from the elements (rain, wind, and snow).
- The area is warm, dry, free of draughts, clean, and secure.
- There is a working heat detector or smoke alarm.
- The dogs present in the runs are well cared for and happy.
Check the play and exercise areas as well. Are they clean, spacious, well-lit, and well-ventilated? Are they safe?
5. Can the dog boarding facility keep my pet safe and healthy?
The staff to animal ratio and the state of the facility’s amenities are big factors to consider. To assess whether your dog will be the same healthy and happy pet you left, ask the following:
- How often will your dog be exercised?
- What will they do if a dog gets sick under their care?
- Do they require all canine tenants to be vaccinated prior to admittance to the kennel?
- Are the runs positioned so the dogs are not facing each other? The pens should prevent canine pets from nosing or pawing at each other.
- How often are the runs cleaned? How are they cleaned?
- What are their sanitary practices to prevent the spread of disease? There should be a strict hand-washing policy and appropriate gear for sanitation.
- Do they have a veterinarian on call?
If your dog has not yet been immunized, you should arrange for this ahead of time. This is because it takes time for the vaccinations to take effect. An adult canine animal, no matter the dog breed, should have had hepatitis, distemper, parvovirus, and leptospirosis shots already. If your dog has not received these shots yet, schedule them at least 5 weeks in advance. If he has been inoculated, his annual booster shots should be done at least 14 days before boarding a kennel.
Most dog kennels will require your dog to be inoculated against kennel cough. Should you have your dog vaccinated against this condition, schedule the injection 2 weeks before boarding.
If your dog requires special care or is taking medication, inform the establishment. This is so they can continue to provide the necessary care to your pet. Bring the medications and provide them with specific instructions on when and how to administer them.
A Parting Shot
Once you find a suitable dog boarding kennel, use the same facility for the next occasions. This allows your dog to be more settled in a familiar environment. To ensure your pet will have a pleasant time at the kennel you have selected, do a trial run. Try leaving him there for one weekend and observe how he takes the experience. Just make sure he already has the necessary vaccinations by then. Bring his favourite toy to make him feel relaxed. You can also bring something that has your scent so he feels more comforted when he is away from home.
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