Even though summer is winding down, there is always the need for finding a good kennel where we feel comfortable leaving our best buddies while we are away. We have individual expectations for a kennel so finding one that fits our needs can be difficult. I will try to outline for you some criteria I feel are important when in comes to choosing your pet’s Hotel or Home Away from Home.
Cleanliness- this is one of the most important aspects when looking for a place to leave your pet. Are the facilities clean and disinfected after each pet leaves. Is the bedding washed and cleaned well between boarders. How much contact is there between runs/kennels? Disease can spread rapidly from one dog to the next so cleaning between boarders is very important.
Access to outside- Is there an area for you dog to be walked outside? Is it a fenced area where they can be let to run or at least a grassy area for a walk to relieve themselves. Having outside time is very important as this is where our pets usually do what they need to do. If there is not a place for you pet to have a 15-20 minute walk or play twice a day then is this really where you want them to be?
Are tours available- When choosing a kennel you want to be able to have a look at the facilities and where your dog will be staying. Dropping in is always the best way to view a potential kennel as you can then see them when they are not prepared. Do a trial run to see if your dog is comfortable there before you leave them for the long haul.
Does the Kennel make an effort to accommodate your pet’s special needs both medical and physical. If your dog is not good with other dogs or certain types of other dogs will they be exercised separately? If they need medication with they monitor it. If they are a senior pet does the kennel have a special needs area for them where they are checked on more frequently than the younger healthier pets. Will they take your dog to your veterinarian should the need arise? Do they have all contact info for you and make sure they will call you should ANY concern arise.
Do they require the vaccinations to be up to date INCLUDING Bordetella or kennel cough. Your dog is under stress at a kennel no matter how much they may seem to love it there. They are not at home. Making sure they are protected from disease is paramount so having vaccinations updated is very important prior to kenneling them.
Are the handlers caring and willing to work with a shy pet to make them feel safe and happy.
Will they feed your food especially if your pet is on a prescription diet. Also make sure that any treats given are acceptable. It is beneficial for you to supply you own pet’s treats and for so there are as few changes as possible.
Are they given a bath or combed through before they are picked up. Not every kennel has the facilities to bathe every dog but if your dog gets dirty or soiled then they should go home to you the same way you left them.
These are a few guidelines for you to follow when choosing a kennel. Having a majority of these in place will help keep your four legged friend happy and healthy in their home away from home as well as give you the peace of mind that they are looked after while you are away.