- Pets and Animals
Dog Kennels for Boarding
Dog Kennels – When are they the right choice?
As a dog owner myself, I know how gut-wrenching it can be to leave your dog behind when going on a trip. After all, are they going to be well taken care of? Or maybe you need a solution for what to do during the day, when you’re at work for 8 hours plus. The following hub will hopefully help you to feel more comfortable to make the choice of to kennel or not to kennel.
Your Dog’s Persona
Obviously, you may face a problem with dog kennels if your dog is shy or not properly socialized. Also, your dog may act differently when you are around than when you’re not, acting more nervous without his human companion nearby, or more aggressive. Hyperactive dogs, also, would probably not be that good in a kennel unless they have special accommodations for such dogs, as they can rile up other dogs and create anarchy, trying the patience of the kennel attendant. Puppies often fall under the same category.
Some dog kennels may offer a first time special, where you are offered a discounted price for your first few visits. They may come with stipulations that your dog has to come a few times, but it is a good gauge to see how your dog would fair in a kennel environment. Signs to look for of an unhappy dog is ears back, tail under, a crouching walk, and not engaging with other dogs. If you can see the whites of their eyes, this is usually do to nervousness or aggression. Ask if he has been excessively barking or howling while at the shelter. You might want to reconsider putting your dog in a kennel while your away if he or she shows any of these symptoms.
A last note – dogs with allergies, even under control, can succumb to a relapse under a dog boarding kennel environment, so they are probably not good for kennel life, either.
Choosing Between the Many Dog Kennels
Some dog kennels double as a doggie day care. If you plan on leaving on trips as well as working long days, you may want to search for such dog kennels, as the dog will be more accustomed to going there, and saying goodbye before a trip would be easier on him. When visiting a kennel, ask for a tour. You’ll want to take into account the environment, cleanliness, room, and possible overcrowding.
The environment range from indoor, indoor and outdoor, as well as large and small. It might be to your benefit to ask if they separate dog sizes in kennel areas. One with room to roam outside is probably a better fit. If they don’t have outside space, ask if they are taken for walks, and how many dogs are taken for a walk each time. Ask how many kennel attendants there are to each area. If an area is split between outside and inside, ask if there is an attendant for both indoors and outdoors. Make sure you watch how the kennel attendants interact with the dogs. If an attendant is not necessarily smiling at you, that may not mean they are bad with dogs. In fact, they probably prefer dogs to people. Watch to see if she is diligent in her duties, watching after dogs, cleaning up after their messes, making sure play doesn't break into fights, and noting off behavior of dogs.
Cleanliness is key, as dogs are not going to be delicately tiptoeing over messes. There are a host of diseases that can spring from unclean practices. Check to make sure they are cleaning up after the dogs as soon as possible when a mess is spotted. Ask how often they do a thorough cleaning. A good measure of how often they clean is the amount of pet hair and gunk built up in corners. A certain amount is okay – they deal with a lot of dogs on a daily basis, but gunk is a good indicator.
Remember, the more room they have, the better. If they are boarding dogs in small individual kennels at night, make sure the dog at least has room to move around and not have to be in the same space as their waste is.
When I worked at a kennel, one of the major problems was overcrowding. During the summer or other holidays, the sleepy little kennel that once seemed like a good place for your dog to romp may no longer be so. Now, it may be chaos linked together by only one kennel attendant for forty or fifty dogs. Ask about whether they put a cap on how many dogs they allow in at one time, and see if you can get a tour during a time when overcrowding is possible. Accidents happen or dogs get left behind when there is overcrowding.
What to ask
Ask about escape plans in case of fire. I’ve never heard of a fire at a kennel before, but when I worked in one, and we were up to our arms in dogs, I asked what would happen in case of emergency. The answer? Nothing. It’s something that is overlooked and would cause me to lose sleep at night. Ask about an escape plan. Maybe this will encourage a kennel not to overcrowd, as well.
Hidden fees might also get you. Ask if they require you to bring the dogs food, and the cost if you don’t. The kennel I worked at required the dogs to wear a quick release collar, and if the dog came in with a different collar for the day, they would replace it with the right collar at the owner’s expense. On the subject of collars, ask about policies on collars. Collars can be dangerous, especially in a group setting. Dogs may entangle their jaws in other dog’s collars, causing strangulation. Breakaway collars may be the best choice, as even quick release collars can be difficult to get off when tightened. Read more about collar choices here.
What vaccinations are required? This is important to know, to see how well they are trying to protect the dogs in a group environment. While it may not be possible to stop the spread of fleas, ask if they require preventative measures. And what will be done if there is an emergency with your dog? Also, is there any extra costs aside from vet fees for taking them to a vet. Which vet do they take your dog to?
Is the boarding facility licensed, bonded, and insured? And how high are the fences? Where I once worked, they had to add 6 more feet to the fences because of one dog who always managed to jump the fences.
If you don’t think that boarding kennels for dogs are right for your dogs, or are worried about putting your dog in one, you might want to consider going a different route.
If you hire a pet sitter, you might want one who will stay in your home while you are away. Dogs need to be taken out regularly, after all. Or maybe you can get one that comes twice a day if you plan on leaving your dog outside in a home kennel or a fenced in backyard. Also, you can have them take your dog for walks to help him or her burn that energy, and if you have other pets, you don’t have to worry about them, either. And someone is checking on your house regularly, just to give you a little more piece of mind.
Have a relative or a friend watch after him. Ideally, they would do so in the dog’s own home so he would be more comfortable, but if not, your friend might have room in their house to take your dog in. Plus your dog already if familiar with this person, and probably more at ease.
Hopefully you will be able to have a bon voyage now knowing your dog will be safe in your choice of the many dog kennels available.
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