Dog Boarding What to Look for in a Kennel

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Dog Boarding What to Look for in a Kennel

by Robert Knechtel

Inevitably for many of us, a time will come when we and our pooch must part ways for a few days. If we are old hands at this, we may be satisfied with our current dog boarding situation, but might ask ourselves whether we really know what goes on behind the kennel door.

Keep in mind that many kennels are heavily booked during the summer and holiday seasons, sometimes as much as a year in advance. Give yourself time well in advance to visit the boarding facility.

Bear in mind that larger kennels, despite telling you otherwise, often do not have the staffing and time to furnish the level of human care and contact you would like,. Smaller kennels, where the owner takes part, are often better at delivering one on one attention. Having no more than about 20 runs is a good indication that individualized care is being given, all other things being equal.

Ask Questions: Some kennels overbook, in which case you may find that some of the dogs are simply crated to accommodate the overflow. You need to inquire about this.

Naturally, you will want to know about exercise and feeding schedules, vaccination requirements and staffing at night. Will your pet have a separate run? How are emergencies handled? Is there an on call veterinarian? Will the kennel?s policy allow you to bring your dog?s favorite food and a few toys?

What are the daily charges? Are there services for which there are additional charges? Remember, you may think its better for your sweetie to have nice furniture and plush surroundings, but those are just there for you to pay more. Your little Lady could really care less. Rates vary widely depending on theme and location.

Ask about drop off and pickup times. Many kennels are closed on Saturday afternoons through Sunday. If you cannot retrieve your pet beforehand, you?ll be charged for the extra time.

Take a Tour: Obviously, if a dog boarding kennel will not make an appointment for you to look it over, don?t even consider it. Try to go midweek, since kennels are busiest on Mondays and Fridays.

When you go, most importantly, sniff the air. An unclean kennel will smell of lingering feces and urine. Look for cleanliness in the outdoor runs. Is the surface concrete? Indoors, is the flooring something other than cold concrete such as wood? Look at the kitchen. Is it clean and is food put away? Are food and water bowls clean? Is the yard clear of debris and hazards?

Use you common sense. Overall, is the facility shopworn, in need of repairs? Pay attention to your first impressions. Engage the staff in conversation and pay attention to your intuition. Do they seem caring? Be sure to mention any of your dog?s behavior problems or special dietary and medical needs and measure their reaction? Also, once you decide on a kennel, you should let them know how to contact your vet.

Don?t? hold back. Allow yourself to become fully informed and you?ll stand a much better likelihood of choosing the right kennel for boarding your dog.

Robert G. Knechtel maintains several websites, including PetMedShop.Com and Go60.Com

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