How To Find A Suitable Dog Boarding Kennel For Your Pooch

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How To Find A Suitable Dog Boarding Kennel For Your Pooch

by Rose Smith

There comes a time when you may have to board your dog at a local kennel. Whether it?s only for a couple of days or for a few weeks, you want to be sure that you locate the perfect ?home away from home? for your dog. This will require you to do some in-depth research if you want your dog to return to you happy and healthy. Here are some tips to follow when searching for a place to board your dog.

Get Recommendations

Ask around to get recommendations on suitable boarding kennels. Word of mouth is usually the best bet. Nobody is going to recommend a bad kennel? but they?ll certainly tell you about the awful ones! This will definitely help to narrow down your list.

Be sure to also ask animal trainers, veterinarians, pet groomers and animal shelters. They may have some good suggestions. However, be aware that many of them may also have their own agendas when recommending a dog boarding kennel. If they own it or if they have friends that run a kennel, they will most likely suggest those places, whether they?re good or not.

So, write down the names you receive, but don?t immediately assume that your search is over. It?s not. There?s still more you will need to do.

Visit The Dog Boarding Facilities Unannounced

Once you have a list of local kennels, take the time to go and visit them? without calling ahead? and ask for a tour of the facilities. Although this may inconvenience them somewhat, if they have a good, clean and well run dog kennel, they should be happy to accommodate you. This will give you the chance to see what the kennel area looks like on a typical day. Here?s what you should look for while you?re touring the dog boarding kennel:

? Kennels should be large enough for the dogs that occupy them. A large dog should not be in a cage that barely has room enough for him to stand in.

? Check to make sure the personnel that work there are kind to the animals and treat them well.

? Make sure all areas, including the dog cages, are kept clean and sanitary.

? Look to see if each dog has an adequate outside run for exercise. Also inquire about their exercise routines ? how often do they take each dog out to walk and play each day (this is separate from the dog accessing the dog runs). Dogs need human contact and play time that is free from the confines of their kennels.

? Inquire about food and water. How often do they feed the dogs and what type of food do they use? Do they make sure there is always water available for the animals? Are you required to bring your own dog food? Bringing your own food in may be a better choice. Dogs can get upset stomachs and diarrhea when their food is changed abruptly. If the kennel owners won?t allow you to bring your own food, look for a different boarding facility.

? Do the kennels have an area where padding is laid down so the dogs don?t have to sleep on cold cement? This is important for elderly dogs, small dogs and puppies. They need to stay warm, especially at night. But it is just common sense to supply this to all dogs. If your dog gets chilled, it can easily get sick.

If they don?t supply a pad to sleep on, you may want to bring in one from home; however I would probably keep looking for another kennel, if they can?t supply just basic comforts.

? When possible, choose a dog boarding facility that has kennels which are built with concrete walls separating each kennel cage, rather than just fencing. There are two reasons for this. First, male dogs lift their legs to urinate. With fencing, the dog in the next kennel can pee all over your dog and their bedding/toys. Will the personnel bathe your dog and his/her items (free of charge) or will your pooch be left as is so you can take care of cleaning your canine up when you return home?

Another reason to have solid walls between the kennels is to reduce barking and possible snapping.

? If your canine has any sort of medical conditions, such as diabetes for example, that requires them to take medication each day, you will need to find out whether the kennel personnel are willing to administer the medication and are experienced in doing so.

? Ask personnel what procedures are taken in case of an emergency. Do they have a vet on call that comes to the facility? Is the animal transported to an emergency veterinary clinic?

? When you?re planning a lengthy vacation, try boarding your dog for a night or two at the kennel beforehand to see how they make out. It?s a good way to gauge their reaction, as well as determine how well the personnel treat the animals.

Provide Instructions and Contact Information

Give all necessary information to the staff (write it down) regarding your dog?s food needs and schedule that he/she normally has at home. It would be foolish to think that the personnel will adjust their feeding times to accommodate yours, however, you can make a point of letting them know that you expect your dog to be fed twice a day (if they only tend to feed once a day, for example). This is reasonable and if they refuse, you need to find another dog boarding place.

Supply your veterinarian?s name, address and phone number in case the personnel need to contact him or her. Also provide your names, location of where you?ll be and direct numbers of where you can be reached in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to provide the name and phone number of a family member or friend that they can contact as backup. Make sure you call the boarding facility a few times while you are away to check up on your pet.

If your pet requires medications, make sure the personnel are familiar with how to administer the medications and with proper the treatment procedures should there be some type of reaction.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety In Your Canine

Bring a favorite blanket, toy or some other item that your dog is familiar with. As your dog will be anxious being in such a strange place and away from you, this will help make them a bit calmer. If possible supply a piece of your clothing that you have recently worn (wear something old for a few hours) ? the scent of you will have a calming effect. In some cases, kennels may not allow you to bring personal dog items. If this is the case, you may wish to seek out a different dog kennel.

(c) Rose Smith, 2007. Discover how to have a happy, healthy, tail-wagging dog! Read free articles and recommendations on natural dog health care issues from feeding your pup a nutritious meal to safety concerns on a variety of canine topics. Visit:

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