If you have to travel, get sick or some family emergencies occur out of the blue and you are a happy owner of a four-legged-friend, you always have to solve these problems taking into account your dog’s best interest. If you take your dog with you, you may face strict hotel, restaurant or park restrictions (no pets allowed), travel-induced illness or in the worst case your dog will run away.
You may ask your friends, family members or neighbours to look after your dog until you are away but as they can be unprofessional, inexperienced or untrained and your dog understands this very quickly, she or he will rather escape or become ill.
Many dog owners believe that a professional boarding kennel is the best solution that provides reliable, secure, full-time supervision and care. We always advise you to choose an ethical boarding kennel only that guarantees the professional standards of pet care.
An ethical boarding kennel proposes that both the dog and the owner will go home happy, healthy and satisfied after spending shorter or longer time in the kennel. The key issue is here the cooperation of the kennel and the dog owner.
How can you find a boarding kennel?
First, you can find ads in your local Yellow Pages. Please do not forget that the size or reputation of the advertisement is no indication of the quality of the place. We think that recommendations of relatives, friends, neighbours or your vet are more important. Ask them about their experiences as satisfied customers are the best signs of a reputable kennel.
Next you should call the kennel and check its availability. Summer vacations, holiday seasons or Christmas are peak times and your chosen kennel may be fully booked and cannot accept your dog. If your dog is a puppy or requires special handling, inform your kennel as they may not be ready to welcome her or him.
Finally make an appointment to visit the kennel personally. During your visit you should observe the whole facility, staff and their guest dogs as well. Do not be shy to ask all of your questions about the provided proper health care. Clean drinking water must be always available for every dog. You should know the kennel’s feeding procedure e.g. whether you are allowed to bring in your dog’s favourite food brand or not. What about the veterinarian services? Do they have a vet on the premises or if necessary they will call your dog’s vet to have the continuity of the care. Furthermore you should know every detail of the kennel’s immunization requirements, medication procedures and parasite control.
All the time the kennel should look clean and cannot smell due to its regular clean-up routine. Some kennels have “No Visitors” policy because they have dogs that react unpredictably to strangers or visitors or they would transport bacteria or viruses into the kennel. In this case kennel owners build in viewing windows to see where your dog will stay.
Security, Safety and proper supervision of boarding kennels
If your dog misses you, he or she may try to find you. Boarding kennels are designed with security in mind: well-maintained fencing and gates, dividers between the runs. Safety first should be your principal expectation too. Your dog cannot swallow e.g. any sharp objects or dangerous chemicals. Proper supervision is basic for a good boarding kennel. Your dog should have his or her own sleeping area where other dogs will not bother any neighbours.
Comfort of your beloved dog
We believe if you are away your dog will miss you. Some comfort elements in the boarding kennel may ease this period:
- Comfortable temperature inside the kennel.
- Proper ventilation to minimize the spread of airborne bacteria or viruses.
- Protection from Mother Nature’s elements such as rain, snow, storm, wind or direct sunlight.
- Exercise area for your dog to run and play free.
You should prepare your dog for the boarding. At the first time you should start with short stays at the kennel to help your dog get used to boarding. But please do not worry too much as once your dog becomes familiar with his or her new surroundings he or she will have an exciting time like kids at summer camps.
Your dog may become very excited when you get back home. You should let your four-legged-friend calm down for at least 4 hours before offering food. It is better to give him or her a few ice cubes rather than water. It is also normal that your dog tends to sleep almost continuously for the first 2 days due to being back in his or her old environment after the busy kennel time.