It’s vacation time and you are unable to take your family dog or you have a business trip you have to go on. No matter what the reason is that you have to leave your dog for a few days, you want to be sure that your dog is well taken care of. If you do not have a friend or relative who can take care of him while you are away, you want to be sure the kennel where he is being boarded is safe, clean and your dog will be well taken care of. It is very important that you research the kennels in your area.
Should You Use A Boarding Kennel?
- Kennels are equipped to give your dog the proper care. Your dog will get the attention he needs all day.
- If your dog has any medical conditions, they will be attended to.
- Your dog will be in a place where he is welcome.
- Kennels are a secure and safe place for your dog.
- Your dog may be exposed to other pets that may have health issues.
- It may be stressful for your dog being in an unfamiliar environment.
Finding The Right Kennel
Best way to find the right kennel is through a recommendation. Your veterinarian would be the best person to ask. He deals with animal lovers all day and probably would know of a good kennel. Also, an animal shelter or a friend would also be good sources. If you take your dog to a dog run, other dog owners in your community may have good recommendations.
You would also want to know if the kennel meets state standards and has passed its inspections. It should have a license or certificate displayed.
If the kennel belongs to the American Boarding Kennel Association that is a plus. Beside doing voluntary inspections, the members must subscribe to a code of ethics.
Take a tour of the entire facility.
What To Look For
During your visit to the kennel, there are a number of things you should look for.
- There should be no odors and the kennel should be relatively quiet.
- A well-trained and competent staff ensures the health and safety of your dog.
- Where will your dog be housed? Is it clean? How is it sanitized?
- If your dog does not have access to a potty area, how often will he be taken outside?
- Does the kennel provide beds, blankets, toys and chews?
- Does the kennel provide food or are owners required to bring their food from home?
- If your dog has health issues, will the kennel tend to his needs?
- Does the kennel have recreational play groups? How often will your dog be exercised?
- What vaccinations does your dog need?
- What veterinary services are available?
- Are bathing and grooming services available?
- How are rates calculated?
Preparing Your Dog
Once your choose a kennel, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit to the kennel with your dog. Spending a day or an overnight stay would give your dog an opportunity to become familiar with the kennel. If you bring a blanket or a toy, the scent of the kennel will stay with your dog while he is home. When it is time for his stay at the kennel, bring a something with your scent on it so your dog will not be too homesick.
Make sure your dog is socialized with people and other pets.
Your dog should be up-to-date with his vaccinations. Some kennels require proof of vaccinations. Before your dog goes to the kennel, visit your veterinian to make sure everything is in order.
When dropping your dog at the kennel, remind the staff of any issues your dog may have, either medical or behavioral. Also, just say goodbye and walk away. An emotional goodbye would be hard on both you and your dog.
Some dogs would not do well in a kennel. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, a kennel would not be a good idea. A pet sitter may be a good alternative. If an owner is to be gone for a long period of time, it may be less stressful for a dog to be in his home. Of course, you would also have to do research for a pet sitter.
It’s Your Decision
You know your dog. If you have to leave your dog for a period of time, you have to decide which is better for your dog, a kennel or a pet sitter.
Be sure to research both options. Your dog is your child and leaving him in someone’s care is a very important decision.
Go with your gut. Which choice would make you feel comfortable and assured that your dog is safe and cared for.
Your decision will affect you as well as your dog.