What to Look for in a Kennel

During the holidays, many pet owners are forced to put their dogs in a kennel. But you don’t want to trust your beloved pet to just anyone! There are certain qualities that you should look for in a kennel.

Consider some of the following points.

Is there someone at the kennel facility 24 hours per day? It’s important that your pet can get help if he suddenly gets sick (common, due to stress.) Also, kennels are often targeted by thieves, who steal purebred pets, so it’s important to find a facility that’s staffed 24/7.

Does the kennel have an outdoor dog run attached to each kennel? Your dog should be able to spend time outside in a dog run during the daytime hours.

How many walks will the dog get per day? How long are the walks? Opt for a kennel facility that provides at least four or five walks per day. Your dog should spend at least 1 to 2 hours out of his kennel per day. Some facilities offer extra walks and hikes for an extra charge; this is a good option for puppies and extremely active pets.

Will your pet have 24/7 access to veterinary care? Many dogs get sick while they’re kenneled, due to the increased stress of living in an unfamiliar location. Diarrhea, vomiting, refusing to eat and dehydration (as a result of vomiting/diarrhea/refusing to drink) are all common ailments. Find out if your dog can be treated on-site and whether they’ll have 24/7 access to veterinary care. What will happen if your dog gets sick or injured during his stay?

Does the kennel require proof of kennel cough vaccination and other vaccinations? Any time pets are in close contact with other animals, there’s a chance that illnesses may be transmitted from pet-to-pet. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the facility requires that all pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Will the kennel allow you to provide your dog’s food, treats, toys and pet bed? It’s important that your pet has access to things that are familiar, so look for a kennel facility that will allow you to bring along your own food and personal items.

Does the kennel allow multiple dogs to stay together? If you have more than one dog, it’s ideal to kennel them together, as they’ll find comfort in each other. Separation from the owner and living in a loud, unfamiliar location with lots of other animals can be frightening and stressful. So many pets find comfort if they’re allowed to stay with a housemate.

Ask to observe the staff as they’re interacting with the pets. Do they speak to the animals in a kind voice? Do they appear comfortable while handling the pets? Do the staff have special qualifications (e.g. veterinary assistants, trainers, etc.)

Are there precautions in place to ensure that dogs are never in direct contact when they’re out of their kennel? Some dogs are aggressive toward other dogs and this aggression can be exacerbated in the stressful atmosphere of the kennel facility. Therefore, it’s important that pets are kept separate.

Is the kennel facility fenced? What about the area where the dogs are walked? It’s important that the facility is fenced in the event that a dog gets loose during a walk.

In addition, many kennels offer additional services like grooming and training, so you may want to inquire about these offerings if you’re interested in having your pet groomed, trained, etc. during his stay.

Also, keep your ears and eyes open during your visit to the kennel facility. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, inquire or take your business elsewhere. Also, if you have the opportunity, talk to other clients; are they returning clients? Are they happy with the services their pets have received? You may also consider asking the facility for contact information for a couple references — satisfied clients who can discuss their experiences with the kennel. If a facility is hesitant to provide you with references, take your business elsewhere.

For more pet care tips, visit the PetLvr archives.

Photo Source: Pamela Benn on Sxc.hu

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

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