Another post from John Brooks
John is becoming a regular contributor to Learning from Dogs. He was last here on March 26th, this year with a guest post Reasons to get a pet portrait.
This is a timely and pertinent post.
Five Questions you need to ask a Boarding Kennel
If you’re planning a vacation or a work trip, you’ll need to decide what to do with your beloved pooch. This can be a stressful event for both you and your pup, but things will go a lot easier if you pick the right boarding kennel.
How do you know whether you’ve picked a good kennel?
The best way to determine the quality of a kennel is by asking appropriate questions. Not sure what those would be? Never fear! We’ve got you covered!
Read on to learn what questions to ask to help you choose the best available pet hotels or kennels.
Five Questions to Ask a Kennel or Pet Hotel
One – Is Your Kennel or Pet Hotel Certified?
Certification is not mandatory for kennels. However, certified kennels have to comply with 250 standards in 17 areas of pet care facility operation. This certification is known as the Voluntary Facilities Accreditation (VFA) certificate. If they have a certificate, you can assume several things about the facility:
They have put time and money into making sure they have the best facility possible for the animals they care for.
They care about reassuring pet parents that their dogs will be well cared for.
They have all the necessary space and equipment to take excellent care of your pooch.
Your pup will be secure and safe while you’re away.
Two – Can I Tour The Kennel?
You must always ask to tour the facilities. Just like you put in research when you book a hotel, you need to be equally as fastidious when you book a kennel. Therefore, you should look for the following:
Is the kennel odor-free?
A clean kennel will not smell because all urine and feces will have been cleaned up quickly and appropriately.
Is it loud or quiet?
Dog kennels will be noisy, but an extreme amount of noise usually signals that the pups are unhappy.
Are there enough staff?
There should be a 1-to-10 staff to dog ratio. The higher the people to animal ratio, the more individual attention your dog will get.
Are the living and playing areas clean?
Are there feces, urine, and debris? Or are the areas open and clean?
Do all animals have proper bedding and water?
The pooches should look content and stress-free and have both comfortable bedding and ample water.
If a kennel doesn’t let you take an impromptu tour, do not leave your pup there.
Three – What Will the Facility Do if Your Dog Gets Sick?
The kennel must have a procedure in place for dealing with small issues like diarrhea and broken toenails and more significant problems like medical emergencies. Ideally, they will ask you to pre-approve an amount for vet services. They should also know basic pet first-aid.
Four – How Knowledgeable Are the Staff?
Kennel staff, like the facility, are not required to be certified in animal behavior or training. However, what’s more, important than a certificate is the staff’s attitude and attentiveness. Good staff can tell you details about each animal under their care.
When you enter the kennel, staff should welcome your dog and take meticulous notes about your pup’s diet, exercise needs, medications, and any other pertinent information. Take note of whether they are patient, friendly, and seem genuinely interested in your pooch’s welfare.
Five – What Do the Exercise and Play Programs Look Like?
You must look at the package your kennel is offering. Some kennels have one playtime, whereas others don’t include any in their base fee.
Good kennels will have a system for playtime where they divide dogs by style, size, age, etc., to keep the pups safe and happy.
Dogs that need more exercise should get walked by a kennel assistant. So, if you own a dog that needs regular walking, make sure that the kennel offers this service and has enough staff to meet your pup’s needs.
Furthermore, not all kennels offer toys for your pooch to play with. So it’s important to find out ahead of time if you need to provide your own toys.
To Sum Up…
We know you love your dog, so you should plan where they will stay while you’re away as carefully as you planned your vacation. The most essential thing to look for when visiting different kennels or pet hotels is how the environment makes you feel. Listen to your gut. If you feel comfortable and you get along well with the staff, then there’s a high probability that your pup will feel at ease there as well. While no kennel can replace the feeling of home for your dog, it should come close. This way, you’ll be able to go on your trip knowing your pooch is safe, sound, and well cared for.
This is a very useful list from John. One that will provide guidance to everyone but especially to the new dog owners.
Thank you, John.