We all look forward to our annual holiday or a weekend trip but there are so many things to remember before we go away. Ensuring we’ve packed the right clothes, informed the neighbours, secured our home and of course arranged care for our dog are just a few. We are a nation of dog lovers and often the thought of leaving our furry friends in the hands of strangers can put us off booking a holiday, especially if we’ve had a negative experience. There is a huge amount of trust involved when you place your beloved pet into the hands of virtual strangers. Qualified though they may be, you need to know the right level of care and attention will be given to your dog’s emotional and physical needs. How do you ensure you make the right choice and what should you look for when visiting a kennel?
To Board or not to Board
It may appear cruel to leave your dog in a kennel environment after living in the comfort of your home. However, providing you are happy with the kennel you have chosen, you should relax in the knowledge your pet is being looked after by professionals in a safe environment. You may feel you would rather your dog was looked after by a member of your family or a friend but do they have the right experience? Will you spend your time worrying about them as well as your pooch? At least at a professional boarding kennel your pet will receive the care and attention they need. Moreover, they will not have the potential of getting lost and will have a team who can monitor any health problems that may occur.
Choosing a kennel for your dog can take time so be prepared for a bit of leg work. First of all, do your research. You may have seen adverts in the local press or at your vet or you may have searched online. Either way, you know what you are looking for and the kind of facility you require. For example if you want other services such as grooming or training as well as boarding in your area typing ‘dog training and boarding kennels Hertfordshire’ into a search engine will help you find suitable kennels local to you. Recommendations are one of the best ways to source the perfect kennel for your dog. If a friend or member of your family highly recommends a particular kennel then it is certainly worth finding out more. They also know your dog and wouldn’t recommend somewhere that would be unsuitable. However, do make sure you have a site visit and meet with the team, so you can see for yourself. Reading testimonials on their website and comments on social media is another way to find out what people think of their services.
Things to look out for
When you visit there are a few things you should check. Is the Local Authority Licence on display and is the kennel a member of any trade associations such as the UK Kennel and Cattery Association? Are the kennels clean, are they well ventilated and is the temperature set at a healthy level? Are the kennels adequately sized and are the beds raised off the floor? Do the staff appear to be knowledgeable and caring and are vaccinations a requirement before a dog is booked into the kennels? Are the dogs well exercised and are there adequately sized indoor or outdoor runs? All these questions are things to pay attention to during your site visit. This is the perfect time to gain as much knowledge as you can about the people who will look after your dog and the kennel environment. Only then will you be in a position to make the right decision for you cherished canine friend.
Is Your Pet Ready?
There are of course, certain drawbacks to kennelling your dog. The noisy, unfamiliar environment could cause your dog a certain amount of stress not to mention exposure to potential health problems. Depending on the distance, your dog may also get stressed in the car. Consider familiarising your dog with the kennel by leaving them there for a day or short overnight stay. They will get to know the carers and when you return, they will know you will come back to get them when they have a longer stay. Before you kennel your dog, you will also need to ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and don’t forget to take their food, toys, bedding and any medication they may be taking as well as evidence of their vaccinations, vet details and emergency contact numbers. Then all you have to do is leave them in the caring hands of the kennel staff and go off and have a wonderful holiday.
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