How To Choose a Kennel for Boarding Your Dog.
I would never leave my dog anywhere that I had not personally seen with my own eyes. That’s my first bit of advice.
There are a few nice kennels around that have excellent track records, and a few others that are new and just getting started. So, it’s best to go and check them out. Don’t wait either; the better kennels fill up over the peak holiday and home leave periods.
If you dog is old, ill, takes several medications or has a condition that has to be closely monitored. Consider boarding at your vets. Their facilities may not be as fancy, but if you have an old pet that mostly sleeps, or is not so active then that may be the best place for them. Your vet will be familiar with their medical record and can adjust medication or provide treatment if necessary.
Here is my list of what I would check for as I look at a potential place to board my dog/s;
What do they feed the dogs? When you go out to look at the kennel, do you see evidence of the dog food they say they feed? Ask to see the food stores and the food prep areas. Are the bowls clean, are foods properly stored? Dry foods should be stored up off the floors and preferably in tubs or drums with tight fitting lids. If you are supplying your own food, is it clearly marked with your name or your pet’s name? If they feed a cooked diet; what are they cooking and are foods properly stored (refrigerated if necessary) and are flies being kept under control? Do you see any evidence of dogs with fleas or ticks at the kennel, or parasites in runs?
If you have made an appointment to see the kennels, then you should see absolutely clean, feces free runs and full water bowls. Food areas should be clean and tidy. Kennel runs and food areas should also be relatively fly free. If they aren’t, you should take that into consideration since they were expecting you!! What happens on a day to day basis if no one is visiting?
I would ask about the feeding and exercise schedule. Will your dog be let out of its run for exercise? How often, for how long and also will they play with other dogs? Will they be supervised while playing with other dogs?
What is their procedure for a dog that is suspected to be ill or need medical treatment? Is there a vet on site, if not which vet do they use or will they call your vet? You want to be sure they will use a proper vet. Will they give your anti flea/tick medications, deworm or bath on your schedule if you are away for a significant period of time
I would also want to know if the owner/proprietor live on the premise full time or do they leave staff to run it. How many staff are present and how long have the staff worked there? Have a look while there and see if the staff really seem to like and be comfortable with the dogs.
You should ask if may bring your dogs bed, basket or blankets or bedding. How about leash, collar and toys?
If the kennel is transporting your dog, be sure to ask how they are being transported. What type of car, if they are riding in crates or loose. How many stops will they make along the way or will your dog be picked up and directly go the kennels?
Be sure to leave a phone number where you or some responsible person can be reached in case your dog needs vet care or some emergency crops up. There was an instance where a kennel owner passed away unexpectedly and the animals needed to be moved to another facility. One owner had sent their dogs with their driver and the driver left his cell phone number not the owners. After dropping the dogs, the driver promptly went out of Nairobi on his leave shutting off his phone. It took several weeks to figure out who the dogs belonged to and they could not be reached. Imagine their horror when they arrived to find out the kennel owner had died and the dogs had been moved elsewhere. In this case the dogs were moved to another reputable kennel and been properly cared for, but it must have been a heart stopping moment for the owners.