Choosing The Right Dog Boarding Kennel For Your Dog

14 Jul

Need a weekend getaway? How about a resort that features limo rides about town, in-suite dining featuring char-grilled Filet Mignon lightly seasoned served with a place setting of fine, Irish linen; spa visits and deep tissue massages and "guest rooms outfitted with fresh pee pee pads for those who prefer to potty inside". Oh, you thought this was a suggestion for you? No, this is a dog boarding kennel, er, I mean "pet resort" and if you have the means, it sounds like a fun place for your dog to vacation while you do the same. But for the rest of us, a simple, clean and comfortable facility where our dogs are safe and well-cared for will do just fine, but how do we know which boarding kennel is right for our beloved pooches?

The first place to start is to ask your veterinarian or other trusted animal care professional for a recommendation then do a little research and ask lots of questions. The state of Ohio now conducts twice a year boarding kennel inspections so make sure that the kennel you choose has been issued a certificate by the state proving that the kennel meets mandated standards. You may also want to inquire whether the kennel belongs to the American Boarding Kennel Association that requires members to adhere to a code of ethics. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau to find out whether there have been any complaints filed concerning the kennel you are considering. Find out more details by clicking on miami dog daycare.

Once you've narrowed your search, make an appointment to tour the kennel facilities and address any special needs your dog may have to make sure they can accommodate them. Then, look for the following:

  • Does the facility look and smell clean?
  • Is there sufficient ventilation and light?
  • Is a comfortable temperature maintained?
  • Is the staff knowledgeable and caring?
  • Are pets required to be current on their vaccinations including Bordetella?
  • Does each dog have an adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or a schedule for exercise?
  • Are outdoor runs protected from the elements?
  • Is bedding or resting boards provided to allow dogs to rest off the concrete?
  • How often are pets fed and can you supply your own food?
  • What veterinary services are available? Do they dispense medication and is there a charge?
  • Are other services available, such as grooming or training?

If the dogs are allowed group play, is there a dog professional on hand that can effectively evaluate dog body language and is capable of safely removing dogs that are showing aggressive or reactive tendencies? (This is extremely important! Many times, "play" is allowed that is not "play" at all but is bullying or aggression and can have an impact on your dog's future emotional state around other dogs.

What are their age requirements and are puppies kept separate from adult dog play?

Does the kennel accept your particular breed?

Another item to address with your potential kennel operator is whether your dog has any fears such as thunderstorms or other loud noises, fear of men or particular people, or any other behavior issues that may occur in your absence. This is particularly important if there is a safety issue concerning a potential bite risk or injury to your dog in an attempt to escape the kennel due to extreme fear.

Okay, now you've found your perfect kennel, how do you prepare your dog for the experience? It's good for your dog to know some basic commands and to be well-socialized around other people and pets. If your dog has aggression issues with either, they may not be a good candidate for boarding. Make sure your pet is up to date on all shots. It is also a good idea to try an overnight stay so that you and the kennel owner can work out any problems before Fido is left in their care for a longer period of time. Provide the facility with your out-of-town contact information as well as a local back-up number, your veterinarian's number and any medication and instructions that go along with it.

You've done your research, asked the questions, and feel comfortable leaving your best friend in your new kennel's capable hands -- now, how do you say good-bye? Keep is short. Love your dog like crazy at home but once inside the facility, hand your pet off, say good-bye and leave. Making a big deal of your departure will only escalate your pet's emotions. Give them a pat and have a great vacation knowing your pet is in good hands.

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