What to look for in a kennel
The first thing to do is visit the kennel before you board. Most kennels welcome these visits, and it gives you a chance to see their facilities and ask specific questions.
The kennel should be clean in side and out. Proper sanitation is one of the most important aspects of preventing the spread of contagious diseases. The cages and runs should look and smell clean. Animals that are currently boarding should be clean and appear well cared for. Look at the outdoor areas where the dogs are walked. Waste material should be routinely removed, leaving the area relatively free of fecal material.
Getting a certain amount of exercise is important for each animal, but how much and how often depends on the individual dog’s need and the ability of the kennel to offer these services. Discuss this with the kennel.
Indoors, the boarding facility should have adequate cage and run sizes, with larger cages for bigger dogs. Natural light from window is great, but if not available, indoor lighting should be adequate. The air should circulate well and not smell stagnant. Proper ventilation will significantly decrease the risk of disease transmission.
Find out how many animals are routinely boarded at a single time and the number of staff taking care of the animals.
Some kennels have associations with specific veterinarians either on the premises or working nearby. Find out how sudden illness is addressed.
If your dog is on medication that is given several times a day, make sure that the kennel personnel are able to administer it appropriately. Some kennels may not be able to give medication as often as your pet requires it.
Some boarding facilities offer an added benefit of grooming services. It is always nice for your dog to come back from the kennel smelling clean, fresh and newly groomed.
All dogs that are to be boarded should be healthy and free of contagious diseases.
A kennel may require a health certification from your veterinarian and proof of your dog’s most recent vaccinations. Make sure ahead of time so you can get this information and take it with you.
If your dog has fleas or other external or internal parasites, he or she should be treated prior to arrival or on admission to the kennel.
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