There are plenty of dog sitting options available when you have to be away and can’t bring your dog with you. The trick is to find the one that works best for your dog and your budget.
Dog kennels are the most traditional way to have your dog looked after during your absence. They are a good alternative to hiring a pet sitter if your dog enjoys being in a group environment. Let’s take a closer look at those dog boarding facilities.
What are dog kennels?
They are facilities that house and take care of dogs during their owners’ absence. They are sometimes called boarding kennels to set them apart from breeding kennels. They are made up of one or several buildings and have an outdoor area that is sometimes equipped with a playground.
Dogs are housed in large cages and are let out a couple of times a day. More upscale facilities feature indoor and outdoor playgrounds, sleeping areas with dog beds and fenced-in areas in which dogs can roam freely. Just like in a dog daycare, those places also offer one-on-one play time and fun activities to help dogs set into their new routine.
In the UK, dog kennels have to comply with the standards set out in the Animal Boarding Establishments Act. They must also have an animal boarding license issued by their local council.
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How much do dog kennels cost?
The cost depends on the location, the level of comfort, your dog’s size and the length of your dog’s stay. On average, you can expect to pay £18 per day. The price per day doesn’t include food: you either have to provide it or it will be supplied at an extra charge. You may also have fees for giving medicines or taking your dog on extra walks.
Most facilities offer discounted prices if you board several dogs at the same time. You can be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit at certain times of year when the demand for dog boarding is high.
Finding the best dog kennels
Choosing the right one should never be left to chance. You have to make sure that your dog will be safe and looked after in the best possible way. The place you choose should also match with your dog’s needs and habits. If he needs or is used to running a lot during the day, you need to find a kennel with an outdoor area and staff that will take your dog for walks several times a day.
The best way to find the best dog kennel is to visit a few facilities and check:
The facilities: they have to be clean, organized, odour-less and secured.
The cages or runs: the height and width have to comply with the minimum size set out by law. You should also consider your dog’s needs and size when viewing them: if he’s big or has health issues such as arthrosis, the bigger the cage the better.
The staff’s behaviour towards the dogs: you want to make sure that there are enough people at all times to take care of the dogs. Pay also attention to the dogs: do they look quiet or stressed? Does the staff interact with them?
Dog kennels are a good pet sitting option if your dog is fine in a group environment and has a sociable personality. It also gives dog owners some peace of mind knowing that professional and fully-trained carers will be looking after their dogs.
However, not all dogs thrive in kennels so it’s best to make sure that yours will do well before boarding him. It’s also recommended to view the place beforehand and make sure it not only complies with the regulations but also provides the care and activities your dog needs to be happy.