What are boarding kennels?
Boarding kennels are facilities that accommodate dogs for a few days or a few weeks at a time while their owners are away. They range from the most basic ones to the most luxurious. If you’re considering boarding your dog in a kennel, there are a few things you need to know.
What is a boarding kennel?
Boarding kennels are places composed of one of several buildings. There is usually an outdoor space. Depending on the level of comfort, you will also find a playground and some shared sleeping and quiet areas.
Dogs are accommodated in cages or crates. In the most upscale facilities, dogs enjoy their own room. Staff look after the dogs and take them out for daily walks. Some facilities also organize a schedule of activities just like in a dog daycare.
How to choose a boarding kennel?
The first thing you need to make sure is whether your dog will be happy staying in a kennel. Not all dogs are fine with being around other dogs. Likewise, those places may not be the best pet sitting option for dogs with disabilities or special needs.
To choose the best boarding kennel near you, you need to do a bit of research and go view all possible places. The nearest place is not necessarily the best suited. Kennels need to be maintained and odourless. The staff has to have the right qualifications. And of course, the place needs to have a valid license to operate issued by their local council.
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How much do boarding kennels cost?
The prices of boarding kennels vary according to several things, like your location, the level of comfort and your dog’s size. Adds-on, like extra daily walks or grooming services, can also increase the daily rate. The average price per day and per day is £18.
Many facilities offer discounts if you board several dogs at the same time or if your booking exceeds a set number of days. Please bear in mind that food comes on top unless you provide enough food to last the entire stay. Some facilities also ask for a non-refundable deposit to protect themselves from no-show at a period of high demand.
Tips for a successful boarding kennel experience
There are a few things you need to prepare before boarding your dog in a kennel.
Vaccinations & health
Your dog must be up to date with his annual vaccinations. You will be required to show proof of it on arrival. Some centres also require dogs to be vaccinated against kennel cough as a precautionary measure. Your dog also needs to be fully wormed and free from fleas.
If your dog has a medical condition or has special health requirements, don’t forget to discuss it in detail before the boarding starts. Kennel staff can give medication but you will have to give a copy of the prescription and write down clear instructions (drugs, dosage, etc.).
No matter how used to kennels your dog is, it’s always best to bring a few things to help him settle. This can include:
Food and treats: this is especially important if your dog is a fussy eater or follows a special diet. Make sure you bring enough food for the whole stay.
A few of his favourite toys: it’s best to select a couple of toys that your dog can use at all times or that can be used for playing with his dog sitter. Avoid anything too big or too noisy.
His bed or his crate if he uses one: though dog kennels provide beds, your dog will certainly feel more comfortable sleeping on his own.
Your dog’s health records and the contact details of your veterinary: even if your dog is perfectly healthy, don’t forget to bring those with him to the kennel.