Guide: Choosing a Boarding Kennel for Your Dog

Being Vigilant

I would suggest that it is worth paying a little more money for a good kennel for your dog. Always pay a visit to the kennel before booking and have a list of questions. When you are given the answers, think about whether what they are saying is feasible. If the kennel has 100 dogs and they claim to walk every dog three times a day, ask yourself how many staff you see, and if this can be possible. Unfortunately, a lot of kennels mislead dog owners, so it is imperative that you are vigilant.

What to Look For

When you are shown around where the dogs live, the guests should come to the front of the kennel, probably jumping up, to see you, and should be happy to see you. Dogs that lie at the back and do not want to speak to you are a bad sign. Also, watch out for bowls of old food and water – these should be refreshed daily in good kennels. If you want your dog to eat a specific diet, also look out to see if all the dogs are on a uniform food when you go to see them. If the kennel owner does not let you see inside the building where your dog will be housed, do not take your dog there.

Doing Some Investigating

These are just some pointers. I work at a very good kennel where we look after our guests to the best of our ability, but we have many customers who claim other kennels in the area do more things with the dogs. Having visited these kennels under false pretences, I think that what they claim is impossible. It might be a good idea to ask other kennels in one area about the other establishments. You can usually tell if they are being genuine or avoid the issue, and often you get workers who have worked at several and they may tell you how much better it is where they are now.

What Really Goes On

Despite the fact that your dog does not have individual attention in the kennel, he will always have something to see and get excited about, and every kennel worker will make sure they give your dog a good rub and squeeze when they are in his kennel. And don’t worry about the size of his kennel too much; he is always so interested in the dog next door or the worker scrubbing the floor to worry about running around. And all good kennels will let him out to run around for a while every day.

A lot of dogs go home from kennels and hide behind the sofa and sleep for a week. The reason for this is simple. It is not that they are terrified of going back or have had such a miserable time. The dogs in a kennel are awake from the crack of dawn until nighttime, busy with the excitement of barking dogs, meal times and visitors walking past them. If you think about your dog at home, he will sleep intermittently throughout the day and all night. I think dogs returning from the kennels are simply exhausted!

A Kennel Worker’s Perspective

Although your dog will always be properly cared for, if your dog is overly messy and jumps up on you with mess on his paws, kennel workers will not be so inclined to be friendly. And even the nicest of dogs can become slightly aggressive when in the circumstances, much to the disbelief of a lot of dog owners, and it is this which suggests this dog in particular is not suited to kennels. Other manifestations include the failure to eat by a usually good-eating dog. This kind of thing also suggests that the kennel is too stressful an environment for that specific dog. It is truly amazing how we can generalize about different breeds. I’m not one for stereotypes, but most dogs of a breed seem to act very alike in the kennels.