Choosing a Dog Boarding Kennel: Key Considerations for a Happy Stay
Holiday, travelling for work, or an elongated hospital stay; just some of the scenarios where you may be in need of dog boarding. With a plethora of options available, choosing the right one for you and your dog is of utmost importance, both for your dog’s wellbeing and your peace of mind.
What’s why we’ve created this blog post! We will look at some things to consider when choosing a boarding kennel for your beloved pet, meaning you can make an informed decision should you require their services.
Consider the location of the boarding kennel and its proximity to your home. If a kennel is a lengthy drive away, the journey there may create more anxiety for your dog, meaning handover may be more stressful.
Choose a kennel that is situated in a safe and secure environment, away from busy roads or noisy areas. This will minimise stress for both you and your dog during drop-off and pick-up. The Dogs Trust advises considering the convenience of the kennel's location to ensure a smooth transition for your pet.
Health and Safety Measures
We understand that the wellbeing of your dog is a top priority. Since 2018, licensed dog boarding kennels must follow a strict set of standards. These can be found on the .Gov website.
Things which they must provide are:
- A suitable place to sleep, with 24 hour access. This can be shared with another dog from your home, but only with your permission, otherwise they should have sole use of this space.
- At least one walk outside of their kennel per day
- Suitable space to move around
- Toys and other resources (such as clean water and food)
- A clean and well ventilated environment
All licensed boarding kennels must display their licence in a public area; if unsure, please ask to see it when you visit. You can also request the inspection record from your local authority. The Good Kennel Guide has more information on how to request this.
Staff Qualifications and Experience
The expertise and experience of the staff directly impact the quality of care your dog will receive. Enquire about the qualifications and training of the kennel's staff members. Look for knowledgeable professionals who genuinely love and understand dogs, as they can provide the attention, exercise, and stimulation your dog needs during their stay.
Accommodation and Amenities
Take a close look at the kennel's accommodations and amenities provided. Are the kennels spacious, clean, and comfortable? Do they have appropriate bedding and a secure environment? Additionally, consider if the dog boarding kennel offers extras such as play areas, exercise routines, or additional services like grooming or training. The RSPCA suggests inspecting the kennel's facilities to ensure they meet your dog's needs.
Socialisation and Interaction
Most dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction. Enquire about the socialisation opportunities available at the kennel. Do they offer supervised playtime with compatible dogs? Are there structured activities or one-on-one attention given to each guest? A well-designed socialisation programme can keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated during their stay.
If your dog does not enjoy socialising with other dogs, ask what measures are in place to ensure your four legged friend can have stimulation without other dogs present. This is vital to ensure no injury/distress is caused.
Communication and Updates
Staying connected with your dog while you're away can bring peace of mind. Choose a kennel that offers regular communication and updates about your dog's wellbeing. Some kennels provide updates through phone calls, emails, or even online platforms where you can view pictures or videos of your furry friend enjoying their time. Discuss communication options with the kennel to ensure you stay informed about your dog's stay (if you wish).
Reviews and Recommendations
Research and read reviews from other pet owners who have used the boarding kennel's services. Positive feedback and recommendations from satisfied customers can give you confidence in your decision. Independent review platforms such as Google, TrustPilot, Feefo and Reviews.io may have listings for your local kennel for added peace of mind.
Consider asking for recommendations from friends, family, or your vet to find reputable kennels with a track record of excellent care.
Whilst completely your choice on which boarding kennel you choose, by taking the points mentioned in this article into consideration, you can be rest assured that you made an informed choice.