Choosing the Right Kennel
When it comes to the family holiday the inevitable question arises "what will we do with the dog?"
There are various options open to you; you can ask family or friends to take care of your dog, hire a pet sitter, or use a boarding kennel.
Selecting a Kennel
There are several questions that you can, and must, ask when you approach a boarding kennel. It is an idea to check the kennels out yourself, unless it is highly recommended by friends and family. Responsible kennels will only take fully vaccinated and healthy dogs. Remember to book well in advance of your holiday as kennels can be, and usually are, fully booked at the popular holiday times, especially during the school holidays. All kennels should have been inspected by the State of Georgia, Department of Agriculture, and issued a license where it should be displayed onsite.
Going for a Visit
When you have a list of appropriate kennels, visit them to check them out. The kennel should happily let you do this during opening hours.
Obviously the first impression you get of the kennels is the lasting one that you will take with you. There may even be a radio playing, this can help to make the dog feel more settled as it hears noises it associates with being at home. The kennels should be clean and dry, with adequate water supplied. The kennels themselves should be clean and tidy with no old food and no overly wet and dirty floors. They should have good ventilation.
Check with the kennels that they only accept dogs that are vaccinated, and that the certificates are shown when the dog is handed in for boarding. All kennels will require that the dogs boarding there have been vaccinated. In the busier months they may also ask for the kennel cough vaccine to be given.
What to Look For
Outdoor kennels will be in two parts, an outside run and an enclosed sleeping area which may or may not be heated. There should be some heated kennels available at most boarding establishments. The run part is for the dog to be able to relieve itself. The dogs will probably be shut in the sleeping area at night, with water, and maybe a meal if this is the dogs' preferred time for eating. If your dog is elderly check that it will be in a heated kennel, which will be left on especially in the colder months and always at night.
Take Your Time
When you have picked the kennels you want to board your dog in, remember to take your vaccination certificate with you. It is a good idea to put your dog into the kennels a day or even two days before you leave on your holiday. Some people will have a trial run and put the dog into kennels for a weekend. This allows you to know if the dog settles easily and quickly. It also helps to put your mind at ease when leaving your faithful friend.
When you go with your dog to the kennels make sure you are not rushing at the last minute, you will more than likely have to fill in a form with the details of your dog. The question asked will be name, age, eating habits, special prescription diet, medication, medical history, your veterinary surgeons name and number and grooming requirements. The kennels may charge extra for giving medication and grooming over and above the normal daily groom. If your dog is on a special diet, you should provide the kennels with that diet. It would be worth leaving a contact number for yourself or a friend or relative who can make a decision on your behalf should your dog fall ill and have to attend the vet.
When choosing kennels remember do not accept second best, you want your pet to be as well looked after and as happy as possible. When you are satisfied you have found the perfect place then go off and enjoy your holiday. Your dog will probably enjoy the holiday too.