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Is Your Dog Safe In A Kennel?

Aug 17, 2007
Sometimes it's not possible to travel with a dog. Also, bringing the dog on vacation can hamper the activity of the rest of the family. Incidentally, it might be much smarter on your part to board your beloved pet at a reliable kennel than to leave him with a friend or relative or with some sitter. If you decide to leave your dog in a kennel, here are some points to consider:

First of all, check around the neighborhood to see if other dog owners can recommend a particular boarding kennel. Ask if they thought the kennel was clean, well organized and respected any special requests made regarding their dog's food or housing. Or if they didn't like a kennel, find out why. Did the dog contract an illness at the kennel, did it come home filthy, or did it suddenly support a small nation of fleas? When it comes to choosing a kennel for your dog, the best advice is to take the recommendation of someone you know who has had a satisfactory experience.

Then make an unannounced stop at the boarding kennel and ask to see the facility. The staff should not find your arrival disturbing and should honor, within reason, your request to view the premises. Expecting total spotlessness is unrealistic, but personnel should be actively cleaning runs, and every dog should have clean water. Foul odors of any kind should not pervade the air. Make a mental note of how the animals, in general, look to you.

Well-run kennels take a minute to check for fleas when dogs arrive and just before they go home; flea problems are immediately treated. They require that all dogs have up-to-date vaccinations, for their own protection and the protection of other dogs. Many kennels require proof of a current kennel cough vaccination before they will admit a dog. The proprietors may insist that you submit a certificate from your veterinarian stating all of these requirements are met, so be prepared well ahead of time. These rules may seem inconvenient to you, but they are in the best interest of your dog.

Kennels should also allow you to bring food or toys from home, and provide canned food instead of dry when asked, for instance. Administering regular medication to dogs may or may not present a problem at a boarding kennel. If it does, it might be better to board your dog at a veterinary hospital, where qualified personnel will see to this job.

It's imperative to leave an emergency number where you can be reached, as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If telephones and mail service are not part of your vacation plans, provide the name and number of someone whose judgment you trust, and leave written instructions empowering this person to authorize necessary medical treatment. It's also a good idea to compose a brief medical history of your animal and leave it with the kennel staff just in case.
About the Author
Browse our English Bulldog articles or search through our pet classifieds to find that perfect puppy. If you are just looking for a good laugh check out our dog breed blog.
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