Many owners say that they will never leave their dog in boarding kennels. However on occasion situations do occur where you are unable to take your dog with you. The options then are:-

1. The dog stays at home and you endeavour to arrange for a friend or relative to “dog sit”. If this is not possible there are reliable agencies which will arrange for someone to live in during your absence. This person will look after your pet(s) and also sometimes your garden.

2. Sometimes it is possible for a friend or neighbour to look after your dog in their home while you are away. This works excellently provided the dog knows the home and the people. However you do have to accept the risk of unforeseen situations arising. A normally placid dog may become unsettled and escape. If successful it could become involved in a road traffic accident while trying to find its way home. It is unlikely under these circumstances that you would be covered by insurance.

3. Boarding kennels. This is probably the safest option since well planned kennels are safe and secure. Under the 1963 Boarding of Dogs Act all commercial kennels have to be licensed by the Local Authority and therefore meet certain standards.

Is my dog likely to he happy in kennels?

Many dogs spend very happy holidays in kennels and look forward to going. Plan the visit well ahead just as you do with your own holiday and make sure that you visit the kennels beforehand to satisfy yourself that the accommodation is up to your expectations.

How will I know if my dog will settle in kennels?

Despite the fears of owners, most dogs settle into kennel life very quickly. However it is always worthwhile boarding your pet for a weekend or a few days to see how the dog settles. When you collect, check general condition, the standard of grooming etc. which gives an indication of the overall standard of care received. Also ask the kennel staff about his behaviour and appetite. If a nervous dog, have there been any problems handling him etc. etc. The replies (or lack of them!) will quickly help you to form a view.

How will I find suitable boarding kennels?

Kennels advertise in Yellow Pages and local directories. Your Local Authority should be able to help with a list of licensed kennels in the area. However standards do vary despite the mandatory licence and it is worthwhile obtaining recommendations from friends or neighbours. We will be more than happy to give you the names of addresses of local establishments.

How will I locate kennels in an area where I am a stranger?

The local authority and local directories (Yellow Pages) etc. are helpful. In addition telephone local veterinary surgeons, explain your problem and request their help.

Follow the same procedure as above and also telephone local veterinary practices and enlist their help. We can help with details of local practices if this will help.

Any special medical problems or dietary requirements should be fully discussed well in advance of boarding.

Are there any requirements necessary before kennelling?

Check with the kennels their requirements regarding vaccinations. It is a hallmark of good kennels to insist on up-to-date vaccinations with a certificate to prove it before the dog is admitted. Some kennels will in addition to the normal distemper, parvovirus, liver and kidney injections, insist upon vaccination against infectious tracheitis, (kennel cough). It is worthwhile noting that this is separate from the usual multivalent vaccine that is given to a puppy. Intrac vaccine usually only lasts about eight months and kennels may insist on re-inoculation with Intrac more frequently than annually. Such requests are again an indication that the kennels are endeavouring to maintain their premises as disease free as possible.

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