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Dog and Cat Boarding
Fun pic courtesy of Tomten kennels!
As much as dog owners (and cat owners too!) hate to be parted from their pets, there are times when boarding is a necessity. Naturally you want the best for your dog or cat and there are various different options you can take. There are dog and cat boarding kennels, dog crèches, home sitters, dog sitters and dog hotels (as listed below). Each of these types of pet accommodation has its own merits but one should always take certain precautions prior to making a booking to ensure your pet’s health, safety and well-being.
First of all ‘word of mouth’ is perhaps the best recommendation one can have for any boarding establishment, therefore, if you are boarding your pet for the first time or you have moved to a new area, try to find someone who has boarded a pet in the place of your choice and get some feed-back.
Don’t forget that good kennels, sitters, hotels and crèches will be popular so make sure you book early!
Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing your dog’s accommodation.
A good kennel should have good spacious sleeping areas and pens. The accommodation should be dry, light and hygienic. Websites often provide a good insight into what you can expect. Up to 30 kennels (or cat pens) is a good manageable number but it is as well to check on the number of staff that is taking care of the animals. Find out how much individual attention a dog will receive. Will your dog be walked regularly? Is there an opportunity for off the leash exercise? Will he be allowed to bring his own food and toys? Will he get regular cuddles and attention from the staff? Check out the noise levels too. A lot of barking that does not diminish after you have arrived may mean that there is a high level of stress and this can severely affect the health of some dogs, particularly those that have a more nervous disposition. A reputable kennel will usually ask for your dog to be vaccinated against kennel cough before the his stay as infection can spread at a rapid rate in a community environment. It is always good to find out whether your dog can have a ‘trial run’ before boarding for any length of time.
Dog sitters provide your dog with a home from home environment but always find out how many dogs will be staying at one time and make sure that the accommodation for your pet is suitable. Also check on how many dogs one person is going to walk at one time. Too many dogs walked by one person will often lead to disaster and it is generally thought that four dogs per person is the optimum number! Make sure that your dog sitter is insured and ask to see the certificate! You may also want to find out if your sitter is licensed with the local council. A good sitter will offer you a trial run to make sure your dog fits in with the environment. Obviously a sitter cannot be expected to take on a dog that is inclined to be aggressive with other dogs. Out of respect to your sitter you should always make sure that your dog is flea and worm treated and is in general good health.
DOG HOTELS, CRECHES AND HOME SITTERS
Dog hotels and crèches are often luxury versions of kennels that offer special activities with spas, training or agility equipment etc. Some will provide rooms with sofas and other accessories. It is still important to find out exactly what you are getting and many of the tips given above will apply.
Home sitters provide your dog with the advantage of living in his own environment and your home will be safer too, providing you check carefully on your sitter’s credentials and get references!
* If you have dog kennels, cat boarding, dog hotel, dog creche or if you are a pet sitter or home sitter and you would like a listing on London Dog Forum, please contact us email@example.com
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