Whether you are a dog parent who is going on a trip or you need to take a break from your little furry friend for whatever reason, you could be interested in knowing if a boarding kennel is a good idea. Perhaps the thought of having your dog put up somewhere can seem cruel, but you may have the wrong idea of what boarding kennels are like.
Leaving your dog so you can go on a trip can be a difficult experience, especially if it is your first time. You may wonder how safe they will be at a kennel or if it is better that you hire a sitter. Are kennels really as bad as they make them out to be? The truth is that boarding places for pets can be amazing and yet they can also be poorly-staffed, so the answer lies in doing some research on the kennels near you.
To help you understand more about kennels and possibly help you to feel more relaxed with leaving your dog at one, we have compiled some facts about boarding kennels and what to expect. They may not be as bad as you think.
What can I expect for my dog during his boarding kennel stay?
A common misconception about dog boarding kennels is that the animals are stuck inside all day long without being able to run freely and that they are not well-taken care of while there, but while these places may exist, there are others that are wonderful places for a dog to stay while you are away.
There are some great things about being able to leave your dog in a kennel while you go away and it can be a beneficial time for both you and your pet.
To help you make your decision, here are some things to consider when choosing a kennel for your dog are:
- How does it smell? Upon entering a kennel, you will want to assess the aroma in the place. If it smells strongly of animal urine or feces, this could be a sign that you need to look elsewhere. While any place with animals will smell like animals, a strong stench is not a good sign.
- How do the animals staying there look? If during your visit you notice that the animals seem bothered or upset (more than one) and even possibly miserable, this may be a factor to consider in your decision. If several animals look sad or angry, the environment at the kennel may not be the best.
- Is there climate control of a way to keep the animals warm in inclement weather? If the facility has outdoor kennels, what do they do to keep the animals warm during stormy weather? If it’s hot outside, what do they do when the weather is very warm? Your furry friend may be very uncomfortable in a facility that doesn’t take these factors into account.
- Does the dog kennel have cameras? Let’s face it, dogs are like children for many dog owners and for this reason, leaving a dog at a kennel is as difficult for a dog parent as it is for a human parent. Knowing that you can see your baby at any time of the day through a camera system is helpful in helping you to feel at ease about leaving your dog at a boarding place for animals.
- Do the people at the kennel seem hesitant about showing you around? Unfortunately, some dog kennels slack on their standard and because of this they may not want to show how bad some areas of the kennel might be. If they are hesitant in answering questions or refuse to show you to certain areas, it could be a sign of a negligent facility.
- Does the staff have credentials or can they prove that they have been trained to care for animals? Imagine leaving your child at a daycare where the staff has no idea what they are doing. As a dog parent, you will want to find a kennel with staff that is prepared and ready for situations that may happen.
- Do they have play groups for dogs that can get along? How do they organize playtime? Because your dog will be in a mixed environment with all types of dogs, you may want to be aware of how play time works to be sure that there won’t be fights or cause for concern. You also want to be sure that they give the dogs playtime
- Does your animal have special needs or dietary requirements and does the kennel ensure that your animal will get what it needs? If you can trust that they will make sure that your pet has the kind of food that it needs to eat or that they take their medicine at the hours that they have to, this may be the kennel for you.
- Do they have veterinary services? Accidents and emergencies may happen and it is important to make sure that they have them at the kennel should the need arise.
- Do they require the visiting animals to be vaccinated? This can be very important for your animal’s health. If a kennel does require you to have your dog vaccinated and asks for your paperwork proving it, this is a good sign. You want your dog in a kennel where all the animals have their vaccinations and are healthy.
Of course, it may be difficult to completely trust a kennel even if they have all the best things that you are looking for. It is hard to part with your animal, but there are good kennels that will provide your animal with great care.
Is long term dog boarding a good idea?
It’s one thing to leave your dog at dog boarding kennels for a day, but it is a different story to leave them for a long amount of time. Is it a bad idea to leave your dog at the boarding kennel for an extended period of time?
Much of the above factors will come into consideration for the decision of long-term boarding, but you will want to check out each boarding kennels rates and services for long-term stays to ensure that your dog receives the best care that is top quality and affordable.
Following are some benefits to long term dog boarding, if you have to go away on a long trip:
- Kennels can actually be very fun places where your dog can have a great time playing with other dogs and where they get to spend a lot of time in the outdoors. You may talk your dog for walks at home, but they will undoubtedly appreciate the scheduled playtimes with their doggie friends during their stay at the kennel. Just remember that you will have a lot to live up to when you get home.
- They will be entertained. Just imagine leaving them at home with a friend checking in on them every once in a while. That would be a very boring time for them, whereas at a dog kennel, you can trust that they will be entertained by the staff and other dogs as well.
- They will get bathed and cleaned plenty, which means that you will get home to a happy, healthy, and well-groomed animal. A good kennel will make sure to always keep the animals clean and cared for as it speaks volumes about their service and is important to them, so you can relax knowing that you will return home to a clean pet.
- You can enjoy your trip knowing that your baby is in the hands of trained professionals. This is where making sure that the facility is a good one matters. When you can trust the staff, then it’s easier to go away and not be worrying at every minute. Also, if they are a facility with cameras, you can always check on them if you are very concerned.
- Your dog will make plenty of friends. While this may sound humorous, dogs are social animals and they will appreciate spending time with other dogs. You may only have them at home and they may not get to play around with other animals that often, so the fact that they will have that opportunity and plenty of it through long-term boarding is a positive factor.
- You won’t have to leave your dog in the hands of a friend, that while well-meaning, has no idea what they are doing when it comes to taking care of animals. Some people are afraid of poop or may be forgetful and you could come home to a dog that is underfed with poop spread all over your home.
- Trained staff will make sure that your pet is well-taken care of at all times. It’s what they do so you don’t have to worry about leaving them somewhere they will be underfed or not able to play. After all, you are paying the kennel to do a good job and most of the time, that is exactly what they will do.
Something to keep in mind are that before leaving your dog at the kennel, you make sure that they have a stock of the special foods or medicine that they will need for their length of their stay or work out the dog boarding prices and rates beforehand with the kennel.
What are dog boarding rates like?
Granted, leaving your beautiful animal at a kennel—especially a nice one—will cost you more than if you left them with a friend or a sitter, but the benefits can be worth it. While it definitely depends on the kennel and the location, boarding rates can range anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00 a night.
While the cost could add up for a few nights, it is a good idea for your dog to be at a place where they can play and be happy while you are away. Some boarding places for animals have rates for long-term boarders and fair dog boarding prices so if you have a long trip coming up, you can work it out and get a discount for a longer stay, depending on the kennel.
For the most part, dog boarding rates are reasonable and they are often worth paying for the peace of mind that you will have while you are on vacation or a work trip. You can relax knowing that your dog is well-fed, well-cared for, and having tons of fun, if and when you choose a boarding daycare that is run well and where animals are the priority.