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How to choose which kennels to leave your dog at

If you’re off on holiday somewhere and you can’t bring your dog, you may decide that you need to leave them in kennels whilst you are away. Before choosing a kennel, it’s important that you do your research – you’ll want to know that the kennel staff will treat your dog with respect and that the facilities are secure. 

We’ve put together our top tips for choosing a kennel for your dog, so you know exactly the kind of place you are leaving your beloved pooch.

Check the facilities are secure

Unfortunately, kennels can be a target for dog thieves, so it’s very important that the kennels you choose have stringent security measures in place. Make sure the kennels have 24/7 security – especially throughout the night when thieves are most likely to make attempts. Additionally, you’ll want to check that each kennel is secured, along with extra security to access kennels, associated buildings, and the perimeter.

Find out about the walking schedule

The kennels should have a procedure for making sure that the dogs in their care get adequate exercise, and this is even more important when your dog is in kennels. Check how their walking schedule works and make sure your dog will be getting enough exercise every day with them. You could even attach a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker or a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor to their collar so you can see how much exercise they got whilst you were away.

Border Collie in front of trellis

Find out how they interact with dogs

When you visit the kennels, make a point of seeing them interacting with the dogs in their care. Do the staff show lots of positive attention to the dogs? Do they interact with the dogs appropriately? How do they manage multiple dogs? All this is a really good signal of how your dog will be treated in their care.

Do they have insurance?

Most professional kennels will have insurance to cover them in the event of theft and injury, and they won’t mind giving you details of their insurance. You’ll also want to make sure that your insurance covers your dog going into kennels.

Do they require dogs to have vaccinations?

Reputable kennels will require all dogs to be fully vaccinated, often including vaccinations against kennel cough. If you’re not asked about vaccinations, you should question why.

Border Collie sitting in front of cupboard

What are their emergency procedures?

Make sure you have a clear understanding of their emergency procedures, including what happens if there is a fire, if your dog requires veterinary attention and if your dog is involved in a fight or aggressive contact. Make sure you know what their immediate response is and how they will contact you.

View the kennels themselves

Make sure you get a tour of the facilities at the kennels – you’ll want to see the kennels themselves to make sure your dog has plenty of room, and preferably immediate access to an outside space that they can use. Make sure the kennels look clean and safe for your dog.

Ask about updates

Many kennels will send over daily updates on how your dog is doing – such as whether they have eaten, what their behaviour is like and the activities they have participated in. Make sure you know whether the kennels provide these kinds of updates, and how regularly.

Choosing a kennel can be a tricky business, and for some dogs it might not ever be the right step. It’s always worth leaving your dog for just one night the first time you go away to see how they get on, before leaving them for a longer break.

The amount of exercise your dog gets whilst they are in kennels is critical to their general behaviour and impression of the kennels that they are staying in. PitPat stores your dog’s data for up to 7 days, so you will be able to see exactly how much exercise they’ve had whilst you are away – a useful tool in deciding whether to use the kennels again.

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