All Boarding Kennels are different and so are all dogs and their owners. What will suit one owner and his dog will not suit another, so it is important to find out about all the Boarding Kennels within your area, both by visiting kennels, and talking to other dog owners about which kennels suits them and their dog.
Anyone who knows a variety of breeds will accept that different dogs have varying requirements, and the type of kennels that suits one dog may not suit another.
How Well Will My Dog Settle in Boarding Kennels?
The majority of well-reared and socialised dogs will have no difficulty in boarding happily; terriers are always looking for trouble and they find the kennels environment great fun; hounds are pack dogs, and however much of a house pet they are, they find kennels easy to handle. Gundogs are traditionally used to being with other dogs which makes makes Boarding Kennels a familiar situation; though the Hunt Point Retriever breeds can become stressed in a Boarding Kennel environment simply because they tend always to be on their toes and so much is happening around them that they may become over-stimulated.
Guarding breeds who have this characteristic encouraged at home don't stop guarding when in kennels, which can make it a very stressful experience for them. They will prefer to be in a situation where they do not feel obliged to defend their territory constantly; so a Boarding Kennels where they are not challenged by activity of both humans and other dogs will suit them better.
The majority of other breeds, as long as they have been brought up not to be excessively dependent on their owners, will board well. Those dogs who are insistent on spending every moment with their family will often not accept spending time in a Boarding Kennels happily, and show evidence of separation anxiety, in which case alternatives should be sought.
What Should I Expect from a Good Boarding Kennels?
All kennels should offer a common range of factors:-
They should look and smell clean
Bedding should be clean and comfortable
They should be dry and draught-free with a source of heating
All dogs should have access to an outside exercise area during daylight hours
The resident dogs should look cheerful and interested, with no sense that they feel threatened either by the situation or other dogs
Water should be available always
Whilst there will probably be an explosion of barking when you arrive, this should subside fairly soon
Vaccinations should be insisted on; whatever the current debate about vaccination this is the only way that you can be sure that your dog is protected in a strange environment
Food and feeding regimes should reflect what the dog is accustomed to at home
Owners should be encouraged to bring toys for their dogs; gundogs, especially, like to have something to carry around
Details of the owner, the dog's health and his vet should be taken, together with a contact number for the boarding period
The Boarding Kennel should be happy to administer any medication, but make sure you bring sufficient supplies, measures and instructions.
Hours of opening, prices and how the charges are applied should be quite clear. There is no excuse for finding that your boarding fee has been boosted by a range of extras.
It is reasonable to expect that your dogs are insured for the duration of their stay, but check on benefits and limitations and whether you are expected to pay extra for this.
Check how well the Boarding Kennels staff know their boarders and about dogs in general; ask some leading questions about dogs you can see - name, age, what is the breed like in general so you can get a picture of their competence and knowledge.
A Question of Trust
Ultimately, it is a question of personalities and trust; do you trust this person to be sufficiently knowledgable and caring to look after your dog? If so, then book a short trial stay to check how well your dog settles, and if all is well with luck you will have found the right place for your dog for years to come.