There are many wonderful, high-quality boarding kennels that will treat your beloved dog like family and feel like a home away from home for them. However, as with all businesses, there are kennels that aren't run as well as they should be. Of course, you'll want only the best for your dog, but how do you know if a kennel is best avoided? When you visit a boarding kennel, look out for any of these warning signs:
If you've never used a kennel before, you may make a reasonable assumption that being able to smell unpleasant odours, such as urine, is to be expected at a facility housing several dogs. However, this is not the case, and being able to see or smell any urine or faeces should tell you the kennel is not being kept clean. No loving dog owner wants their dog to be in an environment that's not clean, so give kennels with foul odours a miss.
Again, you'd be forgiven for thinking kennels could be noisy due to dogs displaying territorial behaviour, but once a new dog settles in they won't whine or bark frequently. If you visit a kennel that's excessively noisy and several dogs are barking for a prolonged period of time, the dogs are likely experiencing stress. This is not normal behaviour in well-run kennels, as the kennel staff will ensure dogs feel calm. Strategies used to create a calm environment include having kennel bays that don't face each other, providing lots of exercise and access to daylight and spending one-on-one time with new dogs to help them settle.
When visiting a prospective kennel, you should feel staff are keen to show you their wonderful facilities and you should be able to ask questions and receive thorough answers. You'll want to inspect the kennel bays, handwashing stations and exercise areas. You can also ask to see the cleaning logs kept by the kennel staff. If you feel staff seem annoyed by your questions, behave in an evasive manner or aren't happy to let you see every area of the kennels, keep looking for a kennel for your four-legged buddy.
When you find a clean, calm kennel run by caring staff who will give your dog lots of attention, you can board your dog with confidence. They'll enjoy lots of exercise and play and you'll feel relaxed and happy in the knowledge you assessed your chosen kennel carefully.