The Top 10 Kennel Sins
There are many articles on the internet telling you what to look out for, and what to avoid in kennels, but none that I’ve found actually tell you why.
Unless you understand what effects these problems will have on and cause for your dog, you’re unlikely to avoid them.
So let's look at what you should avoid!
Top 10 Kennel Sins to Look Out For
To make it easy for you to find out what to look for and avoid, here are the Top 10 Kennel Sins and what they mean for your dog:
Did the kennels smell?If it smells - it’s unhygienic, urine and faeces have 'soaked' into the building itself because there is no protective barrier.
If it’s unhygienic, it can lead to illness and disease.
Old or poorly designed or constructed kennels often have materials that are completely unsuitable, or unmaintained.
The floors and walls of kennels should be easy to clean and stop any liquids (urine, washdown water with urine/faeces) soaking into the material. If liquids, bacteria and disease soak into a building, it will smell (even more so for dogs, who have much more sensitive noses than us), and be unhygienic which can cause illness and disease.
Were the kennels constantly noisy?The more noise, the more stress is caused.
Stress is extremely dangerous, it can kill.
There are many ways to reduce noise and stress, such as boarding less dogs in total, less than 20 kennels in any building, dogs not facing each other, providing daylight, views and stimulation, places to encourage resting and relaxation, correct management of visitors, and good (and enough) staff are just a few ways.
Were staff/owners welcoming, friendly & polite?Helpful and kind treatment will leave you feeling less guilty, and much happier about leaving your dog, whereas unhelpful and unkind treatment will be very distressing for you, and will cause you concern about the treatment of your dog while you are away.
Reasoned answers to your questions (or any problems) will be of comfort - whereas rudeness, bad manners, being unreasonable or even anger, does not show a person in control of themselves, and is not at all professional. This has the potential to completely ruin your holiday or vacation.
Were you shown where your dog would be staying?One of the oldest tricks in the book is to make an excuse why you can’t see where your dog will be staying, or even to flatly refuse to show you.
The kennels has something to hide, feels they may lose your business if they show it to you, and the accommodation is certain to be substandard.
Were the kennels in good repair?If in poor repair, old and tired, or dilapidated, there is no pride or interest in providing good accommodation.
A poor state of repair means there is more risk of smell, noise, stress, disease and injury. What does this indicate about the standard of dog care?
Were there newspapers, sand, paper shavings or gravel on the kennel floors?Anything absorbent placed on the floor tells you it’s porous, and will soak up all the urine, washdown water and faeces, bacteria and viruses - which of course means it will smell and be unhygienic and be a disease risk.
Was there bedding in both the sleep AND run?If a dog has bedding, it is more likely to relax and rest rather than be restless or agitated.
If there is nowhere to rest in an outside run, then it’ll be cold and uncomfortable for dogs to lie down and rest. So what do they do? Try and take their minds off it by looking outside and being forced to stand or sit for a long time causes discomfort and frustration which usually causes more barking. It’s so simple, give dogs different places to rest, and they will relax and settle!
Look for places that have raised outdoor dog beds.
They can be cleaned, offer comfort, another level to jump on and off, a different perspective - and invite rest.
Did they require proof of vaccination?Vaccination is a legal requirement to help prevent the spread of disease.
Boarding dogs who are not vaccinated is thoughtless, dangerous, and shows a distinct lack of interest in animal welfare. Kennels who do this should be immediately reported to the local authority who license them.
Were there signs of overbooking or overcrowding?If you see dogs kept in cages or odd places it is a sure sign that the kennels have overbooked themselves and may well be charging the same amount from owners who expect their dogs to be in secure kennels.
Another problem is placing dogs from different households in the same kennel without permission from the owners, to make as much money as possible. This is unwise, unprofessional, could lead to extreme stress or dog fighting, it’s just downright dangerous.
How was your dog when you collected him/her?If your dog shows previously unseen signs of depression, is withdrawn, suffering or fearful - then you must find out why. This isn’t the kennels for you.
Next article: What Boarding Kennels Fees Should You Expect To Pay?