For dog owners, looking for a kennel is like searching for a daycare for a child. You are looking for the perfect place and you’ll know it when you see it. As a pet owner, you always want to ensure the safety and care of your pet.
However, looking for a dog kennel can be complicated. Often times you are not sure what to look for or what a kennel should provide. To help you in your hunt, we’ve put together a list of common questions that you should ask the kennel and yourself during your search.
Tour the Kennel
Let’s start with the most important part of searching for a dog kennel. You absolutely should tour the facility first. Your first red flag should go up if the kennel does not allow tours. It doesn’t matter what their reasoning is. If a kennel does not allow you to tour its facilities, don’t choose them.
Touring the kennel is incredibly important because you not only get to interview your tour guide, but you also get to see the kennel first hand. Seeing the kennel firsthand will give you a lot of insight into how their facilities are ran and maintained.
The tour is the best opportunity to ask any follow-up questions on the spot. You should go in with your own list of questions such as the ones below, as well as any that you come up with as your tour the facility. You may find specific items throughout your tour that you can ask about.
Is the kennel staffed at all times?
One of the first questions to ask, is about the kennel’s staffing plan. Simply ask them what hours the kennel is staffed. Not all kennels are staffed 24 hours per day. However, it is an added bonus if they are.
Even with 24 hour staffed hours, you want to find out how those staffers are going about their jobs. Does the night shift just monitor screens or are they actually making rounds and checking on the dogs? These staffing questions will ensure that you understand how the kennel operates.
Do you have a veterinarian on call?
Accidents and emergencies happen. It is important that the kennel you find has quick access to a veterinarian. Good kennels will provide on-call veterinary services. That means that they have a nearby veterinarian that can be reached out to at a moments notice in the event of an emergency.
Does the kennel require immunizations?
Kennels should require that all of their animals have the recommended immunizations. The primary vaccines that kennels should require are rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. Many kennels also require a Bordetella vaccine for all of its incoming dogs.
Having this requirement is important for your dog’s health. Even if you are a responsible dog owner that is up to date on your dog’s vaccines, it does not mean that the other canine owners are.
What type of exercise and play programs are offered?
This is where kennels will probably vary the most. Some kennels offer the most simplistic of boardings. Either a crate or room is provided for your dog with periodic walks and trips for the bathroom.
Other kennels will provide extensive play programs such as organized playtime, doggy TV, and even swimming pools.
Are dogs separated by size?
Depending on your dog and your concern of its size, you should find out if different sized dogs are kept separate. This doesn’t have to do with breed restrictions or anything like that. The fact of the matter is that larger dogs can accidentally hurt a smaller dog accidentally while playing. There isn’t any aggression or harmful intent involved but rather the sheer size of the dog.
What is the staff to dog ratio?
Another important staffing ratio is regarding the staff to dog ratio. An overwhelmed staff is not a good staff. The ratio will depend on who you ask but it should be no less than one staff member per ten dogs.
How was the staff’s attitude?
During and after your tour of the kennel, you’ll want to ask yourself about the staff’s attitude. Their overall energy and enthusiasm is a good gauge of how well they work with the dogs in the kennel.
Enthusiastic, caring employees are easy to spot. They treat dogs like their own, showing them love and giving them plenty of positive attention. They also do not get flustered or irritated quickly by a misbehaving dog. They provide stern but positive reinforcement.
How was the overall cleanliness of the facility?
Finally, during your tour, keep an eye out for the overall cleanliness of the facility. Is the doggy waste piling up or do staff members promptly clean up after the dogs? What kind of condition are the individual cages, crates, and rooms in? A good kennel will provide a clean, sanitary condition for the dogs to live in.
About the Author:
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.