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TIPS FOR INSPECTING A BOARDING KENNEL
article I wrote to assist kennel clients in the early part of 2000, all items are still applicable
I was a boarding kennel manager for 13 years and worked in kennels
previously for 4 years. I raise dogs and have also managed a Morgan
breeding barn and been head assistant at a large pet store (the job
from hell) in the bird/small mammal room and fish room.
1. Find out the kennel's normal business hours and drop by un-announced
tour (Be polite and do not do this in the first hour or last hour they
are open). If they will not let you examine the entire facility without
appointment, do not leave your dog.
2. On your tour notice the following things:
Each dog or family group has it's own indoor/"outdoor" run (outdoor
runs may actually not be outdoors but should be attached but seperate
from the sleeping/feeding area and should be at least 12' long) - some
not have attached "outdoor" runs-unacceptable.
There should be a solid divider at least 3'high between runs.And if
dog is a climber they should have several totally covered "escape
The outside runs should be concrete that slopes so urine drains off.
Some feces may be present, but not tons in every run.
Ask how often
scoop and are runs hosed & disinfected every day?
How are feces
of? A dumpster is ideal and a pile next to the building is bad
Some odor may be present, but should not be strong & overpowering
Outside runs should be surrounded by a security fence of some type at
6'high, in case a dog escapes from it's run
Windows, exhaust fans, heat & air conditioning are musts
Outside runs should have a roof covering them
Each dog must have water available during the daytime
All the dogs should not act afraid. Some may be shy and some
most should seem happy or excited.
3. Will they feed the food you supply (if you want to), give pills or
twice a day without extra charge?
4. If a dog soils itself will they wash it for free?
5. In the event of an emergency, do they have a 24 hr or on call
6. Do they feed a good quality food?
7. Are the food bowls washed each day?
8. What do local vets have to say about the kennel?
9. How experienced with dogs/cats is the help and do they seem good
Are any of the employees certified by the American Boarding Kennel
Association as pet care technicians or by the Red Cross in Pet First
Aid or (this is rare) are any actual Veterinary Technicians?
10. Special notes for cat owners:
Are litter boxes dumped and disinfected daily
are the cats in a room separate from the dogs
are the cats allowed some time out of their cage each day (not with
Windows are great, but any that open must have wire mesh over them to
prevent escape. Is ventilation adequate-most cat illnesses are
11. All good kennels should require proof from your vet of vaccination
Distemper, Parvo, Rabies and Bordetella for dogs and feline
distemper combination, Upper respiratory complex and rabies for cats.
Alternatively, they SHOULD also accept Distemper/parvo titers tests in
lieu of vaccination. If
ferrets or rabbits are accepted they must be required to be vaccinated
12. The kennel help should also check incoming animals for fleas. If an
is found to have fleas/ticks it will/should be given a flea/tick bath
the owner will be expected to pay for.
How To Not Add Stress to Your Pet When You Leave It At
1. Fill out/sign any paperwork before
you bring your pet inside.
2. Type or write any special
instructions ahead of time and attach it
any special food/medication you will be bringing and bring all that
inside before your pet.
3. Do not bring blankets, beds or any
toys that you will want returned
4. When you bring your pet inside,
simply give it a quick pat and
leave. DO NOT make a production about it or your pet will stress out.
5. When picking up your pet, pay your
bill and take all belongings/food
out to the car first. Then have the help put your leash on your dog or
into carrier prior to bringing the pet out to you. Do not make a
production over your reunion, simply take your pet out get in the car
go. This will also avoid puddles on the floor!
6. Any problems should be reported
within 24 hours to the owner or
Unity, NH 03743
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Send questions and comments to: Diane Richardson
Last updated 3/6/12
© Copyright 2012 Diane Richardson, All Rights Reserved