Kenneling your pet can be a necessary solution for various situations, such as travel, work commitments, or during renovations or repairs at home. However, it is essential to understand what to expect and what to consider before entrusting your furry friend to a kennel facility. Here are some key factors to keep in mind before you kennel your pet.
Research and Visit Kennels:
Take the time to research local kennels and visit them in person before making a decision. Look for facilities that are clean, well-maintained, and have a knowledgeable and caring staff. Ask about the staff-to-pet ratio, the daily routine for the animals, and the exercise and socialization opportunities provided. Pay attention to the overall ambiance and assess if it is a comfortable and safe environment for your pet.
Vaccinations and Health Requirements:
Most kennels require proof of vaccinations, including rabies, distemper, and bordetella (kennel cough). Ensure that your pet is up to date on all necessary vaccinations before booking their stay. It is also essential to inform the kennel about any specific health concerns or medications your pet may require during their stay.
Reservation and Booking:
Kennels often have limited availability, especially during peak travel seasons. Plan ahead and make a reservation well in advance to secure a spot for your pet. Provide accurate information about your pet’s size, breed, temperament, and any special requirements they may have. Some kennels may ask for a deposit or require a minimum stay, so be prepared for these considerations when booking.
Familiarization and Trial Stays:
If possible, consider scheduling a trial stay or a shorter visit before a more extended stay. This can help familiarize your pet with the kennel environment and reduce any potential anxiety or stress. It also provides an opportunity for you to assess how your pet reacts to the facility and if it is a good fit for their needs.
Food and Medication:
Discuss your pet’s dietary needs with the kennel staff and provide clear instructions regarding their feeding schedule, portion sizes, and any dietary restrictions. If your pet requires medication, ensure that you provide detailed instructions, including dosage and administration. Label all medications clearly and provide enough for the duration of their stay, plus extra as a precaution.
Comfort Items and Familiar Smells:
To help your pet feel more at ease, consider providing comfort items from home, such as a familiar blanket, bed, or favorite toy. These familiar scents can provide a sense of security and help reduce anxiety during their stay. However, be mindful that some kennels may have restrictions on certain items, so check with them beforehand.
Emergency Plans and Contact Information:
Inquire about the kennel’s emergency protocols and ensure they have your up-to-date contact information, as well as an alternative emergency contact. Provide your veterinarian’s contact details and authorize the kennel to seek veterinary care if necessary. Discuss any pre-existing health conditions or allergies your pet may have to ensure they receive appropriate care in case of an emergency.
Communication and Updates:
Maintain open communication with the kennel staff during your pet’s stay. Inform them of any changes or concerns, and provide them with additional contact numbers if needed. Some kennels offer regular updates and may even provide photos or videos of your pet’s activities, which can help alleviate any worries while you are away.
Before you kennel your pet, take the time to research and visit kennels, ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, make reservations in advance, and consider trial stays. Provide clear instructions regarding food, medication, and comfort items from home. Discuss emergency plans, maintain open communication, and provide updated contact information.