We have to book our PFD into a kennel this weekend, we're going to the Lakes sailing and can't take him with us as the vet has advised no swimming ATM due to an ear infection and he's a water-obsessed Lab.
We got him from a rescue last year and whilst he has had a couple of nights away from us it's been home boarding with his dog walker who is away this weekend, unfortunately.
We're going to visit the kennels tomorrow, what should I be looking out for and can anyone advise what questions to ask?
They should be licensed by the local authority and should have the license clearly on display, along with PL insurance, fire cert, employers liability etc.
Basics like - good hygiene, is it neat and tidy, securely fenced?
Will they accommodate a special diet? Will they provide you with updates while you are away such as texts or pics via email? Will they administer medicine if needed? Do they have experience with your breed? Are they polite and friendly and professional in their dealings with you? Do they accept card payments (annoyingly, some of our local kennels don't)? Can you have a look around? Many will offer you a free day stay before your holiday - good idea as it will allow you to have a little dry run. What are the provisions for exercise? Can your dog take his favourite toy/treats/blankets etc. ?
Remember to have an up to date vaccination card and in the summer months many will also insist on kennel cough vaccination as well. Bear in mind that we are now entering the busiest time of the year for many boarding kennels so they may well be rushed off their feet.
Thank you Scuttlebutter, most of the above is common sense but I've been a bit thrown by this as I'd never envisaged him going to a kennel, we're holidaying in a cottage in the UK this year so that he can stay with us.
We're only away for the weekend so I'm not too fussed about them keeping in touch though I can see that I'd want that if we were away for longer.
I didn't have his vaccination certificate so rang the rescue and took him along for a booster today and now have the certificate.
You're right about them being busy, the first two I phoned were full. We're going along for a visit tomorrow, they know about the ear infection and that he's on drops. They'll also have to give him his tablets as he's on a course of steroids and long-term anticonvulsants so I'll check that they're ok with that.
He's an older laid-back Lab so I'm sure he'll be OK it's just a question as to wether I feel confident with the staff and I won't know that until I meet them.
I think if the technicalities that scuttle mentioned are all ok, then it's your gut feeling more than anything. I used to use a kennel that at the initial look was not too fancy. Clean but a bit lacking in hanging baskets and Radio4 IYKWIM. The staff though we're absolutely amazing and every single one of my dogs always trotted off happily when we dropped them off so important to get past first visual impressions. I am also quite sceptical of those that only have set hours for viewing. I know that it is enormously disruptive to have people tramping in and out at all hours but I can never shake off a feeling of unease when people will not allow viewings unless in specific times.
I went today, the website said you could visit anytime during opening ours so we went this afternoon. The owner seemed very nice and very doggy-centric. He didn't seemed bothered by his various ailments. He's going Saturday am. to Monday am. DH will have to drop him off though!
Check their procedure for what happens if a dog goes missing. One kennel I went to said 'we're insured for £2m'!!!! We went with another kennel which had a clear procedure in place "I blow this whistle, then everyone appears and blah blah blah". Obviously we hope it won't happen but it pays to think about these things. Have a great weekend!