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Boarding kennels - how to make it as good a place as possible?

(9 Posts)
Solo2 Sun 12-Jun-11 13:40:25

Leading on from my thread "Puppies in holiday cottages", I think I'm finally coming to terms with boarding our pup whilst we're away one week in the summer. He'll be 5.5 months by then.

I've viewed one that was recommended to me and the other recommendation was full up. I'm almost discounting a third option - someone who hosts dogs in their own home - as this person hasn't had a pup so young, has no proper garden - but lots of pebbles, which our pup 'eats'! - and doesn't live v near a park, so would have to walk our dog a long way along pavements.

So, the boarding kennels I viewed has 20 kennels - which are large indoor rooms and the dogs have sporadic access to a large grassy run every so often throughout the day and are apparently played with a lot.

Now of course you never really know what goes on but assuming all this is true, these are my concerns:

The dogs are last let out into the runs (never together but always by themselves but able to see other dogs next door to their run area) at 10pm and then first let out again at 8am the next day. Our pup is used to going for his last toilet in the garden at 10pm but his first in the morning at 5.45am to 6.00am latest. I assume he'll therefore either be v stressed at having to 'wait' in the morning - or will resort to pooing and weeing in his room. Won't this traumatise him, as he's fully toilet trained from day 3 and always always lets me know if he needs to go out -and I've always responded promptly? Will he no longer be toilet trained when we bring him home?

There are 5 staff but will this ratio allow for enough human interaction with the dogs there? Won't our dog be stressed by boredom and less than usual human contact?

Everyone - on MN and in RL - reassures me that he'll be fine. But can people tell me what provisions they make to reduce as much as possible stress for a pup in a boarding kennels? naturally, I'll bring his bedding and toys and kongs etc but is there anything else I could bring (this is presuming I do feel able to leave him)?

What could I get him that will occupy his mind and body for longer than normal stretches?

I'll give him at least one day long trial at the kennels before our hol. to see how it goes. Please can people share their experiences and tell me what to look out for that might indicate a kennels is not all it appears to be?

Scuttlebutter Sun 12-Jun-11 13:51:07

A few pointers. It's a good idea for your dog to do a trial day at the kennels. The one we use offers this as a free service. You should also be able to walk around, visit and assess the kennels, and discuss your dog's routine with the kennel staff.

All boarding kennels are licensed by the Local Authority. The kennels premises should have the current licence prominently displayed. If you can't see it, ask to see it. Your local authority website will also have the licence conditions on it that a kennel must fulfil e.g. numbers of staff, ratio of staff to dogs etc. so you can check those. Finally, you can, under the FOI Act, request copies of previous license inspection reports for this kennel, and related correspondence - these will give you a great deal of detail and show if the inspectors have had any concerns. This is by no means giving the kennel a gold star, but will at least give you a feel that they are meeting the appropriate standards.

melliebobs Sun 12-Jun-11 18:51:30

I had to put my precious pooch into kennels for a week feb this year. He was just over a year old n I'd only ever left him for one night with family. Looked at options like doggie hotels but they were too expensive so kennels it was.

We viewed LOADS but in the end went with a recommendation from a friend and went for a look round and took the dog with us. Again they say they'd play with him but I was dubious to how much interaction they'd get. But to make him feel at home I took his usual food which they gave him. They let him have his dog bed/blankets in his kennel and we took a couple of new toys for his stay. Also before his stop he had to have his kennel cough vaccination so look into that if poss

When we got him back (at the earliest opportunity!) he was fine and just wanted lots of cuddles. it doesn't seem to have done him n e harm.

melliebobs Sun 12-Jun-11 19:02:28

Also forgot to mention due to the situation (our wedding) the dog got a trial run in kennels of one night a couple of days before his week there. That was positive in that he knew he wasn't staying there forever Cos I wud b picking him up after.

midori1999 Sun 12-Jun-11 20:08:10

Is there no way his breeder could board him for a week or does she know of anyone who does home boarding? (I am not sure how prohibitive distance would be?) Or is there a family member who would have him for the week?

I appreciate I'm not being very helpful, but I won't even kennel my adult dogs. blush They thrive so much on human company and the only time we have kennelled them (at Margarets for two nights) the eldest was utterly depressed when we collected them, so depressed she wasn't even excited to see us. sad We have always previously taken them all back to the eldest girl's breeder, who home boards them.

Solo2 Mon 13-Jun-11 09:53:19

Oh dear, midori...just when i was beginning to think this might be a viable option - but I've also worried about Rollo getting depressed and missing us too much.

I've not heard anything from the breeder despite emailing photos and email messages and she moved house - actually to slightly nearer us, after selling all 19 pups from her 3 litters.

I believe she moved to even smaller accomodation and as she has about 9 full grown dogs, I'm not sure she could accomodate Rollo nor if this would be the ideal place for him.

I've still got to meet a woman from an agency who looks after dogs in her home but I'm not sure about that either, as the agency didn't sound v professional and the woman has only had an 18 month old dog before, never any pup as young as Rollo. She hasn't got a proper garden and isn't near parks and Rollo is likely to chew her house and furnishings!

My brilliant dog trainer can't have him except for 4 days in the middle of the time we're away but the kennels said Rollo would be more stressed by being too many changes over 10 days.

What should i do??????????????????

chickchickchicken Mon 13-Jun-11 10:30:12

is glos too far for you? there is an excellent woman here (no financial connection) who looks after dogs in her own home. i know she has had puppies there before because ive seen them when collecting my dog

chickchickchicken Mon 13-Jun-11 10:33:14

oops should add i have no idea if she has vacancies

Solo2 Mon 13-Jun-11 11:07:58

Thanks chick...but we're far away from there I'm afraid.

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