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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Choosing the right kennel for your dog

Ahh it's good to be back.
My father took my family and I on a little trip over the weekend, and it was a weekend packed FULL of activities! More on that tomorrow.

I was inspired to write this post today due to not having a dog sitter over the weekend when my family and I were suppose to go on our trip.
Any other time we have had to go somewhere, my mom has always came to the house to watch the huskies for me. Well, my mom is in Florida keeping nice and warm during this Canadian freezing cold weather we have been having, so I didn't know what I was going to do with the dogs.


I wasn't even going to go on a trip, until checking out some local kennels was suggested to me.
I have never wanted to leave my dogs in a kennel as I have heard some horror stories about them, but in those stories, the people have also said that they failed to check into them properly before leaving their dogs there.


To me, leaving my huskies was like leaving my children for the first time, it is hard! They are my kids....with a little more fur than the human ones.
I began searching the web for local kennels. There were a few that I found, but one in particular stood out to me. It just gave off a warm, happy caring vibe.
I decided to phone them.

The lady I spoke with began by saying how much she loved huskies. At first I thought she was just saying that, and she probably says that about every breed, but she went on to say certain things about their behavior. She knew all about the breed. She knows they wouldn't do well in her one outdoor area because the fence would be too low, and huskies can jump them easily. Just little things like that already made me feel more comfortable. She had asked if they had any special needs she would be tending to, told me to feel free to send something of mine that has my scent on it, and she was just super friendly. I was invited out to meet her and see the place after she learned that I was a concerned paw-rent. So out I went!
The place was nice and clean, there were several other dogs staying there. There was no poop in the yards. (meaning she cleans it well.) I saw how she interacted with the other dogs there. They loved her! She gives them treats, and they were all happy to see her when they saw her face. Also, she lives right there on site. I was convinced.

I decided this was the right place for my babies.

When I dropped them off, she made sure to ask if they had allergies or anything she should know, as well as making sure I had my vet papers.
She let me know it was ok to give her a call to check on them while I was away.

Long story not so short short, when we picked them up Sunday, the second they heard my voice, they started to howl, she let them out, and the joy and smiles on their faces was just beautiful!!
I was thrilled to see that after they greeted me, my dogs went over to the lady and they were wagging their tails and asking for her attention, so I knew they liked her too!

What do you take out of this?

-Go with your gut! If it doesn't feel right, it's not right.
-Talk to the owners of the kennel, are they friendly? Do they seem like legit dog lovers?
-Visit the facility. Is it clean? Are you welcome to visit the facility?
-How do the other dogs react around the owners?
-Do they ask if your dog has allergies or other things they should be aware of?
-Do they require vet papers?

All of these things are huge!
A kennel that requires vet papers, want to make sure the dogs coming in are healthy.
Otherwise, dog knows what your pets could catch while they are there.
Make sure to check that the kennel is clean.
Checking to see how the dogs who are already at the kennel act when the owner goes near them is huge as well. If they are happy to see them....good sign...if they seem scared or just not thrilled to see them....bad sign.

Bottom line, a gut feeling tells you more than you think.
Trust yourself. If you don't feel comfortable, that means you should keep checking for a better kennel.


My girl Lexus, and my kitty Winter snuggled up to me all night when I came home from the trip.

That's all for now, come on back tomorrow to see some photos of our weekend trip!



34 comments:

  1. It is so scary for me to leave Bentley for even one night. It is just like your kids and nobody takes care of their kids better than their mama! LOL! I can't wait to hear about your trip! ☺

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  2. I only have used the kennel at my work. Thanks for this great information. Glad you had a great weekend.

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  3. We managed to get away for Christmas for the first time in eight years after finding trusted house sitters (http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/t/) - they were fantastic! Needs a bit of planning though.

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  4. Kennel are tough choices - I know sometimes you have to do it so your suggestions are sound. I've only used one once, for Tino years and years ago - I wasn't too happy with the results so have steered clear since then.

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    1. Understandable. And I agree, I didn't like having to turn to a kennel, but I was extremely happy with my choice, and wouldn't hesitate to go back there next time I am in need of one.

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  5. Mom never knows what to do with all of us when she leaves. Actually, she has only left Katie since Bailie arrived. We have neighbors to watch the cats, but dogs are tough. Bailie goes to day care one day a week for socialization and we really like the place, so she could stay there. Katie can always stay with my mom's cousin, but I can be tough. I used to stay with mom's cousin too, but now they have a cat that I enjoy chasing and I'm not fond of the kennel, so I guess mom just has to always take me with her. It is a scary thing for mom to find care for us and it is not something anyone should take lightly. A neighbor actually lost their dog over a weekend kennel stay when the people tied it outside, it gnawed through the rope, ran and was hit by a car. So sad.

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    1. That is very sad. And it is because of stories like that I didn't even want to consider it, but sometimes there is no other choice, so it is good to know what sort of things people should look for when taking this option. I was glad to see that my dogs were well taken care of, and I made a few calls to the kennel while I was away.

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  6. We are lucky because our field trainer also has a boarding kennel. Even if the dogs are not left for training we can still board them there and I know the owners because we see them all the time (we go there to train on their grounds). One thing I really appreciate is that they do not allow non-staff back in the kennel area. I would not want people I do not know to have access to my dogs, even through a fence. They have been running a kennel for years and that is a hard and fast rule. They do have a camera so you can see the kennel area which I think is better. Our other option is that their breeders will watch them if needed.

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    1. It's great that you have those options!

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  7. Nice tips! I've only had to leave Shiner at a kennel once, and that was actually the clinic where I worked at. We had a really good kennel attendant manager who cared for the dogs most of the time. I also had to play kennel attendant at the first clinic I worked at. It's a tough job!

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    1. I don't doubt it is a tough job for sure!

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  8. We have always had a house sitter up until this year so we went through the exact same situation around Thanksgiving. Luckily we found a great spot for that trip. But with it being such a well run and caring facility, they are always booked.

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    1. It is wonderful when you do research and find a good one!

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  9. I am so glad that you found a kennel you are comfortable with and that it went so well. I'm happy that you got to have a little time away without having to worry so much about them,
    We had a bad experience with a kennel with our first dog (you are right, go with your gut, we should have known this woman was not the best), and have used pet sitters ever since. But pet sitters are hard to find sometimes too, especially ones that will stay overnight. Good kennels can fill up quickly too, especially at the holidays.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  10. Great post! I actually work in a boarding facility, and prior to being hired, I was very nervous about leaving my dog anywhere besides with family members. But while most kennels in our area are full of metal and concrete and seem like sad places, we actually call ourselves a "hotel" and refer to the rooms as "suites", not kennels or cages. We have cameras in each suite, let the dogs out to play and run at least every 2 hours, and have lots of playtime with the daycare dogs!

    Since being hired, I've learned that the differences between a good boarding facility vs. a bad one are HUGE. At a good kennel, they will have no problem giving you a tour of the place and they ALWAYS ask for vet records. I love my job, and I love the dogs like they are my own :) Thanks for pointing out that there are, in fact, good and trustworthy kennels out there! :)

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    1. There definitely are, and people should really not think negative about kennels everywhere. The lady who owns this kennel was a huge dog lover, and cares deeply for the dogs that come in. She also has many regulars, which to me says people must be happy with her!

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  11. Awesome post!! I feel the same way you do about leaving the girls at a kennel. It's awesome that you found one that you felt comfortable with! I actually haven't ever left the girls. They've always gone with us, lol.. My poor husband!! :D I think I'd probably only kennel them if there was an emergency and we had to fly back to California or something.

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    1. This was the first time I ever left mine, it was super hard! But there was just no way to bring them this time around, and I was really happy to have found this lady and the kennel that I did! I would not hesitate to use them again!

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  12. We're happy that we always get to stay at home when the peeps go away. Choosing a kennel can be quite stressful we see. But we're glad you found a good one.

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    1. It can be very stressful! Yes, my kitties always have a spot to go. A family member takes my kitties for me any time I need to go somewhere, but there is no room for 3 huskies there, so this time, I had no choice!

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  13. Hi guys :) indeed a great post .We went away over xmas and as always left the two pups and four cats at a boarding facility with a difference.The place is part of an animal shelter i was a volunteer at for many years, all costs go towards the shelter,so straight away you know animal welfare is paramount.They will give meds,special diets,and cater to all needs without extra cost.Vets are on site also.Now we moved 3 years ago and i have such faith in this shelter that we drive 2 and a half hours to get there! yes with cats singing and dogs barking.but i know they are safe and well cared for.A recent bushfire in Adelaide bought home the need to also inquire as to emergency plans at these facilities..ours has a brilliant one as they were first to act and help with animals domestic and wild during our hideous Black Saturday disaster...sadly it seems that some shelters do not and the recent fire cost the lives of an entire cattery of cats in boarding and all but 40 dogs perished. So great to check all these when placing your precious pets in care. Hugs Fozziemum

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    1. Yes, this one was the same. Any special needs, diets, meds were all asked about and offered free of charge which is definitely a bonus! Emergency exits are huge as well, so I thank you for bringing that up!

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  14. I'm so glad you had a good experience with your kennel choice! Haley's never stayed in a kennel before and your advice about "going with your gut" is right on. It's nice that you now have a place the huskies like in case you need to rely on a kennel again in the future.

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    1. Going with your gut is number one on my list. I learned long ago to trust myself. If it doesn't feel right, something is not right, and when it comes to my fur babies, it is so not worth the risk, so the extra time it takes to find a great place for them is well worth it!

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  15. I just can't bring myself to kennel the fluffies. Pyrs are so sensitive to changes in environment and are over stimulated in an environment like that. Our lab/husky mix LOVED being boarded. I still didn't like taking him, but the place was amazing and he was always so excited to go. Mauja and Atka would be miserable : /

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    1. And to me it is everyone's own choice. I didn;t want to either, but after doing so, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. In the same place of course. They just loved the lady and I was super happy with them also.

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  16. I've never left my dogs at a kennel. I've been lucky in that my parents always come over and take care of them! Glad you were pleased with the kennel you used. And great tips!

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    1. Thanks, I was so glad to find a good one!

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