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Choosing a boarding kennel; please advise

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dandelionpoppy

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I need to board my pup, who will be 7 months, in August for 3/4 days so that we can attend a family wedding.

My first choice, as recommended by my vet, is booked up.

Can anyone advise on how to select a good kennels?
I'm also wondering whether to choose one close to my home - if there are any vacancies - or one near to Abersoch, where the wedding is. However, I would not be able to pre-visit that one.

Any advice gratefully received!
 

Eyekandi

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I personally like kennels to have a paddock to walk dogs in or a walk out as i dont like concrete pens. I have a weimaraner who has always been in kennels which is great but this year is the last time he's going in kennels as he's 11 in August. I am on the hunt now for a dog sitter where he can stay in comfort ..so am not looking forward to that mamouth task!! lol


One i go to now always check vaccination cards, i give detail instructions on his feeding times and take my own feed (weimaraners are funny creatures when it comes to their guts).
He also wont allow pesrsonal blankets etc due to cross-infection and uses clean each time which i find very good
 
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nicole333

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Oh it's so hard.

I would always visit and judge on what they ask you. The more they ask, the more they are not on a money spinner and care about your pooch.

Word of mouth is the best, maybe ring a local dog trainer, or another local vet?

I would also look at the area, is it safe? Is it clean? How are they exercised? You will know if something doesn't feel right.

I don't envy you, we were lucky when we had our girl, my inlaws always had her if necessary. But my old dog had to have kennels. He was a GSD so we took him to where the old bill took their police dogs. I hated leaving him and always got the husband to do it.
 

Floss26

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Personal recommendation goes a long way I think so talk to any dog owners you know, or even when you get chatting to people when you're out dogwalking! I also think you need to visit a few to get a feel for them - some of them you go to are really grim, and the dogs are all stuck in their pens looking thoroughly miserable, whereas others, like Eyekandi says, will have a grass paddock etc. It's good to see how clean they are too.

I'd find kennels close to home if I were you, for 2 reasons - firstly, no point in subjecting your dog to a long car journey unnecessarily, and secondly, you're bound to want to use kennels in the future so if you find one you're happy with then they get to know your dog and vice versa.

When I moved to Hampshire I was very surprised to find that all the kennels down here required proof of vaccination against kennel cough as well as the usual vaccinations, which wasn't the case when I lived in Lincolnshire, so that's something else to check.

I'd also say - and this sounds really daft - don't be put off by the people! Because in my experience the person who owns/runs kennels isn't so much a "people person" in a lot of cases but they're absolutely brilliant with the dogs, and that's all that matters really at the end of the day! :D

Good luck, and try not to worry - it used to break my heart putting my Westie into kennels but he used to love it.
 

dandelionpoppy

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Thanks, guys.
There are really good points made.

The only reason I had thought of kennels close to the venue was that we would be close by if we were needed, but perhaps that's a bit OTT.

Also, all the kennels I've looked at on websites, close to us, have bags of outside space; fields etc.

One thing that hadn't occurred to me was that, even if a kennels advertises outdoors walks, those walks could be just a couple of minutes a day! It's a question I will definitely be asking.

Any more advice?
 

PixieBeauty

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Will the dog be socialised apart from its walk? One place I saw (part of the my pet stop group) said they also sit in and socialise your dog if it needs human company. Will they be walked alone or with other dogs? Will they be lead walked or allowed off the lead?

I'd also consider a dogsitter if you can afford it. I always felt bad leaving my dogs at home but realised they would be left alone just as long but in a smaller, unfamiliar kennel. I keep them at home where there's no other dog smells or noises but they are quite anxious. Xx
 

nicole333

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I've been meaning to say for a while now PixieBeauty, that your pic is adorable! Is that one of yours, and what breed is he/she?

Dande, I would offer to look after your little furbaby, but Cheshire is a long way!
 

PixieBeauty

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Thanks Nicole he is a Bichon Frise (hair kept short) and he's a rescue dog. He is absolutely brilliant but comes with a sister that is really hard work and naughty hence their rehoming. He's the cutest thing ever but she is a handful! And bullies him! Wouldn't change it tho dogs are fab. I'd also offer to dogsit anyone's baby but mine wouldn't be very welcoming :(

Another question hon to ask is who will be walking the doggies, one place I went they had thirteen/fourteen year olds working casually as walkers which is fine if all goes well but if they encounter a problem I wouldn't trust someone so young to control a problem situation that easily. I don't think it's old enough, personally (I work with this age group).
 

airendaie

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Have you thought about home boarding? This is were you take your dog to the person's house and they live with them for the duration of your break. This is what we do now and our dog loves it! We are lucky to live in a rural area so the lady we use has a large property for walks and play. She usually takes up to 2 dogs but can take 3 if they are from the same family. Some of the people who work with her have their own dog so it can be good to stop the boarder getting lonely.

I wouldn't go back to kennels now, especially as my mum nearby had another bad experience with a kennel recently! Obviously like with a kennel you should check out that they are a bonafide business and visit if you can. I thought it would be much more expensive too but its about £2-3 more per night than the kennels around here!

I also have a neighbour who 'house sits' for people whilst they are away. This could be good if you know someone that you trust to take care of the house and doggy whilst you're away.

Air x
 

dandelionpoppy

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Just an update:
We collected Elsie last night after 3 nights away. She was, as she always is, in huge high spirits, making a fuss of us, then making a fuss of the staff, then back to us!

Although I felt absolutely sick when I left her I am actually pleased now. The owner is terrific; he gives a verbal report on your dog, detailing how she's been. (I know he's truthful, as I overheard him being very honest about another dog to his owner!).
Elsie had socialised well with the other dogs, spent a lot of time bounding about - just like at home- and had not eaten particularly well. This, too, is typical of her, as she has to be bored before she eats!

Thanks, Geeks, for your help in this thread.
If anyone needs kennels in the Chester area pm me and I'll give you details.
 

tanfastic

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Will the dog be socialised apart from its walk? One place I saw (part of the my pet stop group) said they also sit in and socialise your dog if it needs human company. Will they be walked alone or with other dogs? Will they be lead walked or allowed off the lead?

I'd also consider a dogsitter if you can afford it. I always felt bad leaving my dogs at home but realised they would be left alone just as long but in a smaller, unfamiliar kennel. I keep them at home where there's no other dog smells or noises but they are quite anxious. Xx
All very good points, just saying they get exercised doesn't mean that much. I once took my boy to kennels who advertised 5 walks a day which I thought was fabulous because he was young and full of beans. It turned out he was let out into a little paddock ( really small with not even a tree for him to "water" ) and left there on his own for no longer than 10 minutes ( usually about 5) Also if your dog has digestive problems or special dietary needs it is essential to check that they will let you bring his food, this same place I mentioned would not allow strange food either. It was immaculate and looked very well run but not a warm and welcoming place. Needless to say I had a raging row with him on the day I dropped my lad off and never used him again.Had a even bigger row when I collected him

Point of the post is that you need to read between the lines sometimes, just because it looks nice and well organized it doesn't mean that it is the best place. I took my boy to a different place the next year, what a shambles, very unorganised but she loved dogs,fed real chicken,beef or tripe with your choice of dog biscuits at proper mealtimes, let me bring their toy box and toys, blankets and gave 2 walks a day, also Socialising with other dogs. She had a big play paddock which was supervised during play time. She also had YTS kids come daily throughout the summer hols to help with walkies( again supervised by experienced staff. The best thing for my Fred, he came back much friendlier to strangers as he was quite fearful before due to a bad start in life where he was beaten with a stick as a pup ( still took nearly 2 months for his voice to come back though)
If she was closer ( 25 miles from me) I would volunteer to go help out , that is how happy I was with the care my boys had


PS glad you found somewhere good and that you had a good time ( and that she had a good time too)
 

Meira

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Does anyone know of any recommended kennels around the Hertfordshire area? We are moving to Borehamwood next week and would like to find somewhere for our 6 month Jack Russell to stay as there will be a few days where I will be travelling back and forth from Bristol and don't think it's fair to drag him along :( I won't have a chance to see the kennel before taking him there so want to be sure it's a decent place where the dogs are well looked after and not too stressed.

When we needed kennels before here in Bristol one I went to see the runs were dark and smelly and the dogs all barked like crazy constantly. Had our Charlie with us and as soon as we walked out of their he did a huge anxious poop! There was no way id leave him there. The other one was clean, the dogs were all happily wagging their tails as we walked past, the owner paid loads of attention to Charlie and there was a lovely paddock for them to run around. Both places had seemed really good on the phone but seeing then in person made me realise basing my decision on a website and conversation with an owner would not be enough.

Meira Xx
 

LocksOfLove

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I hate normal kennels everyone I have put my pooch in he always comes back dirty, distressed and shivering. I hate the little concrete kennels with little 'heat' lamps, outside and in a room of their own pee and poop. They all seem to be like that! But now for an extra £2.50 a night we put our little beaut in a home from home place. The lady looks after pooches in her home for a living, she only has 2/3 other dogs at a time, Oscar is in her home, gets plenty off fuss, massive garden to run around in and gets walked. He comes back groomed and a very happy dog! Like he doesn't want to come back lol :) heck, if rather stay there! :) xx
 

Meira

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I hate normal kennels everyone I have put my pooch in he always comes back dirty, distressed and shivering. I hate the little concrete kennels with little 'heat' lamps, outside and in a room of their own pee and poop. They all seem to be like that! But now for an extra £2.50 a night we put our little beaut in a home from home place. The lady looks after pooches in her home for a living, she only has 2/3 other dogs at a time, Oscar is in her home, gets plenty off fuss, massive garden to run around in and gets walked. He comes back groomed and a very happy dog! Like he doesn't want to come back lol :) heck, if rather stay there! :) xx
I looked into home boarding but was told that if my pup does any damage we would have to bear the cost. This was the day he took a bite out of a wall so my hubby wasn't keen on having a huge bill for repairs at the end of his stay. Also my sisters dog came back with an awful infection after home boarding and I'd be worried he'd learn bad habits in someone else's home? Xx
 

LocksOfLove

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I looked into home boarding but was told that if my pup does any damage we would have to bear the cost. This was the day he took a bite out of a wall so my hubby wasn't keen on having a huge bill for repairs at the end of his stay. Also my sisters dog came back with an awful infection after home boarding and I'd be worried he'd learn bad habits in someone else's home? Xx
Oh dear :/ shop around ask to visit. She has a dog and she doesn't take any unless they prove they're up to date with jabs etc. my pooch got her dog pregnant on our last trip - oops! Xx
 

Meira

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Oh dear :/ shop around ask to visit. She has a dog and she doesn't take any unless they prove they're up to date with jabs etc. my pooch got her dog pregnant on our last trip - oops! Xx
Lol that must've been a nice surprise for her!

Won't be able to visit as looking to drop him somewhere near the new house when I collect the keys on Wednesday and it's a 2.5 hour drive away. Then I have two days of cleaning and decorating planned until we do the actual move on Sunday. Really don't like the idea of leaving him somewhere I haven't seen but it seems worse to have him with me whilst I'm cleaning and painting and having him in his crate whilst the removal men pack up our flat :(

Xx
 

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