2001-Sat Jan 21 14:46:12 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
If you need to kennel your dog, your veterinarian may have a kennel or may be able to recommend one. The advantage to kenneling your dog at your veterinarian’s practice is that if your dog becomes ill, his or her regular veterinarian and health records are on site.
Some kennels are associated with specific veterinarians. Ask the kennel how your dog will be cared for in case of illness. If the kennel isn’t associated with your veterinarian’s hospital, you may be able to request that your regular veterinarian be contacted if your dog becomes ill.
Before kenneling your dog anywhere, visit the facilities to see whether they appear safe, comfortable, clean, and well staffed. Kennel facilities range from basic cages to more elaborate accommodations, but the most important considerations are the safety and cleanliness of the facility and the competence of the staff. Ask how many animals are routinely kenneled at a time and how many staff members care for them. More staff members and fewer pets may mean more attention per pet. Your questions should be answered to your satisfaction so that you feel comfortable leaving your dog at the facility. Some facilities have cameras that allow owners to view their pets through the Internet.
When you visit a kennel, the air should not smell unpleasant. Proper air ventilation significantly decreases the risk of transmission of upper respiratory infections. Animals that are currently boarded should appear clean and well cared for.
The cage sizes should seem adequate. Each dog should have his or her own cage and should not be too close to other dogs. This helps prevent aggression and the spread of disease. Some kennels play music, which may help keep dogs calm.
Kenneled dogs need to be provided with stimuli and the opportunity for exercise. Ask the staff how often the animals are fed and exercised (How often are dogs walked? Are they given time in a large enclosed area?).
Kennels may offer extras, such as more exercise, treats, or grooming, at an additional cost. Ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercise may be worth the extra cost.
If your dog has special needs, such as a special diet or medication, ask whether the staff can accommodate these needs. Some kennels may not be able to give medication as often as your dog requires.
Dogs that will be kenneled must be free of contagious diseases. The kennel may require a health certificate from your veterinarian and proof of your dog's most recent vaccinations. Some kennels have specific vaccination requirements. Don't assume that your dog has had all of the required vaccinations without checking with the kennel first. Most of the time, a letter from the regular veterinarian is all that is required. Sometimes, additional vaccinations may be needed. As a general rule, most kennels require dogs to be current on DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) and kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) vaccinations as well as rabies vaccinations, which are administered according to state law. The kennel cough vaccination is usually administered yearly, but some kennels may also require it shortly before kenneling.
If your dog has fleas or other external or internal parasites, he or she should be treated before arrival or on admission to the kennel.
If your dog has a medical problem that is stable or is being treated, tell the kennel when making reservations to ensure that the facility is comfortable with the responsibility for your dog.
Take your dog's food. An abrupt change in a dog’s food may cause diarrhea or a lack of appetite, especially when the dog is in a stressful environment.
Give the kennel the phone numbers of several contacts in case of an emergency. Provide the number(s) at which you can be reached while you’re away. Provide a friend’s or relative's number to call if you’re unavailable. This person should be able to make emergency decisions; discuss your wishes with this person before you leave. In addition, give the kennel your veterinarian's number.
If your dog receives medications at home, they should be continued during kenneling. Take the medications to the kennel, and ensure that the kennel is aware of the problem being treated.
Ask the kennel if you can bring your dog’s favorite toy and/or bed as well as a shirt that a family member has worn. Familiar items and smells from home can help make your dog feel more comfortable.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.