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Key Questions To Ask Your Pet’s Kennel

March 1 2024

Are you leaving town soon? If you’ve never boarded your pet before, you may be unfamiliar with some of the specifics and procedures involved. We constantly welcome queries from new clients. We understand how hard it can be to leave your cherished pet in the care of strangers! In this post from your Clinton, UT neighborhood kennel, we offer some questions you might want to ask.  

What Should I Bring When Boarding My Pet?

Keep in mind that each kennel operates somewhat differently. For example, some allow you to bring your furry friend’s bedding and while others prefer to use their own. This is frequently done to ensure that everything has been adequately cleaned and disinfected, therefore reducing the spread of things like fleas or viruses.

When Are You Open For Drop-Off And Pickup?

This is an important one. For example, it is reasonable to anticipate that someone will be at the kennel all weekend. However, just because staff is coming in to care for the animals does not mean the front desk will be open. Many kennel offices are only open throughout regular business hours. You don’t want to realize at the last minute that you can’t drop Fido off on your way to the airport!

How Much Is Boarding?

This is obviously an important question, and it is one of the first that many clients ask. Nonetheless, it’s absolutely worth mentioning on the list!

What Amenities Does Your Pet Resort Provide?

We’ve been friends with Fido and Fluffy for quite some time. According to research, mankind initially tamed dogs about 30,000 years ago and cats around 12,000 years ago. We’ve gotten to know our canine and feline pals well over time, but we’re continually learning more about them. The importance of stimulation and playfulness is one thing that has recently come to light. Pets require enrichment to remain happy and healthy! Many kennels now provide optional enhancements for their furry wards. Of course, each place is unique. That is why you want to inquire!

How Frequently Will You Play or Walk With My Pet?

Kennels usually include a walk or two in their daily costs, unless Fido has his own separate run. However, there’s also some variation here.

Keep in mind that each dog has distinct needs. In normal circumstances, Fido would need to go outside at least three times every day, or every eight hours. However, this is not ubiquitous. A puppy, for example, has to be walked every few hours. Young canines can often only retain it for roughly an hour each month of age. Seniors also sometimes require shorter, more frequent walks.

You may also be able to decide how many walks your pooch gets daily. 

Where Will My Dog Get Walked?

Some kennels walk their canine companions on leashes, while others utilize runs or pens. Find out where they will be taking Fido.

How Many Weeks In Advance Should I Book?

This is a pretty important question, and the answers may differ depending on the area and time of year. Kennels are busiest during popular travel times, like the winter holidays and summer vacations. In some situations, you may be able to get your companion in right away, but this is ultimately determined by whether or not they are booked.

What Are Your Emergency Procedures?

Kennels may have varied operational procedures. You may also need to make some decisions on this one. Read your paperwork carefully! The kennel may ask you to decide whether they are authorized to seek veterinary care or if they should contact you first. There could also be some shades of grey here. If Fido breaks a toenail, the kennel may not see the need to transport him to an emergency clinic. However, if something severe occurs, you should reasonably expect them to take him in.

You may also need to provide backup contacts, especially if your mobile phone will be out of range. The kennel might only be able to reach your emergency contact!

Are There Separate Areas For Dogs And Cats?

Fluffy and Fido sometimes get along, but only after getting to know each other. If you’re boarding your cat, you don’t want her to spend the week sitting next to a large, energetic dog!

What Shots Does My Pet Need?

If there is one piece of advice that can be applied universally when boarding pets,  it’s to not just avoid but run from any kennel or facility that does not require pets to be up to date on their core immunizations.

This includes the following:

Canine Core Vaccines:

  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine adenovirus type 2
  • Canine Parvovirus 
  • Rabies

Feline Core Vaccines:

  • Feline panleukopenia.
  • Feline herpesvirus 
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Rabies

Then there are non-core vaccinations. The most frequently recommended are the Bordetella and canine influenza vaccines, which prevent kennel cough and other dangerous infections. Other non-core vaccines for dogs include canine leptospirosis, canine Lyme, and the Western diamondback rattlesnake vaccine. Bordetella and chlamydia may be among the non-core vaccines available for cats.

Am I Able To Board A Puppy Or Kitten?

This can be a challenging scenario. Generally, you should never leave very young dogs or cats alone for extended periods of time. However, many kennels do not accept puppies or kittens younger than nine weeks. Your pet’s vaccination schedule may also be a factor. Certain immunizations require boosters, so pets are not entirely protected until they have completed the sequence. If your furry friend has not received all of their immunizations, the kennel might decline to keep them. Or, if they do, they may place them in quarantine.

Can I Visit The Facility?

You don’t need to check every corner of the kennel. It is also reasonable to expect some regions to be off-limits. That said, you should be able to glance at the area where the pups will be housed. In fact, if the kennel says no, that could be a sign that something is off.

Here are some warning signs to check for:

  • Dirty/small outdoor places without shelter
  • Dirty pets
  • Dirty kennels
  • No water
  • No climate control
  • Refusal of a request to visit premises (without sufficient justification)

Another red flag would be not requesting proper documentation, such as proof of your pet’s vaccinations. (Note: this of course may not apply if you board with your Clinton, UT veterinary clinic, as they would have the information already.)

How Frequently Are The Kennels Cleaned?

Good kennels are meticulous about keeping their facilities clean. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of diseases and parasites!

Do The Kennels Have Climate Control?

One would assume that they would, but it’s better to be certain. You don’t want your pet to be uncomfortable in the heat or cold while you’re away!

Other Questions You May Want To Ask

These are the most important concerns, but there are many others you may want to know, such as how frequently the water is changed, what the feeding schedules are, and whether an emergency vet is on call. You may also want to know if the kennel is noisy or if there are any measures in place to reduce noise or distress.

Would you like to schedule boarding? Please contact us at your local Clinton, UT veterinary hospital, anytime!

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