Touring A Kennel? Watch For These Safety Features

Posted on: 9 September 2015

The best kennels will be those facilities that keep your dog safe. Dogs who are boarded must be protected against issues like illnesses and the potential for escape. When touring a kennel, look for the following important safety features.

Protection from Illnesses

When dogs come in close contact and play with one another, they can easily spread germs. The best kennels will protect against illnesses and health problems like kennel cough, canine parvovirus and parasites. When touring the kennel where you're thinking about boarding your dog, watch for features that can help protect your dog from illnesses:

Open, well-ventilated play areas. Poor ventilation breeds germs, so open-air play areas are good for dogs in a kennel. The more time your dog spends out in the open fresh air, the better. Time spent outdoors should include structured exercise as well as free-play. Dogs need between 30 minutes and 2 hours per day of exercise in order to remain healthy and fit. At the kennel, these needs may increase if the new surroundings make the dog feel stressed or anxious. When touring the facility, ask how much time each day your dog will spend in outdoor play areas.

Clean living quarters. You shouldn't smell strong odors or see animal fecal matter when you're looking at the animal living quarters. Find out how often the living quarters are cleaned and disinfected (this is not the same process). The cleaning process should include a scrubbing with hot water and soap. Products like bleach have disinfecting characteristics that can protect your dog against germs and illnesses. Bleach left to dry for 10 minutes in a kennel can appropriately disinfect the area.

Veterinary services. Find out how the kennel handles veterinary services for the dogs. If the kennel keeps a veterinarian on the premises, ask to see the veterinarian's office and the place where dogs are kept when they're ill. If you can, meet with the veterinarian and ask him or her about the vaccination policies. The most common agents involved in kennel cough are parainfluenza, bordetella and adenovirus-2, and there are vaccines that exist for all three of these viruses. If there is no veterinary office on site, find out how illnesses are typically handled.

Security

Some dogs are natural escape artists. They like to dig holes, jump fences and make a run for it when an opportunity presents itself. Touring the grounds of the kennel, watch for security measures that will help keep your dog safe. Sturdy fences, security cameras and secure locks are all important features at a kennel. Inquire about security procedures, like what measures are taken to prevent dogs from leaving the property, and what happens if a dog leaves the grounds on his or her own.

While touring the grounds, pay close attention to the level of supervision each dog receives. How much one-on-one attention do dogs receive? When dogs play together in groups, how many employees accompany each group? How small are the groups? There is no hard and fast number that determines what the employee-to-dog ratio should be when dog groups are interacting. Ask to watch a group in action so you decide for yourself whether or not each dog is getting adequate supervision.

Most important is that you should feel comfortable when putting your dog in a boarding situation. After you tour the facilities, you should leave feeling comfortable that your dog will be in good hands. Contact a local kennel, like Country Kennels, for more information.

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