Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the more common questions asked by customers – click on the question most similar to what you want to know, and the answer will appear below it. If you can’t find the information / answers you need, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

What exactly is a boarding kennel?

Boarding kennels are businesses designed and operated specifically to care for pets.

Many boarding kennels also provide a variety of pet services such as boarding, grooming, training classes and pet supply sales. Although the vast majority of boarded pets are dogs and cats, many kennels also offer boarding for horses, birds, reptiles and exotic pets.

Are all boarding kennels the same?

A characteristic common to most boarding kennel operators is a deep love and respect for animals, but profits can be increased by cutting standards, for example, feeding cheap food, employing student labour and overcrowding animals during peak periods.

How can I find a local kennels?

There are a number of ways of locating kennels convenient to you:

Yellow Pages
The popular method of kennel advertising. Remember though, this really is one case where ‘size doesn’t matter’. Bigger just costs more!

Friends recommendations
Satisfied customers are the best recommendation that a kennel can receive. Ask your pet-owning friends and neighbours about their experiences.

Recommendations from vets
Check with your vet or ask the kennel in question for references. Some vets are reluctant to recommend a kennels as many of them are equally good customers. Just as many fear the consequences of giving a bad reference, but it has been my experience that veterinary staff are often prepared to pass on impressions they have gained by talking to their customers.

How can we prepare for leaving our pet in kennels?

It won’t always be possible dependent on why you need to use kennels, but where it is, it is a good idea to try and give them some short stays to help them adjust to kennel life, and to realise that you are coming back for them.

To assist with this, we can offer one days FREE boarding, where dogs are brought in early on in the morning, then collected towards the end of the day.

I have friends and family who can help out with the care of my animals- why should I consider kennels.

None of us has the luxury of knowing what lays ahead in life – a sudden change in circumstances may leave you little option but to leave your beloved pet(s) in kennels for a short period (or maybe even a longer period due to illness etc).

This is why it’s a good idea to get your pet to experience staying in kennels for short periods from a relatively young age; this means that in the event you do need to put them in kennels, the experience shouldn’t be too traumatic, and ensure you worry less at what might be a difficult time.

Why does my pet require vaccinations?

The purpose of vaccinations (incl kennel cough) is to minimise the risk of any diseases affecting our guests. Some preventable diseases can be deadly to dogs, particularly the very young or old and those with compromised immune systems.

Don’t be afraid to ask if the kennels will take your pet unvaccinated.

It’s a trick question but something you MUST know. If a kennels is prepared to take the risk of accepting unvaccinated pets then do not risk your pet’s wellbeing by placing them in their care!

NB: A copy of all current certificates (within the last 12 months) should be made available to the kennel management / owners for inspection when your pet arrives to start their stay

Why do Kennels insist on a current Kennel Cough (KC) Vaccine when my dog has already had KC?

There are many strains of KC, so it is possible for your dog to get it more than once. It is now a boarding kennels licensing condition that all visiting dogs must have an up to date kennel cough vaccine (within the last 12 months) with documentary proof.

Dogs can contract Kennel Cough (KC) more than once, and can be dangerous to very young and old dogs and those with compromised immune systems.

What happens if my pet is ill whilst in kennels?

All kennels will have their own veterinary surgeons, they should also ask for details of your own vet when booking / leaving your pet for their stay, if they don’t, you need to be asking why.

Where possible, kennels will try to maintain continuity of care with your vets, but will use their own vets as a fall-back if this is not possible.

Can I visit a kennels before booking my pet in.

All good kennels should welcome visitors, although they may have limitations on where visitors can go to minimise distress to the residents and to avoid the risk of cross infection.

My dog has to have daily medication – will he still be able to stay in kennels?

If your pet is taking medication, advise the kennel operator of the nature of the problem and the type and frequency of medication. Many kennels will not accept animals requiring excessive or potentially dangerous medication, for example, diabetes jabs..

Ask if there is an additional charge for medicating.

I have visited a kennels where they have no outside runs, but they walk the dogs 3 times a day – ths should be OK shouldn’t it?

Beware the kennels that claims to walk every dog three times a day and only has two staff on duty. Multiply the number of dogs by the number of walks claimed and you will soon see if there are not enough hours in the day to fulfil the claim. So, if the claim about walks is untrue, what else is?

The kennels I am using offer a “5 star service” for an additional charge, which includes things such as regular cuddles – is it worth paying this extra charge?

For a higher fee, some kennels offer ‘luxury’ or ‘five star’ treatment that involves cuddles and walks. To our mind this degree of care is basic and should be included in the basic charge.

Ask how will they treat your pet if you don’t pay the extra?

The kennels we are considering want us to book an appointment to have a look around

If you have to make an appointment ask yourself why? It could simply be that the kennels are very busy at certain times of the day, which makes it hard to show customers around. It might mean that an unexpected visit would expose something they don’t want you to see. Whatever the arrangement, a personal visit is essential to determine whether the kennel will be satisfactory.

Here at Pantymilah, we welcome and recommend viewing our accommodation before you decide to book. Please come between 12-1pm Monday to Saturday, no need to call first.

We suggest between 12-1pm as we are always very busy with cleaning, exercising and feeding our guests at other times.

The kennels we’ve been talking to are happy for us to visit, but has told us we can’t go in areas where they are presently housing guests

Kennel operators should be proud of their kennels and want to show them off, but some of them do not permit visitors in areas where animals are housed. There are two key reasons for establishing a “Staff only” policy.

1. Some dogs react unpredictably to strangers. (they become excessively fearful or aggressive.) – as a result, the presence of strangers in the kennel can cause such dogs to injure themselves or develop intestinal problems.

2. Visitors do not follow the same stringent disinfection procedures used by kennel staff, and can transport contagious agents (bacteria, viruses) into the kennel.

Kennels with a “No Visitors” policy should provide you some type of viewing window, so that you can see where your pet will be staying. If they don’t – don’t book!

What should I be looking for when I’m viewing the kennels?

If Look to see if the bed areas and runs are clean. Be reasonable, if one or two dogs have made a small mess that is quite normal, but if every kennel contains fresh urine and faeces it is a good indication that care is lacking.

Outside exercise paddocks may look to be a great place for your pet to spend the day but take a look at how many dogs are boarded and ask yourself if they are all going to have a turn.

Have a look at the boarding pets. Do they look content?

Initially we tried contacting the kennels in the evenings, but they tell us they are off site from late evening to early morning – is this standard practice?

It is a requirement for all kennels to have a responsible person on the premises 24 hours a day? If you call for a look around and there is no-one at home, try elsewhere.

Ask how many staff are on duty? If all you see is student help, ask yourself how competent they might be?