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Things to consider when using a boarding kennel

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If you are going away, you may need to find someone to take care of your puppy. Trusting someone with your precious 4-legged companion may be more difficult than you first think and can often stir up mixed emotions. Boarding kennels can provide a great solution, providing you with peace of mind as well as being a fun and stimulating experience for your puppy.

When selecting your kennels do your research. Decide what research works best for you, you can talk to other dog owners, check online reviews and ask your veterinary practice for recommendations. Before you make a final decision visit the kennels, and have a good look around. They must be certified with their local council and they need to renew this licence every year.

Once you have selected the right kennel for you see if the kennel is happy for you to visit with your puppy, perhaps more than once. Your puppy will then be familiar with the kennel. Make sure the experience is a fun one, consider bringing treats or play their favourite game while there.

Ensure your puppy is vaccinated, the kennels will probably insist on this anyway but make sure it is done at least a few weeks before you travel so your puppy is receiving the full protection. It’s sensible to make sure worming and flea treatments are right up to date too.

Get all the paper work done in advance if possible, you may be stressed or distracted on the day you drop off your puppy. It’s important the kennels have your vets details, even if they use another vet.

Leave enough of your puppy’s normal food for the duration of their stay. If your puppy has an unusual diet which you cannot leave with the kennels, consider changing to something you can leave in the weeks before you go. Changing diet can be problematic, but it’s better you do that at home rather than while your puppy is in the kennels.

Leave a few familiar things with your puppy. It will be reassuring for your puppy to have some familiar toys and something with your sent on, perhaps a t-shirt. Don’t go overboard you don’t need to leave half the contents of your home.

On the day itself don’t drag out handing over puppy and make sure you keep calm and relaxed, otherwise your puppy will sense your tensions and become tense themselves. Remember you’ve done your homework, and you’ve chosen a good kennel, your puppy will have an exciting time playing with other dogs. They’ll be delighted to see you when you return but that doesn’t mean they haven’t enjoyed their stay.

Using a dog sitter is an alternative to a boarding kennel, this may mean your puppy can stay at home but consider what will suit your puppy best, they may be home alone for a long periods if you use a pet sitter, where as they are likely to have staff and other dogs for company more of the time at a kennels.

If you decide to use a dog sitter, as with kennels, do your research, make sure you leave enough of your puppy’s normal food and if you can introduce your puppy to the sitter before you go.


Petplan are the UK's favourite pet insurer and has been providing award winning dog, cat and rabbit insurance for more than 40 years.

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