Friday, June 19, 2009

Behind the scenes in a kennel

Is your pet really safe in a kennel while you're out of town?  63% said yes and 32% said no during a recent poll asking pet owners.  The truth, it all depends on the kennel as well as the pet.  Kennels for some pets cause much undesired stress on your pet.  Whether you have a small, medium or large breed dog if he/she is naturally a nervous dog having many dogs all at once in a confined area (and most kennels are) can cause stress.  This of course can lead to stress related health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting and even loss of weight.  If this occurs there may be an extra charge for medication and possibly even an exam fee.  Do you as the owner ever take a tour of the kennels?  It is very wise to always see where your dog or cat will be boarded while you are gone.  A couple I've seen were very nice, they had Plexiglas doors, separate controllable thermostats, a fan in each room, a raised dog bed to keep them off the tile and even a web cam so you can keep an eye on your pet from far away.  Of course for boarding rooms like those you will be paying a pretty penny.  Than there are some kennels that aren't so nice. They were cold, had grates as floors for the runs where dog's toes could get stuck (and have), or just had cold cement like floors and was cleaned with a hose.

There are other dangers in the boarding facility besides uncomfortable living conditions. There is the possible dangers regarding the staff as well.  After all how are you as the owner going to know how your pet is treated as a boarder when your not there.  Now unless you know each and every staff member which is possible if it's a small veterinary hospital.  I've come across some staff members who purposely hosed a dog down just for growling at another dog, leaving fecal matter in the dogs cage, spraying cats with water and yes even physical abuse.  In fact one of my old employers, the veterinarian to be truthful used a rabies pole to get an aggressive 40lb dog out of the run so the kennel attendant could clean the run.  The veterinarian applied way more pressure than needed to keep the dog at bay.  This veterinarian could not control his anger and applied more pressure actually popped a vessel in the dogs eyes causing them to be blood red for days to come.  Luckily for the vet this went all away 1 day before they came to pick up the dog.  The owners never knew what had occurred.



The Lesson in this, do all your research on the kennel before hand. Take a tour of the facility and be sure to meet and talk to every person that will be handling your loved ones.


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