Skip to main content

Selecting a Kennel


We recently had occasion where we had to go out of town and no family members were available to sit with our boys, so we had no option but to put them in a kennel.
Now I thought I did my research - I looked up kennels in our area on the internet and thought I had found a good one. I checked the website of the kennel to see their facilities, I searched for good and bad reviews, and I talked to people in my vets office. We also had friends who left their Daschund and Jack Terrier there and were very happy with the treatment they received.
The bonus with this kennel is that it was close to home. I found their site on the internet and was impressed by the tiled cubicles for small dogs. When I talked to the staff at the vets office who said they heard that this kennel was now under new management (and I too had seen the sign when I passed by it) and that people were starting to bring their dogs back (apparently they had a bad reputation before but no one would commit to saying why). I was told people were now commenting on how well this kennel was run and their business was growing. Sounds good, right?
So, armed with bedding, treats, toys and food, I took my boys to the kennel. I was greeted by the staff and they took the stuff for the boys and, lastly, our lovable little dogs were taken as well. I stressed over and over, on the phone and in person, that I didn't want them in contact with big dogs. Little dogs were fine, but not big ones. I was assured over and over that they would not be around the large dogs.
We had given the kennel the approximate time we would return and were about an hour late. I walked into the office and the staff member immediately went into the kennel area to let the dogs out of their chain link enclosure. Right there my mind started working - why were they in a chain link area where the large dogs were kept when on the web site the small dogs were shown in a tiled area with little white walled cubicles?
The staff member processing my debit card seemed quite friendly so I decided to probe a bit. I asked how the dogs were? Were they well behaved around other dogs? Oh yes, he said...they had no problem in the common area. Then he started yapping and I could feel the blood rushing to my head. I could see the enclosure they came from was chain link on all sides but the far wall. He told us that he put two German Shepherd dogs in the space next to our dogs. According to him, German Shepherds are very competitive when it comes to food and he said he had to separate these two when it was feeding time because they would fight with each other over any food item. He then told me they were going crazy one night because our dogs were chewing on little pig ears and the Shepherds wanted them. He said our dogs were really good: they stayed in one spot, stared straight ahead and chewed their treats while the Shepherd was pawing at the chain link. All I could think of was "of course they were chewing like robots - they were scared out of their wits!" I know my little guys - they chew, they look around, they chew some more. Now when they are nervous, they chew like robots. And that is what he described. I said "why were German Shepherds next to my dogs?" He kind of brushed it off like it was nothing and never really answered the question. There was something not right going on. He told me that he actually ended up putting a blanket over the chain link so the Shepherds couldn't see my dogs. What kind of kennel is this?
We ended up having to go on another trip and I had already pre-booked my boys with this kennel when we first brought them, but I couldn't even sleep at night thinking we had to take them back. So I started looking up other kennels and calling to see what kind of facilities they had. I found one that had solid walls between the kennels so I told the owner of that kennel what my dogs had gone through with the chain link fencing. He was quite sympathetic but also worried that my dogs got peed on. You know, I wondered why they were freshly bathed when I picked them up because I didn't order nor did I pay for a bathing. I started feeling even worse about where I had left them before, but I now have found a new kennel where the dogs are fed, provided with beds, given toys, bathed after a week, in a secure enclosure with three solid walls, and their only neighbors were a Chihuahua and another Shih-Tzu.
So the moral of this story is please check out the kennel yourself. Insist on seeing the area they will be in. Do not rely solely on other people's word...do not rely on pictures from their website. As I discovered, there was no tiled area with cubicles for small dogs in the one kennel. The small dogs were placed with the big ones.

Comments

Janz said…
Oh dear.. Im sure ur boys muz be very scare n hoping for mummy to come to their rescue at tht moment... But luckily u've found a better one this time.

Lotsa huggies for 2 of them,
Smarty & Maxter
BevB said…
I think it would be a good idea to ask for a complete tour of the facility before booking. A good kennel owner will be proud to show off his kennel.
Unfortunately time doesn't always allow a tour- or even a test run overnight stay.
I wonder what would happen if a person asked the kennel for references--to contact other dog owners who had left their dogs there previously. Hard to say if the kennel would be forthcoming.

I'm like you. I'd be worrying myself sick whether my Gracie was safe and happy.

It's not always easy being a good mom, is it?
Emma and Emmy said…
Glad the Tzu boys never have to go back there again. Hugs :)
Aw, poor little puppies. They must’ve been really scared. Good thing they don’t have to go back there anymore. Maybe you’re right, people shouldn’t just trust on pictures on their website. Of course the picture will be amazing; it will help them to attract more people to choose for their unworthy service. I wish people would stop tricking people online, but that would be like wishing for a cow to fly isn’t it? Thank you for sharing this on blogger.com. How are your guys doing now? Hope they’re fine and healthy. They are lucky to have you as their caring mom!

Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Raw Food Diets - Are They Healthy?

Proponents of the raw food diet basically say that dogs should be fed raw meat, vegetables and bones...basically what they would eat in the wild. In addition, they say that your dogs should never eat grains, rice or other carbohydrates. Why? Apparently, grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs and, because grains make up the majority of commercial dog food, our pets will be free of allergy-related symptoms once they start the raw food diet (and they won't have flatulence).

When can your dog eat chicken bones? Apparently on the raw food diet. I was taught to never give a dog chicken bones, but it seems you can if they're raw because raw bones are not dangerous - they are soft enough to bend easily and break well for the dog to digest.

Those in favor of the diet claim dogs are healthier, have more energy, require fewer trips to the vet, have fewer weight problems, produce much less stool and stool is firm and disintegrates easily. Apparently raw food also cleans…