This is a continuation to Boarding your dog, part 1
Part 2: As the manager of a Pet Hotel for several years I have some insight and tips to help you save money and find a good safe place for your pet to stay.
There is an airborne virus called Canine cough but many people refer to it as Kennel cough, because dogs can catch it while staying at a kennel. However, dogs can catch it anywhere, even in a vet office. Just like us catching a cold from a co-worker or a child catching something from a classmate, dogs can catch things from other dogs. In my opinion, the less your dog is around other dogs, the more susceptible they are to getting sick, that’s because their immunity is not as strong as the dogs that get out and around other dogs, but it also can depend on the individual dog and the strength of their immune system. This is why kennel operators require the Bordetella Vaccination. It’s best your dog gets it several days before boarding but be aware that having the shot doesn’t always protect them against every strain of the virus. If your pet was exposed to the virus, it could take a few days for them to show the symptoms. I’m not telling you not to seek attention from your vet if they start making a gagging or coughing sound, I’m just saying if your dog is eating and playing (on their own) somewhat normally, I wouldn’t rush them to the vet. If however, they weren’t eating, showing a temperature and frequently gagging and coughing, then by all means seek medical attention. The antibiotics the vets gives don’t cure the dog from what they’ve caught but help avoid any secondary infections. Just like a child with a cold/flu, rest, lots of fluids (low or no temperature) the virus will run it’s course. FYI- Symptoms usually run their course in 3 – 7 days but can last as long as 14 days. (Use common sense, so when in doubt, seek medical attention.)
note: if your dog gets sick, in most cases, it’s not the kennel or managers fault, just like it’s not the Principles fault if your child catches a cold from another student. It is part of being a dog owner.
Boarding dogs can get very expensive, if you have more than one dog or you are a frequent boarder ask for a discount. You never know unless you ask. I would give discounts to military, seniors, students or people who were going to causes I thought were worthy of a discount.
Ask what dog food they feed, or ask if you can bring a special diet and do they charge extra for that? Buying a good dog food in bulk can get very expensive, so don’t expect the best quality food at the kennel, although kennels are now paying attention to what the costumer wants.
With some dogs, switching dog food abruptly can cause intestinal problems. In our facility we had a great track record with No bloating problems and only a small percentage of dogs having loose stools because of the food change. If your dog has been on the same food all it’s life, you probably want to bring your own food. If your dog is accustom to a variety of foods, or a variety of high quality food, they probably wont have a reaction. My perceptions is, going from a low quality food to a high one usually causes the loose stools, I don’t find it happening as much the other way.
Do they do anything to help calm dogs nerves like having a T.V. on during the day (not animal planet). Air fans or a ticking clock during the day or night which helps drown out other dog or outside noises.
Does the kennel accept Titer verifications: You can get a blood test instead of giving a shot. The blood test is called “titer”. I believe over-immunizing can shorten your dog’s life. Read my blog “shortening a dog’s life” http://bit.ly/1lcfPT
A few other questions you might ask is what Vet do they use, is someone there at night and do they have an evacuation plan?
If you have any questions or comments for me, please fill out the comment form.