Kennels and catteries

As you well know, caring for your pet takes commitment and hard work, and if, when you go on holiday, you leave them with friends or relatives who do not have their own pets, the learning curve may be steep.

Some pets require more attention and care than others, and it may be more demanding for friends or relatives than we realise. On the one hand, your pet may be familiar and comfortable with your friend or relative, and benefit from a change of scene. Alternatively, if house-sitting is an option, it may be better for your pet to stay on their own turf while the carer comes to live in.

Homes away from home

For many pet owners, placing their pet with a friend for the holiday just isn’t an option, and opting for a good kennel or cattery makes more sense.

According to the RSPCA, one of the best ways to make sure your dog or cat will get reliable care is to board it at a reputable kennel or cattery.

The RSPCA adds that you can find a reputable establishment by asking your vet, contacting your local council or by asking the RSPCA if any of its local animal centres take boarders.

Reputable kennels and catteries will want to see an up-to-date certificate of inoculation, and as an owner, you should also make sure that you or the establishment has pet insurance in case your pet needs emergency veterinary treatment.

Ten things to bear in mind when choosing a kennel or cattery

  1. The kennel or cattery should be clean and dry, with adequate water supplied
  2. It should be safety-conscious
  3. It should be escape-proof with good ventilation
  4. Sleeping quarters are hygienic, with room to stretch
  5. The kennel or cattery has heaters
  6. The staff are friendly and make you feel welcome
  7. There are enough staff members to cope with the kennel or cattery being full
  8. They carry out pet grooming
  9. They display their local authority licence
  10. They treat the dogs or cats every so often with a special snack

You should always be asked to leave your holiday telephone number and the name and telephone number of your vet, along with details of any medication your animal may be taking.

Pet psychology

According to kennel consultants Boarding Kennels opens in a new window there are several factors that can impact on your pet’s psychology, either positively or negatively.

  1. A bigger boarding room, 6ft wide or more, will give room for stretching; whereas a kennel that is 3.5ft wide will be too cramped.
  2. A bright kennel with lots of natural daylight will make the dog cheerful; but dark kennels with very little light can adversely affect their mood.
  3. Lots of freedom, perhaps with an attached run or choices of location and views, is better for the dog.
  4. Fewer kennels in the establishment will make for a quieter and calmer atmosphere; whereas a lot of kennels can be noisy and stressful for the pet.

All this, as well as hygienic and well-maintained conditions, and a high staff to dog ratio, will help your pet to be much happier in the kennels.

Cats are usually very attached to their home and garden, and may find moving to a cattery unsettling. However, applying the same principles of space, light, freedom and quiet can help to make your pet’s stay at a cattery more pleasant.

Make sure your pets are adequately covered by pet insurance whether they are at home or away. You can get a quote and buy pet insurance online from Churchill.