Are you planning to go on vacation or somewhere you can’t take your Labrador? Searching for a boarding kennel? We understand the difficulties this presents, so we have some super suggestions and alternatives to make your life easier – and of course, make your Lab feel more comfortable. After all, being a responsible pet owner, you’ll want your Labrador Retriever safe and well cared for while you’re gone, right? Right!
Alternatives to Boarding Kennels
Dog owners can be pretty picky people – and for good reason. So, for continuity, lower stress and to decrease the risk of contracting something like “kennel cough”, many owners feel that the best place for their Lab is right in their own home. Nowadays, you can easily get a dog sitter to stay at your home and care for your Labrador while you’re away. This may be the best option for Labs that don’t have any behavioral issues.
Prepare well in advance
Getting a reservation at a good boarding kennel during summer can be very hard. Most people have spots already booked up for their dogs. That’s why we recommend making your reservation well in advance. Also don’t forget to get a vaccination certificate from your vet before talking to a boarding kennel.
Picking the best boarding kennel
Word of mouth is the best source of information. Ask your friends if they’ve used any of the local boarding kennels before. Be careful about advertisements and websites though since their info isn’t always genuine.
We suggest visiting the kennels you’re interested in and chatting with the management about your Lab’s routine and needs. Also, observe how clean the place is and what the staff is like. Just looking at how the staff acts can play a big role in your decision. Is the kennel equipped for Labrador Retriever grooming? This is a good sign that they’re comfortable with this breed.
Many people prefer kennels that take dogs outside for walks but we don’t recommend that. Why? Well, because they usually take a lot of dogs out at the same time and the chance of something going wrong is much higher. The dogs can get nervous easily because they’re with an unfamiliar leader and strange dogs. We suggest you choose a kennel the keeps the dogs on campus.
However, be sure that the kennel exercises your dog regularly. If Labs don’t get regular exercise, they can get upset, angry and unpleasant to be around. So, again, make sure that the kennel you choose knows your Lab’s specific exercise requirements.
Questions to ask
Before sending your Labrador to the boarding kennel, ask the management if your dog will be allowed to play with other dogs or if they will be kept separate. They generally make the decision according to your Lab’s personality. If your Lab is friendly and loves to be around other dogs, the kennel will generally allow it.
Be sure t0 inquire about food to make certain it is up to your standards and meets the nutritional needs for your Lab. If you would prefer your Lab eats its regular food from home, verify ahead of time that the kennel will accommodate your request, but be prepared to pay a little more. Some kennels may charge extra to prepare special food.
Remember to ask what steps the kennel will take if your dog gets sick and make sure they have a way to contact you. Also, if you are unavailable, who will make decisions about treatments your Lab might need? A friend or relative that knows your dog is the best bet. We recommend, even if your Labrador is very healthy, giving an alternative phone number in-case of an emergency. They may never need it, but it’s good to be prepared.
Give the kennel a trial run
Take your Labrador Retriever to the boarding kennel once or twice before you go on vacation. It’s a good idea to leave your dog there for a night and come back the following day. Doing this a few times will reassure them that if you’ll always be back to pick them up.
Leaving your dog
If you’re like most Labrador owners and you’re very attached to your dog, leaving them at kennel may be difficult. That’s why you want to be diligent about picking out the right kennel. It makes all the difference in the world for you and your Lab. The more comfortable you are the more comfortable your pet will be.
And be mindful when you drop off your Labrador retriever. If you’re upset, your dog will sense it and it will color their mood for the entire stay. So, be happy and cheerful or have someone else drop your Lab off who can be happy and cheerful.
Now, go and have a great vacation, knowing your Lab will be well cared for and happy to see you when you get home. Their wagging tail will give them away.
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. – Anonymous