Please remember most Kennels & Catteries in Kent and London are well run and caring, but you should do your homework, and choose the right establishment for you and your pet.
Kennels and Catteries are not all the same, they do vary in price and size and the services they provide, so please don’t be afraid to visit them and ask questions. The advice below is designed to help you make the right choice for your pet.
Questions you should ask
(Click to expand questions to see pointers).
Not all kennels/catteries are the same, they do vary in size. Some may have 10 runs, some have over 100 runs.
Some kennels do not exercise the dogs.
Apart from the need for exercise, interaction with people is very important for your pet as it helps them to bond quickly and form a friendship, thus helping the dog to settle down much sooner. Also most dogs do not want to do their toilet in their living area, so if this is important to you and your dog make sure that the kennels provide sufficient opportunity for your dog to go out throughout the day.
Ensure there is a sufficient number of staff to care for the number of pets they accommodate so that their physical needs i.e. feeding cleaning etc. plus the animals need for play time and cuddles, can be adequately catered for.
There should always be experienced staff on hand. You will want to feel confident about leaving your pet in their care. Are the staff friendly and interested in you and your pet’s needs?
Check that the dogs are exercised in secure areas and find out if they are allowed free exercise or if they are only walked on the lead.
Are they exercised on concrete, on grass etc? Don’t be afraid to ask about the daily routine of the kennel / cattery.
Some prices may appear competitive but what does that include? There could be hidden extras. Ensure you find out the entire cost of the stay and what’s included.
It is most important that you can view the kennels with little or no notice to see the accommodation and exercise areas and meet the people who will be caring for your precious family pet.
Make sure you get to see where your pet will be staying on their holiday, not just a view from the reception. Accommodation types will vary, ensure you are happy with their sleeping area, bedding type, flooring etc.
They will tell you the truth. Are the dogs wagging their tails, do the cats look comfortable.
You will want to ensure that your pets accommodation stays dry if it’s raining and has shade if it’s hot.
Not just the accommodation but the surrounding areas as well.
Find out if they are licensed and insured (Certificates should be displayed) and what their policy is if your pet gets ill during their stay.
Find out if you are allowed to bring in personal items for your pet, as a blanket from home can help them settle. And some pets have sensitive stomachs so staying on their own food can be beneficial. Kennels & catteries will have different policies regarding this.
A good kennel or cattery should have ample staff looking after the number of guests staying there. It should be clean, fresh, light and airy. Guests should appear happy and should be given plenty of exercise and cuddles. They should be fully licensed and insured with experienced staff.
We recommend you visit several kennels / catteries if possible so that you can feel sure that you have made the right choice for your pet.