You've spent weeks going through the brochures and hours trawling the internet; your holiday is booked and now its time to work out what to do with the family pets.
Opening the Yellow Pages or a quick search on Google will reveal a host of kennels and catteries within the surrounding area( though we do have people who come from as far away as Kent and London), so once you've picked a few likely looking candidates ask around and see if you can get any recomendations - a local vet is always a good start.
Hopefully you've narrowed the field down a little, so its time to phone around and arrange some visits.
Viewing the kennel or cattery – you should always take the time and effort to view a kennel or cattery before booking your pet in, while it may seem an unnecessary inconvenience imagine the problems if on the day you decide you don't want your pet to stay there! Do you leave your pet and spend your holiday feeling miserable and guilty or do you cancel your holiday and lose all your money. A well run kennels or cattery will for reasons of routine restrict the hours you can visit, do not expect to take your pets along as they will upset the guests and if you take children along make sure they are old enough to behave in a responsible manner.
What to look out for
Welcoming and polite - while a happy smiling face at the gate is no guarantee of a well-run kennels or cattery it gives a good indication – happy staff are a good indicator of a happy kennels.
2) Smell – while there may be some odour (these are dogs and cats at close quarters after all) the smell should not be overwhelming, as this is a sign of poor hygiene standards. How smelly is too smelly? You’ll know when you smell it !!
3) In good repair – maintaining a kennels/cattery is a bit like painting the Forth bridge – there’s always something that needs doing or something that’s been chewed but it should leave an overall opinion that someone cares about the place and that its not falling to pieces.
5) Newspaper/sand/woodshavings – great for absorbing pee and poo and hiding a multitude of sins and a complete no no in any well run kennels or cattery.
6) Proof of vaccination – no one likes the inconvenience of digging out the vaccination card as you prepare for your holidays or worse still having to rush to the vets because you can’t find the original BUT remember this, if the kennels /cattery don’t ask for yours they don’t ask for other peoples and that puts your animals at risk !
7) Your pets behaviour on collection – not such a good clue for cat owners and a little late as your pets stay is over but nonetheless it gives you an idea of whether to come back.
It’s only right that your dog should be keen to see you and pulling away from kennel
staff but if your dog is subdued and unhappy then it may be advisable to check out what else is available for next time.
8) Questions on booking – while it may be an inconvenience to spend time answering questions about your pets eating habits, who your vets are etc. etc. it indicates that the kennels/cattery are well organised and care about your pet.
9) Feeding – a good kennel or cattery will stock a range of popular foods but don’t expect them to have everything and if your pet is on either a lesser known brand or a specialised diet(prescription, puppy etc.). Don’t just take their word that they stock your pets preferred food make a point of including the kitchen when you view the premises.
I hope these tips help you in your search for suitable holiday accommodation for your pets and I hope that Farcroft manages to pass these simple tests.
Just remember that the difference between a cheap kennels and a good kennels is probably less than a round of drinks or a decent bottle of red.