Pet sitter or boarding kennel: Who should care for your pet while youre away? – Part 4

I have worked extensively in the pet care industry, both as a professional groomer and as a manager at multiple kennels. Personally, I would NEVER board my own pets. I have witnessed first hand the running of these places, and that is the reason why I am pursuing other employment now. I know that there are kennels that take exemplary care of the animals entrusted to them, but I have worked at some of the most trusted places that come highly recommended in their respective communities, and I was appalled. The philosophy of a kennel environment doesn’t work for many pet owners – because of the nature of caring for many different pets at once, the animals are not going to be able to be as catered to as most owners think. Kennels are notorious for being under- and inadequately staffed, and oftentimes the staff has little to no training in animal care and handling. This ignorance on the part of the staff can have dire consequences: injuries, attacks, escapes, unnoticed illnesses, and even death of pets in the care of the kennel. Pet owners are often lied to in regards to how their pet is doing or even how the pet’s stay went in order for the facility to avoid complaints or unhappy customers. Because of the hectic nature of the business, medications may go undelivered, food may be switched or not given as instructed, and pets are rarely monitored as closely as the owner thinks they will be. I have seen diabetic pets go hours without insulin, and I have seen the kennel owners throw out medicine (even seizure meds like phenobarbital) that was not given to the pet before returning the belongings to the owner. Dogs often go more than 14 hours between bathroom breaks, especially at night or on weekends. Cats are largely neglected, and may be let into too close of contact with other cats, despite the fact that they can contract illnesses from other cats much more easily than dogs and tend to be easily stressed by interspecies socialization. I would be extremely hesitant to trust a kennel facility again, and since my pets require medication and special care, I would certainly find a trusted person to care for them in my home if I can’t take them with me.

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