Choosing a boarding facility or kennel for your dog

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | December 13th, 2019

As a veterinarian, I am always under pressure to board/keep my clients’ dogs especially when they have a strong need to travel for a short while or a very long time and for many other reasons.

This made me search for boarding facilities around the city which are scarcely available in Abuja. Most of the available boarding facilities for dogs are somewhere outside the city center. Sometimes sanitation is a very big problem because most of the kennel owners are mainly dog sellers. These guys are mostly interested in taking care of the puppies that are ready for sale rather than dogs that will stay with them for a while.

One of the outsourcing I did resulted in the death of the dog. The kennel keeper failed to alert the owner that the dog was sick for more than 5 days. It was when the dog died that he simply said that the dog had refused to eat for some days and he felt that the dog will eventually eat when he gets very hungry. It is unfortunate that some kennels employ handlers who refuse to report cases of ill-health of the dogs during boarding.

After this experience I stopped keeping dogs with any other person. I had to keep few dogs at a time due to the tenancy agreement with my landlord and subsequently moved to a bigger place where we could accommodate a little more dogs. I sleep and wake up to check on the dogs in case of any problems. Many times I notice changes and act to avoid future occurrence.

Ecto-parasites like ticks and fleas infestations are some of the issues that make boarding dogs difficult because one dog brings it and spreads it to the other dogs in the kennel which results in serious problems to eradicate. Haven seen this issue before we had a policy to eradicate these parasites before taking any dog it for boarding. We normally had the client pay for it but eventually, we started to do it for free. We have a tick and flea free kennel ever since.

Some dogs come in without the routine vaccination or outdated vaccination so we insist that they are done before we accept them. The outbreak of contagious diseases like Parvo-enteritis is something we don’t want to happen in our kennel before it can result in serious crisis that has the ability to result in mortality of other dogs and the dogs that brought them. Parvo-enteritis can be managed but the survival is very uncertain so we rather prevent the occurrence in the first place.

Dog fighting is another reason why I insist on monitoring these dogs by myself. Dogs that fight consistently are separated and are not released together. Some dogs just want to fight other dogs especially in a bid to dominate the territory. We are careful in this regard to eliminating issues of bite wounds that might be inflicted on the dogs.

We assess dogs medically before we accept them in our kennel because some dogs might be sick even before they come for boarding. The owner may not even be aware of this until we conduct our medical checks. Treatment is recommended to the owner at the clinic before the dog can be allowed into the kennel.

Exercise is a crucial part of keeping dogs because they need it on a daily basis. We ensure that these dogs have the required amount of exercise and eat the right amount of food hence the good body condition they eventually maintain while in our kennel. We have limited space in our kennel because we do not want to overcrowd so that the dogs will have plenty of space to freely enjoy themselves.

If you want to use our kennel to board your dog in Abuja please contact us here but if not use the guide in this article to assess any kennel you wish to use for this purpose so that your dog can be in safe hands while you travel. I wish you a safe trip!


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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