A: Start early... the best kennels and catteries will be booked up weeks, or even months, in advance - particularly in the peak summer months. Come up with a set of standard questions and phone each company in turn to compare their answers. At the same time, consider whether the responses were given in a friendly and courteous manner. Overall professionalism on the telephone often gives a good indication to their approach and work ethos.
Once you have a shortlist, go and visit the premises. There really is no substitute for confirming facilities face to face with the staff. It's easy to make claims, for example in advertising like this, that have no basis in fact. At Cedar Farm we want you to visit us. We only ask that you visit during our viewing times. You are welcome to call without appointment between 11am and 3pm 7 days a week.
Finally, having chosen your kennels, give your dog a trial stay sometime before your main holiday (if they have not boarded anywhere before). This will act as a good guide to the care that will be provided and help settle your pet for a longer stay.
Q: Can I bring my dog's own bedding?
A: We provide all dogs with a plastic bed and blanket, but we are happy for you to bring items that are familiar to your dog. However, we cannot guarantee their safe return should your dog damage them.
Q: Can I bring toys and treats for my dog?
A: Yes, we encourage you to bring toys and treats for your pets. Please use some discretion in selecting toys. However, we cannot guarantee their safe return should your dog damage them.
Q: Do I need to bring my dog's own food?
A: No, we provide top quality Bakers Complete dried food and Pedigree meat tinned food to feed your dog. However, we are happy for you to bring your own food if required.
Q: Is the kennel heated?
A: Yes, our kennels are heated and double glazed. Your dog will stay very comfortable no matter what the outside temperature or weather is like.
Q: I have two or more dogs, can they stay together?
A: Yes, our boarding facilities are very large. As long as your dogs get along together they may share the same kennel.
Q: My dog may not go to the toilet during exercise, will this be a problem?
A: No, this is not a problem. Normally dogs go to the toilet in our exercise field. Kennels are checked regularly and cleaned at least twice daily to remove any 'slip-ups'.
Q: What if there is an emergency medical problem?
A: We have developed close links with several excellent veterinarians in very close proximity to Cedar Farm. Should any emergency occur then we will call out a vet straight away. The majority of vet costs are covered by our insurance, so normally no fees will be passed to you for payment (obviously pre-existing conditions will not be covered by our insurance). We assure you that your pets will receive the best attention available. Medication (for example injections) can also be administered.
Q: Do you insist on my dog being vaccinated against kennel cough?
A: Infectious Bronchitis – otherwise known as ‘Kennel Cough’, is a very contagious disease of the respiratory system which affects dogs of all ages. The disease is caused by a mixture of viruses and bacteria which pass from dog to dog as a droplet infection wherever dogs congregate – during training, dog shows, out on walks.....and when attending boarding kennels. The risk of catching kennel cough can be reduced but cannot be prevented. So if your dog is going into kennels it is advisable to reduce the chance of infection by vaccinating your dog against this disease.
The vaccine differs from your dog’s usual annual vaccination, in that it is squirted up the nostril rather than being injected under the skin on the neck. Depending on the type of kennel cough vaccination given, the vaccine can be given as little as 72 hours before going into kennels. At Cedar Farm we highly recommend, but do not insist, that your dog is vaccinated against kennel cough.
Q – Why do you charge by the day?
A: Hotels and boarding houses all charge by the night. You can usually check in say after 3pm, stay overnight and leave the accommodation the next day normally before 11am. Your room is then cleaned between 11am and 3pm ready for the next occupant. If you are not out by the allotted time, it is not uncommon to be charged for an additional night. Also, if your plans change and you arrive early, you may not be allowed into your room. At Cedar Farm we try to keep things really simple by providing the maximum flexibility to our customers and their pets. We charge by the day and the accommodation is yours for the day. It's simple, flexible and straightforward. So, if you were planning to be home for say 3pm after a trip and you arrive at 6pm because the motorway was slow, no problem. If your flight was delayed for a couple of hours or you just need to spend an extra bit of time at the shops, again no problem.
Of course we know of kennels that charge by the night and say that you can check-in anytime between 9am and 5pm….but we don’t believe they are telling you the whole story. Why? Because if my pet can leave anytime during the day, and your pet can arrive anytime during the day, then 2 dogs are potentially occupying the same kennel. There is of course a way around this and that is to put your pet into a small holding kennel until mine leaves! We don’t do that. The accommodation you book for your pet is the accommodation you get. You can check your pet in or out anytime between 9am and 7pm at a time to suit you.
Q - How often will my dog be exercised?
A:"Who let the dogs out?" - we did! At Cedar Farm we have a private, purpose built, fully enclosed, floodlit exercise area with a concrete path around the perimeter. We walk all dogs twice a day. That includes Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day...365 days a year. The only exception to this is when the weather is too bad to allow it to take place.
IMPORTANT: When viewing your chosen kennel(s), remember that every kennel will claim to walk your dog once or twice a day. Ask them to show you where!! Walking dogs is very expensive and staff intensive and not all kennels do what they say; we know of kennels who "walk dogs when they can", others walk them along public footpaths and alongside roads which is clearly unsafe.
Q: What must I bring with me when checking in my pet?
A: The most important item is information from your vet proving that your dog is vaccinated. If we cannot confirm this, we will not allow your dog to enter our boarding facilities. Have a contact phone number should we have a question concerning the care of your pet. Finally, details of your own vet.