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What to look for when choosing a kennel

Thursday, July 8, 2010; PG15

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a kennel:

Be wary of any kennel that won't let you inspect its facilities unannounced during regular operating hours.

Check whether a dog has adequate space to run. It should be long enough for the dog to break into a short gallop and wide enough for the dog to wag its tail without hitting the sides. For example, for a midsize dog, four feet by 10 feet is probably adequate.

Be sure your pet will be protected from the sun, rain, cold and excessive heat.

Be sure animals are protected from one another and that there is proper fencing to keep your pet in and other animals out.

Be sure proper health protections are in place. The kennel should be clean and not excessively smelly; all pets should be required to have proof of proper vaccinations, and pets should be examined carefully at check-in for signs of disease or parasites, which could spread.

Size up the staff members: Do they answer your questions, show affection for the animals and are they available 24 hours a day?

Check what arrangements the kennel has for veterinary care, if needed.

When you pick up your pet at the end of its stay, carefully check its condition and behavior.

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