Is it cruel to put fur babies in a kennel when going away?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by phoebe1, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. phoebe1

    phoebe1 New Member

    I have been agonizing over this and have always refused to put my babies in a kennel because I think they will feel abandoned, won't know where their mommy and daddy is and I hate the idea of them staying in a cage only to be let out a few times a day, what will they think?

    I know alot of dogs stay in the kennels and come out fine, but we have 2 shar-pei's and their whole world revolves around us. When we went on honeymoon last year we left them with my parents whom they are very familiar with and love to bits and they stopped eating and their hair fell out.
    Last week my husband went on a business trip and for the 1st 2 days they wouldn't eat and on the 3rd day they started picking at their food.

    My husband always say that I make them out to be humans and they are just dogs and won't mind staying in a kennel and socializing with other dogs, but just the thought makes me want to cry and I will feel very guilty about it.
    It would really feel like I am abandoning them, and how will they feel about it?
    There is a house sitting service in our neighbourhood but it is 4 times more expensive, they actually come stay at your house and look after your dogs in their own surroundings which I feel is the better option.
    What are your opinions on this and what do you do with your fur babies when you want to go on holiday?

    Phoebe
  2. lenaw70

    lenaw70 New Member

    Thats a tough one!

    If you do deside to go with the house sitter, make sure they are bonded and that the person has been checked out.

    Not to scare you, but that could be worse as that would be only ONE person responsible for them with noone watching over their care taking, where if you went with a reputible boarding kennel, at least there would be more than ONE person watching over your babies!

    Something to ponder anyways...
    Lena

  3. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Bear is our fur-baby - a chow/lab mix and has the lab disposition. He thinks he's human! Sometimes I think he is too.

    Once when my hubby teased him and left, Bear found my hubby's favorite magazine and tore it to shred! This is NOT the Bear's normal way of acting, he was mad at my husband for teasing him! He seems to understand so much of what we say.

    Bear is used to being in the house and is never out expect to "pee-poo."

    We've left him with our vet several times while going out-of-town where we could not take him. The staff at the vet's are really super and treat him well. He does have a cage, and it breaks our hearts to leave him ...

    He is ok after we leave the vets. It's kind of like leaving a child in daycare or something. Bear doesn't seem traumatized at all. We feel better leaving him there because they know him the best and have all of his records.

    If your vet boards, you may want to check that out.

    Jeannette
  4. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Some areas have dog sitting services where someone comes to your home twice a day, instead of staying there full time. They feed, water, and walk or play with the animals each time they come. This would be less expensive than a full-time house sitter and would allow the dogs to stay in their familiar environment.
  5. Musica

    Musica New Member

    Okay, I know that seems to be the answer to most things!!! However, I think it does depend on the personality of the furbaby or furbabies, how they were raised, etc. I think some are more claustrophobic than others. Then, of course, some are raised to be used to cages. I think my cat gets a bit claustrophobic or feels too trapped in a cage.

    There was a good point raised about having more than one person looking after your babies, and more constantly, in a reputable kennel. I have never left my furkitty in a kennel, and never could, after seeing how he did overnight at a vet's. When I was in an apartment, I found a service that places pets in homes. After moving to a townhouse condo, though, I keep him here and have someone feed him and check on him once in awhile. They hardly see him because he peeks out then runs and hides! I know he is much more comfortable at home, and where we are now, there are more windows for him to look out and more room to roam around, so I feel much better than I would have keeping him cooped up in the apartment.
  6. phoebe1

    phoebe1 New Member

    Thank you for the advice, I'm glad there are so many animal lovers on this board.
    It's hard to find a place with a good reputation because I don't know anyone who puts their dogs in a kennel, except my parents but they live in another town, and it's not called a kennel either it's a dog hotel :)

    Elliespad, I'm so glad you responded because I know you also have 2 pei's and they are just a whole different type of breed, I knew you would understand.

    It's horrible what your 2 girls went through and that is why I'm very hesitant, as you know this breed doesn't care much for other dogs and is only interested in their human family. Astro is especially sensitive, he is a bit high strung and very attached to me.
    The "dog hotel" that my parents' pei is currently staying at sends them messages everyday like it's actually coming from the dog, yesterday they got a msg from him that he is in love with Jenny, another pei staying there and they don't have to worry about him, he will even stay on a bit longer :)

    I was so worried about my parents doing this because he is a rescued dog and was abandoned and abused as a little puppy, he was found tied to a tree with open wounds and cuts and stayed with animal welfare for a month before my parents found him. He is a real character and has some psychological problems from being so traumatized, but he is king of the house and loved by everyone.

    This is a very difficult decision, at the moment we are just not going anywhere if we can't find someone to look after them.

    Hugs
    Phoebe
  7. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hi pheobe

    visit a few in yoru area and ask around other dog owners, there is one near me that i hate and when my friend left her two labs there i visited them to see they were ok.
    but when i went on honeymoon i did loads of checking up and found this great kennels where they treat the dogs like they are on holiday :) the owners live right by the kennel block and there is lots of security.

    when i go on hols i take my dogs with me but as it was honeymoon (even though i wanted to) i had to leave them.
    its not cruel and dogs get into kennel life easier than you think.


    walk around the kennels. first hows the security? look for flood lighting, gates and coded key pads so only staff can walk in. make sure the kennel doors dont see directly into the kennel opposite as this is a stress point for the dogs.
    check out feeding and walking routines. can you take your own food in or do they provide the food you use? what about emergency vet care? how will you be charged.
    make sure yoru two dogs can go into a double kennel together and that you can take your bedding in for them, provide toys from your house too.

    its not cruel to leave them in kennels although i felt worse leaving the dogs than the kids behind, we had a lady come through the rescue wherea dalmatian had been dumped.

    the lady went on holiday and decided she didnt want her dog anymore so just left her there and we homed her. now that is cruel!
    dont worry and enjoy yoru holiday.

    as for house sitting. go to a well set up company, we have animal angels and animal aunts and they send you references and the staff have been police checked.
    i also know of a lady who advertises her dogs to other people who cant have their own dogs when she goes away but that way throws up its own risks.
  8. cczub

    cczub New Member

    If you have someone that you know that will be watching them at the house and you trust them then go with it.

    I have a horrible experience with having people watch my pets. When I was alot younger, maybe 10 years old, my family went on vacation to Florida. We had 2 cats and 2 dogs. My mom had her best friend's kids watching the animals. When we got home after a week we saw that they used the pool and stuff but couldn't find one of our cats(both were house cats). Finnaly my mom finds our black cat who was 13 years old in the basment not able to move. Turns out the kids never gave the cats water. After taking her to the vet it turns out her kidneys had shut down and had to be put to sleep. My mom made the kids(probally 14-15 years old) go with us to put her down.

    If you kennel your pets when you go on vacation with someone that you've checked into and they have good refrences, at least you know your pets will be well taken care of. Just my 2 cents.
  9. jhmitch

    jhmitch New Member

    Hi Phoebe!

    Your situation is one reason my husband and I put off all our non-necessary trips for 15 years (until all our animals had passed away).

    Once, when my mother died and was buried in another state, we left our basset in a kennel and he had a bad experience since he missed us so much.

    Another time, we had a combination of a (paid) trusted next-door neighbor come in twice a day plus a professional dog sitter who came in the afternoon to walk our dogs. This worked out fairly well though our neurotic dog once trashed our house right after the dog sitter left.

    A friend of mine (and devoted animal lover) works for a shelter that has boarding kennels. She allows each of the "her" dogs to follow her into the shelter kitchen (one at a time) while she washes their blankets, prepares their food, and gives them a lots of individualized attention. She also makes sure each dog gets a daily walk on a leash by one of the volunteers. I would have no hesitation in leaving my own dogs with this friend.

    The bottom line, I guess, is that you have to explore each available alternative for yourself. Visit a kennel or boarding residence and see how the staff interacts with the animals in their care. Ask the techs or the receptionist at your vet for suggestions, check references, and go with your gut instinct.

    Best wishes for a good solution.

    Janice
  10. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    The biggest advice on kennels is to check them out well before you take your animals there. Some kennels are wonderful and take great care of the animals there. Others are dirty, unhealthy and neglectful. I think it is very important to personally go to the various kennels to inspect where you pet will be kept, by whom and what kind of care, activities, etc. they will receive. Also, check for complaints against the facility with the BBB.

    I cannot kennel my two fur babies because one of mine has horrible separation anxiety and the one time I kenneled him, he ended up in doggie ICU for several days because of it. So, now I have a good friend who does house/dog sitting who I use regularly whenever I have to go somewhere with out them.
  11. JPach007

    JPach007 New Member

    Hi Phoebe,
    I know how you feel. I actually work for a Vet and we board dogs and cats. I can tell you that most dogs adjust very well. Take a person item (one of your shirts that hasnt been washed that will smell like you, a blanket that you and your dogs cuddle with) and ask the kennel to put it in with your babies. The dogs do socialize and make friends with whomever is next to them.
    On the other hand...I have 2 dogs of my own (check out my bio pic), and much like you, I just cannot take them out of their environment. Although I know they would be well cared for, I always elect to have my neighbor take care of them. My dogs have an actual mattress with a comforter and pillows in the heated garage and they can go in and out as they want through the doggie door. It doesnt get that cold here in Texas!
    I guess I havent helped you make a decision at all! We are going to Maine for a week in the end of Dec and I am having my neighbor take care of them. Do whatever makes you more comfortable. That will allow you to enjoy your time away more!
    JPach
  12. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Phoebe,
    I have had dogs , whom I have loved dearly, for a long time. When I lived in San Jose I boarded my dog at a kennel when I went on trips or during family emergencies. I knew the people who ran it, and he did, too. I knew that the runs would be cleaned daily and that he would be given attention. I visited the kennel area the first time, to be sure they were clean. Don't worry about a dog being in a dog run for a few days. Dogs spend a lot of time sleeping, anyway. It would be great if you could find a kennel where the dogs are exercsed and given treats.

    My dog did not have any problems until he was very old and senile. Now, he had been at this kennel at least 2 times a year for boarding, and at least once or twice a week for fun , a visit, or training, over a period of 10 years. My mom was just out of the hospital and I needed to go to her apartment to care for her.

    After a several days I phoned to see how my dog was doing and I was told that he was not doing well. He did think that I had abandoned him, and had stopped eating and drinking. I went immediatly to pick him up, but he had already given up and couldn't walk. He died soon after. Imagine the guilt! Yet, my mom came first. I know I did the best I could at the time. I really thought he would still like that kennel and all his old friends, but his senility made his ability to adjust non existant. Live and learn.

    Now, it is common for dogs not to eat for the first 3 days. That will not hurt them, unless they already have a health problem. In the wild, dogs don't eat every day. They kill their food, and eat it, and then don't eat until they can kill again. I know some breeders who only feed their dogs 6 days a week, with this in mind. They think it is best for their system.

    Boarding a dog can increase his/her self confidence and indepencence. None of us want a dog who is not mentally and emotionally strong. However, it is good to remember that there are some breeds that will go into a depression if they are left for a long while and not visited. I don't know if the Shar Pei is one of those. The German Shepheerd, is.

    If you visit the run area of the kennel, you can satisfy yourself about their accomidations. Each dog should have an elevated bed and a mat or blanket, a water dish and be in at least a 6-foot run. Usually dogs that live together are put in the same run. You can take a toy or two that they already have, and even some old clothes of yours. Be sure that they are groomed before you pick them up. Kennel odor is hard to aviod, depending on how long they are kenneled.Domehow or other, the odor of the disinfectant that is sometimes used to clean out the kennels seems to stick to the fur until it is waashed out.

    Remember that even if a house sitter comes daily to care for your dogs, you wtill will not be there. They don't know whether or not you are returning. They might feel more ssecure in their own environment, but then, I think we must not underestimate our pets. They usually are resilient.

    Boy, I surely was long winded! Sorry. I just can't stop talking sometimes. Hope you are comfortable with whatever decision you make. I know you will do what is best for your little fur kids(or big fur kids).

    Terry p.s. I just remembered - Be sure that the people who run the kennel do not tranquilize you pet. I would really be sure, because an older dog can have a personality change.
    I think all will be fine, if you just make sure the kennel is reputable. You might ask your vet.. T
    [This Message was Edited on 12/14/2005]
  13. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    I love my dogs, they are really members of my family. I am fortunate to have a good place to board my pets when I need to. They have a grooming and boarding service.

    I have a bijon/poodle mix(Cammie) and a boston terrier mix (Rainey). Cammie gets groomed there monthly, she is always excited to go, she recognises the route to Southpaw, and loves Angela who is the owner/groomer. She also loves to socialize with the other animals. I trust her with my dogs, I have been to the kennel area and grooming area enough to see that they are well cared for.

    Rainey only does well when boarded in the same area as Cammie. She is more shy.

    Southpaw has a separate area for larger dogs and also a seperate area for small dogs and a seperate area for cats.

    I do suffer from separation anxiety when I leave them for several days, but truly believe they are fine at Southpaw. They look happy and well cared for when I pick them up and are always happy to see them again.

    I would definitely ask for references, perhaps talk to a vet you trust also, and visit the kennel.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/14/2005]
  14. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I have two dogs, Aster an 8 year old lab, and Rey a two year old golden retriever.

    Aster has been kenneled once and was just fine. She did seem to have a little concern over the fact that the other dogs barked. She only barks if there is actually something to bark about.

    I took her blanket and bowls and provided her food even though the kennel used the same brand. I knew ours was fresh and didn't know how long they might have had theirs because they buy in bulk.

    Rey has never been boarded because the only time we have gone anywhere since we got him was out in our motorhome. We have an old 23 foot motorhome and we take both dogs where ever we go in it.

    The only time I have been gone since I got Rey was when I had to take a business trip. My DH is retired so Rey was home with him.

    Rey has stayed at doggy daycare several times and loves it. He has to be crated part of the day just to slow him down a little! I don't think he would do as well as Aster does if we had to kennel him. He is such a lover he wants to be as close to you as possible. If I have to leave him he will go stay with my sister and his cousins.

    So, I agree, it depends on the dog. Aster is mellow and somewhat aloof, she doesn't seem to need as much attention as Rey. Rey, on they other hand would be very unhappy to not have a human to pet him and keep him company. He just needs that touch and attention.

    Hope that helps, but don't feel guilty about leaving them. It really is the safest place for them if it is a good relilable kennel.

    Hugzz!
    Greenbean