Everything about Dogs: A Blog by a Gamekeeper’s Son

How to Maintain a High Profile in Respect to Your Cattery Facility

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Maintain a High Profile in Respect to Your Cattery Facility

Customers are usually inclined to shop around for the most affordable prices, and cattery customers are no exception. For cattery owners, it’s not only important to maintain competitive prices but also uphold a high profile. Read on for further insight on how you can do this based on the type of customers you want to attract. Previous customers Normally, cattery owners maintain a record of the name, address and contact information of every customer. When your cattery isn’t fully boarded during the cold months, it may be worthwhile to go through the records and identify the customers that haven’t used your cattery facility in the last one year. Probably they no longer own a cat, or they relocated to another area. You should follow up on your old customers through phone calls. Majority of cat owners will be happy that you haven’t forgotten about them as well as their cats. Whenever a customer who has previously boarded your cattery for a while unexpectedly stops coming, there’s probably a good reason behind it, and your task is to know that reason. In case it’s a cost issue, you may offer to accept their quoted price if it’s acceptable to you. Existing customers You can offer a few incentives to maintain a loyal and consistent client base. For example, most regular cattery customers will travel away for the weekends for things like family get-togethers, weddings or for regular weekend breaks. More often than not, most customers would rather assign a neighbor or relative the task of looking after their cat, instead of using a boarding a cattery facility for a weekend. In the first instance, you may offer to pick up and deliver the cat for free. This may appear like a small gesture however you might be amazed at how grateful a busy individual would be. Further, for your consistent customers, one or two weekends a year at no cost wouldn’t do any harm but would go a long way in fostering the loyalty. New customers Every cattery owner seeks to attract new customers to increase his or her client base. Think about all your contacts, your friends, your family—the list is endless. Spread the information about your cattery business through word-of-mouth. Each person whom you speak with and persuade will help spread the information to other people through viral marketing leading to dozens of new clients. Another avenue to use is magazine advertising. Last but not least, local radio stations are also a great advertising avenue. Many people tune in to their local radio stations every day. You can email the producers of the different radio programmes that you wish to target, and request for an opportunity to take part in a short talk regarding running a cattery...

read more

Should You Take Your Own Dog Food to Boarding Kennels?

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Take Your Own Dog Food to Boarding Kennels?

While many dogs enjoy their stays in boarding kennels like Penfield Kennels & Cattery, this can be a stressful experience for some pets, especially if they’ve never stayed away from home before. Kennels may encourage you to take in some familiar things to make your dog feel more comfortable, such as a couple of toys, a blanket and even a basket or bed. Many also allow you to provide your own food. This has some advantages, and may help your dog settle in for a more comfortable stay. What are the Advantages of Using Your Own Dog Food? Kennels typically provide food for their doggy guests, and some even have a range of choices. If your dog doesn’t mind what kind of food it eats, you may well opt for the kennel’s menu. However, there are times when it might be better to provide your own food: Dogs, like humans, may get stomach upsets when they change diet. If they have digestion problems in kennels, they’ll be miserable and may stop eating properly. This can be distressing for them and for you when you pick them up. If you think your pet will be anxious when it boards, familiar food may help it settle down. If a dog is unhappy, it may refuse to eat a brand of dog food that it isn’t used to; its familiar brand may make it feel a little better. Fussy eaters may simply refuse to eat kennel food. If you’re fairly sure your dog will turn up its nose at an unfamiliar brand, take in its regular dog food, so you don’t have to worry about it eating. If your dog is on a special diet, it may be easier and cheaper to provide food yourself. Some kennels can cater for special diets, but this may add to the cost of boarding. Warning: Don’t assume that providing your own food will reduce boarding costs. Most kennels include food in their overall charges, whether you use it or not. In some cases, boarding kennels may add a handling charge, if they have to use food that you provide. Will the Kennels Feed Your Dog the Right Food? If you supply your own dog food, you have to trust that the kennels will feed it to your dog. Talk to them before you book to see how they feel about using your food. If they’re used to using owners’ supplies and seem positive about it, it shouldn’t be an issue. Make sure to check what they need from you before you take the food in. For example, the kennels may ask you to do the following: Label dog food cans, bags or containers with your dog’s name. Use disposable containers (if you aren’t providing cans) rather than containers that you’ll want back. Provide detailed feeding instructions, such as usual feeding times and amounts. Tip: It’s worth taking in more food than your dog should need for its stay. This gives you a cushion in case someone drops food or accidentally feeds some of your dog’s food to a different...

read more

How To Spot The Signs Of Stress In Dogs When Visiting A Boarding Kennel

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Spot The Signs Of Stress In Dogs When Visiting A Boarding Kennel

When choosing a dog boarding kennel, you should visit as many as possible to ensure you select the best facility available to you. During your visits, staff will be happy to show you around the kennels and discuss their hygiene protocols with you, but you can also assess the quality of care on offer by observing the behaviour of the dogs at the kennel. A kennel with lots of stressed dogs indicates a problem with how the facility is being run, so here’s an overview of signs of stress to look out for: Body Language Dogs are good at making their feelings known, but humans often miss or don’t know how to interpret the signs. A stressed dog will alter their body language, so look out for the following: Ears are pinned back Tail hangs low or between the legs Head turned away with whites of eyes showing Eyes or mouth are tense Leaning back with most of their weight on their back legs Avoidance Behaviour When you’re in a stressful situation you likely want to remove yourself from that situation,and dogs are no different. However, at a boarding kennel, the dog won’t be able to just get up and leave, so they’ll display avoidance behaviours to minimise interaction with people and other dogs, such as hiding in a corner or behind their bedding, backing away as you approach their kennel bay and rolling over to show submission as a way of avoiding conflict. Displacement Behaviour When a dog is displaying a normal canine behaviour out of context, they are letting you know they feel stressed. Displacement behaviour is the act of supressing a feeling or behaviour and replacing it with something else. Examples of displacement behaviour include shaking off when not wet, yawning when not tired, sudden scratching or biting at a specific area of their body or repetitive licking of their lips in the absence of food. These types of behaviours, when done out of context, should be seen as an expression of discomfort. A good boarding kennel will have practices in place for settling in new dogs and reducing stress, such as ensuring dogs don’t face each other when in their individual bays, providing daily one-on-one time with staff for play and grooming, allowing you to take a few of your dog’s favourite toys and a blanket into the kennel for them, and taking details of your dog’s likes and dislikes ahead of their stay. Don’t be concerned if one or two dogs seem to be stressed during your visit to a kennel, as they may be new arrivals, but if you notice lots of dogs displaying signs of stress, it’s best to move on to the next...

read more

What should you look for when touring a cat boarding facility?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While there are some obvious things to look for when touring a cat boarding facility, such as cleanliness and hygiene of the cages and general facility, some other important aspects might not be as immediately obvious. Here is a list of things to check when touring to make sure your cat will be happy and healthy. Noise levels Cats are very sensitive to noise, so facilities should have limited noise from other animals. Ideally, he facilities should be well separated, but this is easier in spacious rural facilities than in busy inner city location so in some situations there might be white noise machines or nature/water sound tracks in the cat boarding facilities to block out other noises. Regardless, you shouldn’t be able to hear nearby dogs or other animals in the facility. Well-labelled cages Cages should be labelled clearly with the animal’s name, and any grooming, food and medication that they have received. By having clearly marked facilities, you can be confident that your animal will not be mistaken for another animal and be inadvertently given the wrong food or medication. As cats don’t usually have formal exercise patterns in a similar way to dogs, the carers will usually mark down when they have spent time petting or playing with the cats on the spread sheets. Staff attitude If the staff seem overwhelmed and unable to answer questions, their stress will be reflect in the animal’s demeanour. Animals are very sensitive to the mood of the carer and your cat is unlikely to enjoy the stay if they feel the stress coming off the animals. Happy staff will enjoy interacting with the animals and with each other, leading to a relaxing and comfortable session. Visibility between cages If cats are used to living together with their ‘cat family’ they will generally be happier if they can see and smell their usual companions. Generally cats prefer not to see other cats, so cages are often orientated so that the cats cannot see each other. Ask the cat boarding facility, if this is the case, if they can place your cats in the same group space so that can calm each other and groom each other. This can help your cats adjust to the change of living situation. Finding a comfortable and relaxing environment for your cats to board while you are away can help you to relax and enjoy your...

read more