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Devon Alternative Boarding Kennels
Devon Boarding Kennels
Boarding Kennels Devon
Devon Boarding Kennels

Barking Mad offer a home-from-home pet care service as an alternative to boarding kennels throughout the Uk with franchises throughout the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset area.

Dog sitting with a difference. Home-from-home pet care. Dog holidays. A welcome alternative to boarding kennels. Which ever way you look at it, our service gives you complete peace of mind whenever you need to be away from home.

Everything that we do at Barking Mad is designed to reduce stress for you and your beloved pet. So our first step is to visit both you and your dog at your own home and find out about their daily routines for exercising and feeding, their likes and dislikes and any healthcare needs they may have.

Next we select the ideal host family for your pet from our portfolio of trusted dog-lovers who meet our extremely high standards. Accommodation is arranged in a warm, friendly home environment that is similar to your own, with one-to-one dog care, exercise and feeding routines are maintained just as your dog is used to. He can even take his own bed and toys!

In order to make parting easier, our complete hassle-free service even includes holiday transportation for your pet.

Barking Mad’s unique home-from-home pet care service is professionally recognised and highly recommended by vets, dog clubs, groomers, trainers – as well as many, many satisfied customers – as the perfect alternative to kennels or pet-sitting, whenever you go away.

You may not be going on holiday but your dog certainly is!

It takes a very special kind of person to put the 'home from home' in Home-from-Home Pet Care. It's not just that our dog holidays offer a great alternative to boarding kennels or pet-sitting. The host must also provide genuine affection and one-to-one attention.

And all our hosts have been interviewed in depth and visited at home to ensure that they meet Barking Mad’s strict criteria and with such a variety of hosts, we can ensure that your dog will fit in, in a similar environment as possible.

For more information on the home-from-home pet care service that Barking Mad offer as an alternative to boarding kennels, please visit their website.

Barking Mad Head Office Website:

Taunton Barking Mad Website:

Devon Boarding Kennels

Boarding Kennel Devon

Call to see if the kennel can accommodate your pet. During peak times such as the Christmas season and summer holidays, many kennels are booked up and cannot accept your pet. Also, because some pets require special handling or accommodations (very young puppies, animals on special medication or feeding schedules, or giant breeds, for example), all kennels may not accept them. While you are on the phone, make an appointment to visit the kennel.

Telephone the Kennel
A personal visit is essential to determine whether the kennel will be satisfactory.
Make a visit to the Kennel.

Following regular daily clean-up procedures, the kennel should look (and smell) neat and clean. Kennel operators are proud of their kennels and like to show them off, but some of them do not permit visitors in areas where animals are housed. There are two key reasons for establishing a "No Visitors" policy.

First, some dogs react unpredictably to strangers. (They become excessively fearful or aggressive.) As a result, the presence of strangers in the kennel can cause such dogs to injure themselves or develop intestinal problems. Second, visitors do not follow the same stringent disinfecting procedures used by kennel personnel, and can transport contagious agents (bacteria, viruses) into the kennel. However, kennels with a "No Visitors" policy should provide you some type of viewing window, so that you can see where your pet will be staying. In visiting your local kennels, you will observe that there are several types of kennel designs currently in use.

Some kennels have indoor/outdoor runs; some have totally enclosed facilities; and some house pets inside, but utilize outside exercise areas. Each of these designs has its own advantages, and you should ask the kennel operator to explain the advantages of the system in use at that kennel.

Proper supervision is the key to good boarding. Pets should be checked frequently during the day by someone who is trained to recognize the signs of illness and distress. Experience and practical knowledge are required to detect or interpret such symptoms as lethargy , severe intestinal disorders (friends or acquaintances rarely check the backyard for bloody stool), urinary problems (it is almost impossible to detect blood in urine when pets urinate on grass), loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. Yet, all of these signs can be significant.

Competent kennel personnel are trained to recognize and evaluate such signs and to seek veterinary assistance when needed. Therefore, you should try to evaluate the competence of the kennel personnel.


The kennel should be free of dirt, fecal accumulation, odors and parasite infestation (flies, fleas, ticks). There should be a strict schedule of disinfecting with effective chemicals.

Kennels areas where your pet will stay should be free of sharp objects, harmful chemicals and objects your pet might swallow. Primary enclosures (sleeping quarters) should provide solid dividers between your pet and the other boarders, both for reasons of safety and so that your pet will be able to relax and sleep without feeling challenged by his or her neighbors.

When you are on a trip, your pet may decide to try to "find" you. Because of this tendency, and because very few homes are designed with pet security in mind, pets can escape from inexperienced individuals who might be asked to watch your pet.

Boarding kennels, on the other hand, are designed to prevent this kind of accident. During your kennel visit, look for sturdy, well-maintained fencing, gates and dividers between runs. If your dog is a climber, digger or some other type of "escape artist" tell the kennel operator so that extra precautions can be taken (wire covered runs, locks on gates, etc.). Cats always require covered facilities.

Health Care
1. Water: Individual containers filled with clean drinking water should be available to each animal

2. Food: Feeding procedures vary from kennel to kennel. Some kennels supply preferred brands of feed, which they serve to all boarders. However, they usually allow you to bring your pet’s favourite food, if you wish. Other kennels maintain a stock of the most popular brands, and feed whatever you request. Still others require that you bring your pet’s food when you check in. Determine the kennel’s policy, and if there are any additional charges for special feeding arrangements.

3. Veterinary services: Ask about the procedure for obtaining veterinary service, if required. Some kennels retain a veterinarian on the premises. Others prefer to use your pet’s veterinarian so that there will be a continuity of care. Remember that it is customary (and responsible) for you to be financially responsible for any veterinary care required for your pet while it is being boarded.

4. Immunization requirements: Dogs should be immunized against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus (DHLPP), and bordetella. Cats should be vaccinated against rabies, panleukopenia or distemper, feline rhinotracheitis, calici virus, and pneumonitis (FVRCPP).

5. Medication policies and procedures: If your pet is taking medication, advise the kennel operator of the nature of the problem and the type and frequency of medication. Many kennels will not accept animals requiring excessive medication (more than three times per day, or nighttime medication, for example) or animals requiring potentially dangerous medication (diabetes shots, for example).

Remember, it is essential that heartworm preventative medication be continued during boarding, if your dog is presently taking such medication. Inquire whether the kennel provides such medication, or if you should bring a supply. Ask if there is an additional charge for medicating.

6. Parasite control: If you live in an area in which fleas and /or ticks are a problem, your kennel should utilize procedures for controlling these parasites (pre-entry examinations for boarders, sprays, dips, etc.).
Animal Comfort

You should inquire into the following items which will affect the comfort of your pet
1. Temperature control
2. Protection from the elements
3. Ventilation
4. Comfortable lighting levels
5. Bedding- Kennel or Owner provided
6. Sleeping Quarters- clean, dry and roomy
7. Adequate exercise schedule or exercise area
8. Availability of grooming, bathing, or training

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Good Staff

Staff should be warm and friendly, and genuinely love spending their time with animals. Dogs adore affection and are massively sociable animals. They cope best with gentle, compassionate and skilled staff to care for them. When looking for a kennel, find one where staff are welcoming, gracious and work easily with both dogs and customers. Find out if there are adequate staff to give personal one to one care.

Having excellent well trained staff is more expensive, so do expect to pay slightly more for a superior service. The price won’t be much more but it will definitely be more beneficial to your dog’s happiness. When looking around if you only see very young, inexperienced staff this is a sign of cheaply employment staff.

Kennel Quality

Don't believe that all kennels are the same, they never are.  A few good points for a superior kennels are a relaxed and calm atmosphere, light, bright and maintained impeccably. No bad smell, with good ventilation and heating. The main thing to look for are fewer kennels but with more space.

Points to indicate a bad kennels can include a stressful and noisy environment, old, smelly and unhygienic. Dark with little or no windows and no heating. And lots of kennels, all quite small.

Walks and Exercise

If the kennels allege to walk dogs, look at how long they say they walk for. Then at the kennels work out if there is enough staff to make that achievable. When you visit can you see any dogs being walked or exercised?

For kennels that offer superior walks and play time with your dog, you need to find a higher quality service with fewer kennels, no more than 20. For the little extra cost you know that your dog’s welfare is important to the kennels. At such supportive places you can rest in the knowledge that your dog will be out enjoying walks in the fresh air, just as they do at home.

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