Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Can I bring my pet's food from home?
Yes, you can bring your own food from home. As a matter of fact, we encourage you to do so. There is no extra charge for special diets. Many pets get diareaha from switching from one food to another...even dry foods. Please DO NOT change your pet's feeding habits just prior to coming to the kennel. We understand that you feel a little guilty leaving your pet, but if you give us something to feed that he is not used to eating, he will get sick. If you give him table scraps the night before he comes here, he will get sick. So if your pet has a gassy, uncomfortable tummy,  he isn't happy, he can't have a good time, and it will take much longer for him to settle in and begin to enjoy his stay. Be sure to label the bag with your pet's name and feeding instructions.

Can I bring some of his things from home?
Sure, you may also bring toys, treats, rawhides, blankets, beds, etc. Anything that will help make your baby comfortable is just fine. Again, please label everything, (masking tape works very well) and don't bring anything that you couldn't do without. Sometimes the dog next door to yours may reach his paw through and pull a corner of the blanket, bed, or toy close enough to chew or even pull under into their pen. Sometimes things get buried under the outdoor resting benches or in the gravel. When you pick up your dog, please check your bag and ask about anything that seems to be missing. We have our own stainless steel dishes and buckets, no need to bring yours.

What if I am delayed in returning to pick up my pet?
We live here on the premises, but we have a special permit from the town of Bellingham to operate a kennel in this zone. One of the agreements with the town is that we must keep the hours to which we agreed. As you can imagine, it gets pretty noisy around here, especially when dogs come in or leave the kennel. Our neighbors are great, and we certainly wouldn't want to upset them or have them complain. So please don't ask to pick up or drop off out of our hours:

8-10am or 4-6 pm
closed Wed after 10 am
closed Sundays
We are closed the following holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day.

Also closed at 10 am Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve

Do you offer a weekly or discount rate?
No, but if you will be away for longer than 3 weeks, we may consider a discount. Please ask Steve or Linda. If you will be away longer than 3 weeks we do require a 2 week deposit plus the 1st week in advance, and then weekly payments by mail. Your deposit will be returned to you when you pick up your pet.

Can I see where my pet is going to stay?
Sure, we are happy to show you our facility. We would prefer that you come and see the kennel before you drop your dog off. You can come during our regular hours (see last question for our hours), but please call first, because we live here. If we have no scheduled appointments, we may close early. We used to have the owners put their dogs in the pen, but have learned over the years that this is very upsetting to the dogs. Imagine from their point of view that their owner  puts them in a space, closes the door and walks away. Can you spell "Separation Anxiety"? We now have a method that we find  settles them in much faster. They begin eating sooner and enjoy their stay sooner.  You bring your pet into the registration area and we then take them to the kennel while you remain inside. We think that the dog, in many cases, doesn't realize that you have left. The last time he saw you was in the building that he sees from the kennel. So in his mind, you are in the house.

What is a kennel cough vaccine and when does my dog need it?
Your dog's yearly boosters, or your puppy's series of vaccines DOES NOT include the kennel cough/bordetella vaccine. You will have to request this from your Veterinarian. Although the vaccine supposedly takes effect to protect your dog after 48 hours (with the nasal vaccine), our company policy is that we DO NOT accept ANY vaccines that have been done in the two weeks just prior to your dog's stay with us. All of your dog's vaccinations are good for at lease one year, the rabies varies from 1-3 years. Ask your vet for a record of the expiration dates of the vaccines to bring with you to the kennel. Over the years, we have experienced several bouts with kennel cough. For some reason, (either because there was a sick dog at the Vet's, or due to a mild reaction to the vaccine), in some instances, when we have had newly vaccinated dog's left with us, they have developed minor symptoms like a cough, etc. At that point, they are contagious to other dogs, and in the past, we have seen them pass the virus on to other dogs (even though they were vaccinated). In other words, if the vaccines have all been done anytime in the past year (and you can show us the record)...no need to update. If you do need to update any vaccine, do it early because we will not board a contagious dog.

How many dogs do you care for at one time?
We are a small kennel by comparison. We have 32 indoor/outdoor pens. They are very large and many of our customers have 2 or 3 dogs that they want kept in the same pen together. When this occurs , we have had as many as 40-45 dogs.

I can't be reached by telephone while I'm on vacation. What about an emergency number?
While I can promise you that we will take very special care to keep your pet safe, happy and entertained while he is here, every now and then strange things happen and we need to get in touch with you. Let me assure you that this is VERY RARE. Let me give you an example. About 10 years ago we boarded a dear old Irish Setter for about 10 days. Even though she was 13 years old, she had no apparent health problems and was very active and extremely excited to see all the other dogs and barked almost nonstop. On the 5th day, I noticed that her tongue had a bluish cast to it. Because of my experience, I realized at once that she was suffering an extreme lack of oxygen! We rushed her to the closest vet. When it was determined that she needed to go to Tuft's in Grafton for further evaluation to determine the problem, I called the local emergency number. They came and transported her to Tufts thereby saving the owners a hefty ambulance fee. They were able to contact the owners on vacation after it was determined by Tuft's that she would require a $3000 operation to repair a hole in her esophagus. Not everyone wants to spend $3000 on a 13 year old dog, but these people did. The vets at Tufts said that Irish Setters as a breed are predisposed to this problem which was exacerbated by all the excitement of seeing the other dogs. Strange but true. So even though this was a super rare occurrence, we were prepared to deal with it. So the moral of the story is...you can never have too many emergency telephone numbers, please bring them with you when you leave your pet.

How far in advance should I make my kennel reservations?
As soon as you make your reservations. Keep in mind that there are far fewer kennels than there are people hotels, and the best kennels will fill up early. As a rule, during the winter, we have spaces available on very short notice. But for any kind of a three day weekend, (school vacation weeks in April and February, Thanksgiving week, Christmas & New Year weeks, and the summer...last week of June through first week of September),  you would be wise to call at least 4 weeks in advance.

Something came up and I can't go away. Do I have to pay a fee to cancel my reservation?
Not Usually. The only exception is during our "Peek seasons" (End of June-Labor Day, All School Vacations, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, as well as 3 day holiday weekends. We are like a resort in that we make most of our profit for the year during the "Peek Seasons".

We are a small kennel by comparison, and we do keep a waiting list after we fill up. Many people are thrilled to get a call when a space becomes available. But if you don't call and don't come in, it is very often too late to contact anyone on the list and we end up with empty spaces for the duration of that period.

To cancel just leave your name, the pet's name, and the first date of your reservation on the answering machine. 

What if I reserve for two weeks and come back early
If it is during our "off season", it's not a problem. However, if it is during a Peek time for us, we would charge you the full amount you reserved (less fees for medication, playtime, and extra feeding).

Will my little poodle be scared next to a huge German Shepherd?
No. We are very aware that some dogs are terrified by larger breeds. Don't worry, all of our furry guests are always placed next to another dog of compatible temperament. If the first arrangement doesn't work out, we will rearrange the group until everyone is happy.

Also, we do have five separate buildings and are able to group the dogs by size and temperament; For example, one cabin might have rambunctious, noisy, bounding Labrador Retrievers, and another might have shy, quiet, poodles, bichons, and smallish dogs. Usually the rules of a good dinner party apply.....girl, boy...girl, boy, etc.

My normally active dog came home and slept for 2 days. Is he sick?
Probably not. When your dog is at home, your schedule is his schedule. Here, there is almost always something going on....dogs coming and going, playtime, squirrels, rabbits, etc. Imagine that they are at a slumber party...someone is always cutting up and keeping the rest awake. Some dogs can sleep through it, others don't want to miss anything. Those dogs will probably seem very excited to see you when you pick them up, go home to make sure everything is the way they left it, and crash for 2 days! Don't worry, they'll be fine after they get caught up on their sleep.

My dog seemed drugged when he got home. Do you tranquilize them?
No. Please read the above question and answer. We give no medications unless you or your vet requests that we do so. We do recommend you speak to your Vet about it in some cases. Some breeds, noteably Shepherds and Shepherd mixes, seem to suffer from "Separation Anxiety" when their owners leave them.

Any breed can suffer from this. This can happen in your own home.If you have ever left your dog alone and come home to some kind of damage, your dog suffers from this. Shepherds, because they have been bred to guard and care for people, are most affected by having their "job" taken away. Other reasons might be strange noises (fireworks or thunder storms), people, dogs, or surroundings. They are not mad at you, they are not punishing you for leaving them, they are just very "anxious" and need to be doing something. This is their form of "nail biting" or eating a gallon of ice cream! (my personal favorite;-).

When they come to the kennel, this anxiety can be a dangerous thing because it may take the form of trying to escape to be with you.

They may chew the doors and corners of the building, or grab the chain link and pull and pull. Of course, the worst case scenario would be that they would be successful and break through all the fences and escape. Most often, though, instead of feeling better after "eating their gallon of ice cream", they have hurt themselves in some way. If they pull on the chain link they can break teeth and bloody gums. If they chew wood, they can become sick. If they dig or paw at the fence or walls, they can break toenails and bloodypaws.

In these extreme cases, we ask our clients to consult with their vet before coming, mentioning the problem of separation anxiety, and request tranquilizers. Generally we have seen that a regime of giving the proper dose of a tranquilizer 2 hours before coming to the kennel will relax them enough so that when they wear off, the dog has been in the new surroundingsfor several hours and the situation is no longer "strange".

In some cases it may be necessary to use the tranquilizers for a few days, tapering them down until they can stop "stressing".  We would only give them as requested and required.  In severe cases, your dog should probably be kept in a cement and chain link high security pen (which we cannot provide) for his own safety.

Should I bring my dog's bowls?
Probably not. We have stainless steel bowls that stack inside each other for ease of carrying and cleaning, so unless there is a special reason, we would prefer to use our own bowls and water buckets. However, some dogs can be very finicky about their bowls. If that is the case, then bring them. We want them to eat, play and enjoy their stay!

Do you need my dog's leash or collar?
Probably not, but when you bring your dog to the kennel, we would appreciate it if you would bring him from the car to the reception area on a leash. There may be other dogs around and not all dogs are friendly.

Also, from a safety perspective, we would ask you to put a close fitting buckle (not a choke) collar, with the license and rabies tags attached, on your dog. There are two reasons for this. One is that over the years we have seen dogs do the strangest things with choke collars. One dog was barking and got his lower jaw caught in the chain. Another dog hooked his choke chain on the handle of the water bucket and couldn't move. A pair of dogs from the same family boarding in the same run, hooked each other's chokes together and were stuck until we rescued them. The other reason is that while we are cleaning and feeding, it's good to have a handle in case they try to escape past us out the door.

My cat hates to go in the pet carrier. Is it ok to carry him in?
That is not a good idea. There may be dogs inside and we are on a very busy street.

One time, a customer began carrying his cat from the car and a big truck came by, slowing for the intersection, and squeeled the air brakes. The cat was so startled that he scratched and clawed the owner until he got away and ran right across the street! Luckily it wasn't hit, but they never found the cat. Another reason is that there may be a dog inside that might attack a loose cat. So please use your carrier.

Email: coronet1@comcast.net