Frequently Asked Questions
Why use a Kennel instead of a Pet Sitter?
While many people think that their pet might be happier at home we try to answer potential clients' questions on this matter.
First and foremost experience! I did not start in the kennel business with a copy machine and paper tear offs to make some extra income for a Bermuda Vacation! Thirty five years of experience in the pet industry and a huge investment brought me to this business of caring for clients' pets. We have the knowledge base to know what is acceptable behavior for many breeds and how to keep them safe and healthy until your return. After all a "dog is just not a dog" many breeds have personality and health requirements that take special care to keep them well in your absence. This knowledge base only comes from years of hands on experience, which Sterling Pet Lodge's Staff has.
The average commercial kennel now a days is a million dollar investment. At this cost most of the "Good" kennels are run by successful business people. Even thought the client hates to think of his or her pet as a business it is. Those of us in the kennel business are not hobbyists....we are professionals who have a world of experience with different breeds of dogs and what it takes to safely maintain them for our clients. We "LOVE DOGS" too, but that is not our only "QUALIFICATION". We are also licensed and insured. We work 365 days and on all Holidays, not just when we feel like making a bit of extra money. In Sterling Pet Lodge's situation we live on the property and rain or shine.........snow storm or thunderstorm we are there for you pet!
That commercial facility that the pet owner often thinks looks a bit cold and not "Homelike" is in fact pet housing that is able to be sanitized easily, impossible for you pet to chew through, escape or get hurt in. Bed, bowls and toys are again safe and able to be sanitized. Play yards are secure with commercial grade fencing and proper height, with areas sprayed for flea control.
NO, it is true that your pet will not be sleeping in our bed but then again it also will not have the following things happen:
- Escape while being walked on a leash, or run out an opened door!
- Eat something inappropriate in a house situation that is left where your pet can get it........destroy furniture and personal items when left unattended during periods of time throughout the day.
- Injured or even killed by multiple pets in a "home Like" situation, yes this does happen and more often than you might think!
- Dogs will be dogs, they often make poor decisions and need to be monitored in a facility that often looks a bit cold and institutional like to the average pet owner, but this is how they stay safe until you return for them. Safety is our first and foremost concern for you pet!
- People have imaginations, pets don't......Pets require knowledge and a secure facility to stay safe until your return. The most important things you should be looking for in a facility is EXPERIENCE, 24 hour a day monitoring, cleanliness, safe environment construction and of course a relationship with your pet care provider that you feel comfortable with.
Will My dog get to play with other dogs and make friends?
Your dog will get to go out in the play yard and see other dogs through the fence. Our philosophy is that it is not safe to put strange dogs together. While we can usually assess whether or not a pet would be safe in a play group things can and often do go wrong! Dogs are pack animals that rule by aggression, physical and emotional. Someone has to be the leader and others the followers. When this works out poorly dogs get hurt. Our first and foremost concern is for your dog' s safety and this why we maintain this policy. If you feel it is absolutely necessary for your dog to play with others we have two "Buddy" dogs that belong to us and may accompany your dog during playtimes.
Can I send a friend or family member to visit our pet?
While we discourage this activity we will allow it if you insist, after all it is your pet and if you would feel more comfortable you can do so.....but then again as we tell our clients you are the one who feels more comfortable not the dog. Dogs go through an initial separation anxiety when your first leave them. Depending on how often the dog is boarded with us it might last from a few minutes to a couple of days. By visiting the dog you create the anxiety over and over. Dogs unlike humans have no concept of time....so after the initial anxiety leaves your pet he or she accepts us as his or her new pack leader and settles into the routine.
How much personal attention will my pet get?
Our staff is in and out of the kennel all day long. Our last bed check and bedtime snack is between 10-11 at night. Dogs that are boarded here for and extended time of course get to be part of our family and we spend more time with them so that they don't become bored or depressed. Weekend guests have enough interaction with our regular routine. Staff members play ball with your dog during playtime if your dog would like to do so. At night we turn the music on in the kennel for our guests.
Do I need to bring beds and toys?
No, we would prefer that you don't bring any items that you want back in one piece! We provide beds and blankets that can be sanitized daily and fit in our washing machines. We have plenty of SAFE toys and use bowls an buckets that can be sanitized daily. If you feel that your dog has something that he can't live without then you may bring it. It is also your responsibility to ask for items back at time of departure. It often happens that the staff member that checks your pet in does not check it out and might not be aware of extra items you brought. We try very hard to be on top of these things but often in the excitement of seeing your pet things are left behind!
Do I bring my own food?
Food is included: we feed Pedigree and Diamond products. If your dog has special needs or you would prefer not to change his food then just bring it along and we are very happy to feed it. We are also able to heat, refrigerate or freeze food products as need be. We are fully capable of administering medications (oral or topical) as well as giving insulin shots.
What happens if my dog get sick?
We always try to contact you first or an emergency contact that you leave us. Next we will call your veterinarian if available and if we cannot reach either we will use our vet. If after hours, the closest emergency vet clinic.
My dog is aggressive with strangers and/ or has special needs, can you accommodate for that?
Sterling Pet Lodge specializes in dogs that are difficult to deal with. We can safely handle dogs that may be aggressive toward strangers. We also are able to deal with dogs and cats with medical problems and geriatric pets. We will safely board dogs that other kennels will not take........why? EXPERIENCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! Call us to discuss your pet's special needs.
How is my dog going to handle all the barking?
Well the dogs don't bark all the time. Unfortunately when you come to visit the kennel the dogs don't know you! Does your dog bark at home when someone unfamiliar comes to the door?? Well dogs do the same here. During the day when clients are not here the dogs recognize our staff and do not bark all the time. Of course if you understand this then you will realize that this is why when you come to visit the kennel or drop off or pick up your pet there is a lot of barking.
Why can't I drop my dog off early or pick him up after hours?
We have hours because we maintain a strict schedule of when and how things are done around kennel. Exercise and Playtimes are all during certain hours. Feeding, sanitation, grooming, treat times, bed checks, etc are all done the same time each day and evening. Pets coming and going off schedule upsets the routine and the quiet and restful times here each day! Also, like everyone our staff needs time for shopping, appointments and leisure too so we can be at the best for your pet! This is often difficult for clients to understand that. Because we live on the property we are available to your pet 24/7 but not to you. In a true emergency we will open the kennel for you need be, and if you want to come an bit earlier or later within reason you will be charged an extra nights board for this service and need to make arrangements with us so we can pay a staff member extra to come in for you.