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A Day in the Life

… wow, where do I start? What does a day in the life of me consist of? Its pretty much an 8-8 day with some breaks in between, basically kennels start at 0800. I mop out the luxury kennels then let out all what I call ‘walk 1’s’ which means the dogs who can mix nicely and be trusted to play out while I wash the yard and runs down. Once the yard and runs are spotless, I walk the dogs. During the time Im washing down its a plate spinning exercise as dogs may need checking in or out, those kennels may need cleaning ready for new dogs etc.

Walking is another plate spinning exercise as I try to maximise time out for each dog, so all the walk 1’s get the most time out; they are playing while I wash down, then get walked by me too when Ive finished cleaning down. Some then get put away and I get the walk 2’s out, which are just the next walk and also ones that can mix with some or all of walk 1’s, any walk 1’s that don’t mix with walk 2’s get put away. Then there are the walk 3’s, these are generally the ones that don’t mix and need lead walks; the ones with more individual walk requirements. Once walking is done we put every one away and feed.

My dogs and all the kennel dogs now get fed and the sleeping areas get their initial clean of the day. At 10.00 3 days a week my kennel maid comes in, the kennels get their thorough clean (second clean of the day) and she then does all her jobs plus any extras including house work etc, even ironing ! One day a week I have another lady in who cleans the kennels and does house jobs for me then helps with pm kennels.

At 11 on my days off I usually go out to take time out from the kennels, on my days at home I get to work on sewing dog lead orders which takes me through till about 2-3 pm. During this time Im also doing admin. That includes updating the website and Facebook, taking bookings, lead orders, checking peoples vaccination cards / preparing for dogs coming in, cleaning the house, washing beds, doing our washing, mopping floors, doing PAYE, accounts, any outdoor work such as mowing and any other bits that crop up such as on spec viewings and signing for deliveries.

By 3pm I am ready to do afternoon kennels, so I spot clean the yard (pick up poops and mop wee’s), then start the walk routine again. Feeding again after walks is about 4.30 – 5.00 pm. If I haven’t had a kennel maid in that day, house floors need doing.

5 pm is the end of the day for any phone answering etc but admin continues, mainly because I enjoy doing my website etc and fiddling with new ides etc. Today Ive been adding new pages and posts including this one ! At about 6.30-7.30 pm my dogs get their final walk of the day which is one lap of the field, just enough to do their toilets and then they go to their beds for the night. In the evening I prepare dinner for 7pm or when Seb gets home.

I generally settle down for TV or watch TV in bed.

N’night 😉


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Vaccinations for Dogs – A Guide to using Boarding Kennels

Each kennel you go to you will find a variation on vaccination rules. The core vaccinations that EVERY kennel should ask for are –

D – Distemper

H – Hepatitis

P – Parvovirus

Pi – Parainfluenza

L – Leptospirosis (L2 or L4)

Some kennels ask that your dog be vaccinated against kennel cough and some don’t. We DO.  Whether a kennel requires this or not, there is something you need to be aware of. After a dog is given the kennel cough vaccine, they can shed the virus meaning other dogs that come in to contact with your dog are at risk. I have personally seen a dog cough 14 days after being given this vaccination, this is why our rules mean that 21 days must lapse between vaccination and check in.

I did a bit more research and found this page to be good  

We make no bones about being strict with vaccinations and will ask you to make alternative arrangements for your dogs care should your dog not be vaccinated properly. In 8 years we have had one incident of kennel cough and sent 2 dogs home, both of which left the premises within 2 hours of the cough being heard – we did not mess about. This is why your ’emergency contact’ should be just that, if we need to send your dog home. We believe that our strict hygiene procedures and good air flow through our small establishment mean that we have been able to keep the high standards we constantly aspire to. We have a deep clean procedure that involves a total wash down and thorough misting (spraying the air!) of the kennel block and associated concrete areas and that is done TWICE. Thankfully we have only had to do this twice in 8 years.

We appreciate your patience on this subject and can assure you that the recent clamp down on vaccination protocol is because we have been let down by some of our customers. Our standards were high before, now they are higher and ask that you bring your dogs vaccination card/s with you every time you check in.

Thank you


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Microchips – is the registered address correct?

Today I had an unfortunate conversation with a new customer at my boarding kennels. We were manually filling out a booking form as she does not have internet and we got to the question – “Is your dog microchipped?” Yes they were and she casually mentioned that they were registered to her old address still. So, me being me, I did what I believe to be the right thing I said “oh it’s important that you get that changed, do the dogs have collars and tags on?” “No”, she said, “my dogs don’t wear collars” <sighs>. Any way I said (as politely as I could), “what would happen if your dogs got out, no one would know who you are to return them?” She said “they wont get out of my garden”. So, I said “what if they did?” …. her answer shocked me as she was bordering on getting mad with me, she replied (snapped) words to the effect of “Ive had plenty of other things to do”. So I tactfully left it at that.

So after she had left the kennels, I felt like I’d said all the right things without being rude and that I’d covered all the important bits about dog ID and lack thereof and its’ consequences. So why did I feel like I’d somehow done the wrong thing? What makes it worse is this lady has NO INTERNET, she isn’t interested in it. So she wont be privy to any social media that could help a lost dog. Don’t get me wrong Im not knocking her for having no internet, crikey sometimes I wish I didn’t, but all the odds are stacked against her success of finding a lost dog.

Im glad I made her aware, she may even come back to me and say she’s changed the address and the dogs now have collars and tags on. Wonders do sometimes happen, I live in hope.

Please share this blog and even print it out and give it to someone you know who has dogs like the ones above whose owners also have no internet. Maybe you know someone who has dogs who has just moved house? Ask them if their registered address is correct? Give them some advice for theirs and their dogs sake.

~ Sarah

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Doggy MOT that any owner can do

Ever heard of a doggy MOT? Well you have now. I call it a doggy MOT when my dogs get a once over by myself – not a vet. It’s something any owner can do when you just follow some simple guidelines, which is what I’m going to do here.

There are places where a follow up consultation with your vet is recommended, so please heed this advice where necessary.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet, so please, if in doubt, take your dog to be checked by a vet without delay.

  • Your dogs’ coat – too many dogs come in to my boarding kennels with neglected coats. All you need to do is keep them bathed, combed and infestation free. If you can’t for what ever reason, then take them to a recommended groomer or your vet, most vets have in-house groomers as well.
  • Teeth – from personal experience, this is a biggy for me. Ive always been on the ball with teeth care but it still catches me out now. Debris that collects around the tooth / gum line can (ultimately) lead to a general anaesthetic and tooth extractions, at best an infected gum. I am going to do a new blog on oral health but for now, do this:
    • Inspect weekly or every few days
    • Note status of teeth and monitor
    • Give roast knuckle bones under supervision and take away when they start to become well chewed. (Avoid your dog ingesting pieces, can also cause constipation, it is your responsibility to use bones properly). Done correctly, roast knuckle bones can save your dog having to have an anaesthetic. Ive seen the worst teeth come up beautifully on these roast knuckle bones alone. (NB I reiterate. Be responsible.)
    • A good toothpaste like LOGIC paste. This can be rubbed on to the gums with your finger or brushed in the traditional way.
    • You can sometimes chip off tartar with your nail. Do this!
    • Ultimately go to the vets, but check your dogs’ teeth weekly.
  • Nails – keep them trimmed to the right length. As dogs mature and become senior in their years they grow more or don’t wear so fast – whatever. Keep an eye on dew claws as they don’t wear and can grow full circle to dig in or puncture the dogs pads or skin – nasty, been there. Checking them saves this.
  • Anal glands – most owners don’t even know what these are. They are little scent sacks either side of the dogs bum that are supposed to empty when they poop. If you think its funny that your dog scoots its bottom on the floor, or you can seen them nibbling or licking their bottoms its time for a trip to the vet.
  • Eyes – do they run, get them checked. Do they look clear, can you see anything on the eyelids or in the eyeball that shouldn’t be there? Does either the top or bottom eyelid look like it is rolling inwards? Time for a check up.
  • Ears – check your dogs ears and get them used to being looked at before there is an issue. Same with anything if you only ever check your pet when in discomfort or pain, they will never let you check them over as they will associate you checking them over with the pain or discomfort. Trust me I’ve made that mistake.

Have fun checking your dog, it’s time to bond and get then used to being handled.

~ Sarah


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Fancy Yourself as a Kennel Maid?

Fancy Yourself as a Kennel Maid? Don’t mind cleaning and love dogs? Well look no further.

If you are looking for experience and would one day like to own your own kennels, then I will train you up.

Do you fancy the idea of buying kennels or are you lucky enough to have a builder in the family? Then I think you might just be the kennel maid I am looking for?

What you will learn –

  • Cleaning to high standards
  • Cleaning
  • More cleaning
  • … a bit more cleaning
  • Some dog walking
  • No cuddling of dogs, you won’t have time
  • Picking up poo
  • Getting poo under your finger nails
  • Getting wet and cold in the winter
  • Washing dog bowls
  • Running around after my dogs
  • Instantly becoming security for my most precious possession – MY DOGS and Customers Dogs when I’m not here
  • Tending to the dogs’ every needs
  • Mopping up wee
  • Cleaning walls
  • Weeding

In return?


If you want to learn everything and can clean to your hearts content while being a responsible guardian for the dogs in your charge, then you might be my next kennel maid.

What you can learn as well as the above (unpaid) –

  • Telephone enquiries
  • Booking procedures
  • Learn to read vaccination cards and recognises errors
  • Learn to read Pet Passports and recognise foreign vaccinations
  • Record keeping
  • How to talk to customers correctly and what not to do
  • and much, much more…

This position is now closed.