Housing Hounds for the Holidays: Tips for Easing Pets and Parents into Kennel Care
Cliverton, the pet business insurers provider, explains the ways you can make the transition between home and kennel easier for both the pets and the parents...
With 62% of households in the UK owning a pet, and with Britons having an average of 3.6 holidays away a year, we can expect some pets to be visiting kennels this year. When it comes to going on holiday, we can’t always take our pets with us.
And this is where kennels are vital for some pet owners. Leaving pets for a long time can be difficult, but as a kennel, you can make this a much easier process.
Here, we will explore the ways you can make the transition between home and kennel easier for both the pets and the parents.
Put your best foot forward
When it comes to easing the worries of your customers, it is always good to show yourself in the best light. It is likely that your customers will do research into your company before trusting you with their beloved pets – after all, they are their fur babies.
Being able to demonstrate your credentials, awards, kennel insurance, or even happy customers is the best way to encourage new clients that you are the best choice for caring after their animals while they are away.
Customers will want reassurance that you have the capability to care for their pet as if it were your own. This means taking into careful considerations all the needs of each individual pet, as well as ensuring you have a good staff to pet ratio – so that each pet can get the attention they need when necessary.
Offer visiting services
Visiting the pet could help them feel more comfortable when they eventually transition into the kennels.
This can offer the pet a friendly face before being left, and it gives the owners an opportunity to see how you handle their animal, as well as inform you of any behavioural problems.
If you have dog walkers insurance, you could benefit from offering this service outside of the kennel.
Investing time into new customers looking to leave their dog with you for long periods of time can let you assess the behavioural state of the dog, as well as allow the dog to see you as a friendly, recognisable presence.
This might mean they settle better into the unfamiliar environment of the kennel as they already know you.
Encourage the owners to leave an item with their scent on
Many pets can experience symptoms of separation anxiety, from 13% of cats to up to 76% of dogs now experiencing this discomfort. Moving into a kennel, even for a short time, can be an uncomfortable and difficult move for many pets, so ensuring they have a stress-free time settle in is important.
One way to reduce the separation anxiety in pets is to encourage the owners to bring in a piece of clothing or cloth which has their scent on it.
Encourage visits to the shelter beforehand
Another way to ensure the pet has a more comfortable stay is by encouraging the owners to bring the pet into the shelter a couple of times before leaving it overnight. If the client is planning to keep the pet in your kennels for a couple of weeks, it might be worth suggesting a trial run overnight for the pet to become accustomed to the environment without the being overwhelmed with a few weeks at once.
And as most kennels will have some interaction between pets, it might be worth suggesting that your clients partake in pet socialising classes where possible before being left in a kennel. This can help the pet become accustomed to the scents and sounds of being surrounded by other animals, without overly anxious or territorial behaviour.
Depending on the preference of your customers, they might like regular updates on their pets. After all, these are their children, their fur babies.
You could offer a service where pet parents can check in with their beloved fur-legged friends while away, including regular photograph updates by text or email, especially during long times away.
Regular updates could help ease the anxiety of your customers as they can see the progress and happiness of their pet when in your kennels.
You could even create a collage of the pet’s experience during their stay as a little souvenir for your customers once they return. This could mean that the customer returns for your services when they plan their next holiday as they receive an additional quality of care.
Whether it is a dog staying for two nights as their owner attends a business event or a cat which stays for a few weeks while its family are away on vacation, each animal needs their own level of attention while transitioning from home to kennel life.
Sometimes it is more about convincing the owners of the safety of their pet to keep the atmosphere happy, reducing the anxiety of the pets during drop off.
It is important to consider what additional services your business can offer to help ease this move and give your customer’s pets their own relaxing holiday away from the family home.