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Dogs and owners grow sick of kennels

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31/03/2006

Dog owners have spent £46m over the lifetime of their pets, due to poor kennel conditions, with 12% of pooches attracting an illness and 4% sustaining an injury after time spent in kennels.

Research from Direct Line said that of the 5,400,000 dogs in the UK, 300,000 have had to visit the vet after a stay in kennels. The resulting vet bills are likely to result in a fee of £150 per visit alone, leaving many owners no choice but to claim on their pet insurance to pay.

The research showed these illnesses occur despite dog-owners’ careful attitude to choosing a kennel. Before making a booking, 87% inspected the kennels before making a booking and 32% visited more than one before making a decision.

Nearly half of dog owners (46%) have left their pet to stay in kennels at some time during their life. The majority (93%) used kennels whilst they went on holiday, often leaving their dog for two weeks at a time (48%).

Veterinary surgeon, Peter Eastwick-Field, added: “Too many boarding establishments are falling below acceptable standards in basic care. For instance, very few dogs are even getting enough exercise during their stay. On average we see one to two dogs a week in the practice during the summer months, as a result of time spent in the kennels.”

The Animal Welfare Bill is currently being considered by Parliament to ensure the protection of all animals. When it becomes law it will mean a revision of the Boarding Establishments Act 1963, in order to bring it up to date with the higher standards required of kennels and catteries today.

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