How old does my puppy have to be before she can come to Penzance for a stay?
We allow puppies to visit after they have reached the age of 16 weeks. They have to have received their adult vaccinations at least ten days before arriving. There is more about this on our 'vaccinations' page.
Does my Dog have to be desexed?
No, we have enough flexibility to allow for complete dogs to have a great time too. It's a circumstance that we cater for just like puppies have special needs. Old dogs, ill dogs, antisocial dogs, working dogs - we adapt our way of doing things to accommodate their requirements. We do not expect all our guests to fit into and kind of 'normal' box; we respond to each pet as an individual.
Will my little dog be in with big dogs to exercise?
No - the dogs only exercise with dogs of similar size and temperament. New dogs are given time to acclimatise before socialising and this gives us time to watch body language and make matches between two guests who might be good friends once introduced properly.
We are very careful to supervise new meetings and won't leave them to play if we are not comfortable. We believe socialisation is important for dogs and reduces stress. However, we don't push an unsuccessful project just to say we've achieved it! A dog's welfare is at the centre of all our ideas and decisions.
Do the dogs cry at night?
No - the dogs settle in just as if they were in a house and everyone in the family goes to bed. If there is anyone who persistently barks, we can pop in and check everything is fine, as we live on site. Usually we all sleep well and rise with the larks!
Should I bring my dog's bed/ bedding?
You don't need to bring anything with you apart from your pet!
Please do not bring beanbags and very thick blankets or duvets. Sometimes they get soiled until the dog gets into the new routine and we cannot put these items into the washing machine. It is not hygienic for us to keep it on premises when it is dirty while we wait for you to return from your trip.
Bring a toy and a chew if you want. You do not need to provide food and water bowls.
If your Dog feels the cold, you might bring a coat to be worn outside - although they will not stay out for long in bitterly cold weather. Instead they will have multiple small runs.
Does my Dog have to have vaccination?
Yes... Please go to our 'vaccination' page and read all the important instructions. We are unable to board your pet unless they meet our vaccination requirements.
My dog is an escape artist - will he / she run away?
There are plenty of gates between the dogs and freedom, so we are confident the dogs will be contained. All the fencing has a concrete strip underneath to prevent anyone from digging out. The internal fences are 1.8m high and the external fences are 2.4m high. In addition we have yards with return wire on it to prevent any of our really good athletes jumping or climbing out. Staff are always in and around the dogs when they are exercising, so behaviour of this kind is acknowledged and responded to.
Do you accept Bull Terriers for boarding?
Yes, we accept all breeds of Dog. Although some breeds do have inherent character traits we feel that a dog is largely moulded by their Owner and the home environment. If we have any questions about an individual dog, we will ask to meet them first and if possible, have it stay for a short trial period. We would use our usual caution when socialising and if a dog was not able to socialise, there are still grass areas for it to run around.
Can you groom my dog and clip its toenails?
All Dogs are sent home looking reasonably tidy. We can usually achieve this by a good brush. If you specifically want your dog bathed before he comes home, we will charge a small fee. If you want your dog properly washed, cut, groomed and dried, we have a great relationship with a professional groomer just down the road. She will come and fetch your dog at the end of it's boarding with Penzance. She will return him / her groomed beautifully and when you pick up your pet, we will give you a separate invoice for this service.
My Dog is unspeyed and on heat - can you board her?
Yes, our facilities are big enough and flexible enough to cater for this situation. We will be able to keep your bitch safe and away from any males. If you are a breeder and need progress reports to help you time a pregnancy, we are happy to talk with you as frequently as you like about what we see.
My dog is timid, how will you help him / her settle in?
First of all we make friends with the dog and give them some time on their own to watch the other dogs and acclimatise to the new environment. Hopefully, the Owners will have taken the opportunity to pre-visit the kennels prior to the arrival date. This means their pet will already know our smell and be aware of the different areas. When the other dogs finish exercising we will walk the little one into their kennel space, where we will show them food, water and the bed which may have a favourite toy in it to provide a comforting home smell.
It is better to leave them alone for a while, to sleep and settle. If the dog is calling for us, we will pop in and give a cuddle for reassurance.
When the next exercise session comes along, we will have seen the body language of the dog and decided how to socialise it into a group of other dogs. If we think he can cope with others, we put him in with tolerant or relaxed dogs to start with and then change the group until we find the mix that is just right for that particular dog. We change things slowly and do not force the dog to survive in a situation outside their comfort zone. We watch and monitor, going in with the dog when he meets new friends. We find that dogs soon develop confidence, and may cope with socialising better at home once they have been to the kennels for a decent length of time.
My bitch is aggressive, how will you cope with her?
We will put your dog on her own to start with and watch her body language. We will soon see if she wants to pick a fight and since we have a lot of returning customers we will be able to assess whether we have anyone who might match her as a playmate. If we felt comfortable we would try this combination with staff in the yard, but we would not take unnecessary risks. We might put a comfortable muzzle on both dogs to be safe.
Your Dog would alternatively be able to have her own grass patch. Even if they are not in with other dogs, the environment is still stimulating and interesting enough for dogs to get busy and happily exhaust themselves. We can always take your dog around with us while we work on the yards after exercise sessions for some extra stimulation and human contact.
If your dog is aggressive because it is afraid, we can work with your pet to increase confidence and reduce negative behaviour. If your dog is fearful of us, we take things slow and relaxed, and we have some dog – friendly equipment/ techniques that help us control situations.
We find that dogs behave better at the kennels than at the beach etc…. It is a controlled environment where there is no territory or owners to protect. The neutrality of the situation usually means that pets adapt and settle quicker than owners expect them too.
Can people come and visit my dog while they are staying with you?
It depends on the dog. If he is very confident and copes well, that is ok, as he will adapt to the change in routine. If your pet is taking a bit more time to settle, it is best to keep a predictable routine as this makes dogs feel secure. Having a surprise visitor who then leaves, may confuse your dog. It is best to see how he behaves in the first few weeks and for your visitors to ring us for advice before setting out to visit.
Is the Kennel just for Owners to use when they go on holiday?
Dogs come into the kennels for all sorts of reasons. We can help if:
The dog is recovering from surgery and requires limited and supervised exercise.
The dog is high energy and needs additional stimulation while parents are out at work.
You have visitors and need to take them places but don’t want to leave the dog all day.
You want to socialise your dog but in a supervised manner.
You want to increase your dog’s independence and confidence with humans and other dogs.
Your dog needs to fly but you are afraid it will be scared and aggressive to airport staff.
You have had a baby and need to be without the bouncy dog for a while.
You are working long hours and can’t give your dog any attention.
Your dog needs medical treatment in the day but you have to stay at work until late.
There is a family emergency and you have to travel suddenly.
You have an injury and need time away from a bouncy dog.
Penzance can adapt to the needs of your pet, your family, your circumstances and your schedule.
How old does my kitten have to be before she can come to Penzance for a stay?
We allow kittens to visit after they have reached the age of 16 weeks. They have to have received their adult vaccination at least ten days before arriving. There is more about this on our ‘vaccinations’ page.
Sometimes young kittens don’t understand how to interact with older cats and we have a special play area where we can house kittens for exercise when staff are not there to supervise. Because of the lack of personal territory in the cattery, daily life remains peaceful. A kitten who does not read the cues of other cats can annoy and start a disagreement – so we sometimes only let the kitten roam throughout the whole of the cattery while we are there.
Does my cat have to be desexed?
We advocate desexing for all cats. Unwanted kittens are major problem in our society and this can only be solved by desexing cats. Male cats spray offensive urine if they are not desexed and this is greatly reduced by desexing. Female cats can also spray and display unwanted behaviour with the intention of attracting a mate. This too can be curtailed by desexing.
We do understand that some customers wish to breed from their house cats and we can cater to those fertile cats by housing them in special areas to have less social interaction with other cats who are interested in the signals they give out.
Should I bring anything with me?
You don’t need to bring anything with you apart from your pet and a vaccination record card!
If you chose to bring some bedding. Please make sure it is named and easily washable. We have lots of soft fleeces and the cats are very happy curled up in these. The cats have spacious hygienic plastic beds and it is a good idea to leave their fancy soft bed just for home.
There is no need to bring toys as we have plenty to stimulate your cat during his/her stay.
If you cat has allergies or some other medical issue, you might like to bring food from home – but the Blackwalk dry cat food that we serve twice a day is packed with nutrition. We do not offer a discount for customers who bring their own food and can talk more about this if you wish when you visit.
Does my cat have to have vaccinations?
YES……Please go to our ‘vaccination’ page and read all the important instructions. We are unable to board your pet unless they meet our vaccination requirements.
How do you help the cats settle in when they arrive?
We understand that cats do not like change and they need time to settle into their new environment. All cats stay in their individual bedrooms for 24 hours to get their bearings and observe the other cats at a distance. We spray Feliway pheromones into their room and put Rescue Remedy into their water for a few days. We can put them up in a high bedroom away from other cats if they need to be private and all bedrooms can be covered with a curtain to give them privacy and comforting darkness.
Cats can come out into the communal areas if they wish. They are not forced out and some cats prefer to stay quietly in their room or near by it. There are nooks and crannies for them to sneak into and toys to play with. We supervise the first time they come out and make sure they are coping. Since all the cats go to bed at night so that we can monitor them more individually, some cats may like to come out at night when there are less cats roaming. There is a smaller cattery on site where anti -social/timid cats can wander in the daytime, and we have a double play area segregated from the communal area to provide another safe and stress free activity space.
My cat has to have medicine - will you charge extra for giving it to him?
No – it is just part of the individual care that we offer. Vet nurses on staff are good at giving medicines and we have a medicine chart for each guest to ensure instructions are followed accurately. You will need to give us lots of information about the needs of your cat and give us permission to ring your vet for a chat if we are concerned about anything.
However – we do not take cats with Diabetes as we have found it very hard to assess their blood sugar levels and keep them stable when away from home. We feel that a vet clinic is the proper place for these pets to be boarded and monitored.
Do I need to bring my cat to Penzance in a travelling cage?
Yes – definitely – or some kind of secure box. We have dogs arriving and loud cars. The busy environment may cause your cat to panic if it is in your arms and not in a secure enclosure.
Once you have dropped off your cat, you can leave the cage with us. We will label it and store it until you return.
Will you groom my cat?
We understand that long haired cats, especially older ones, need help grooming to prevent hairball problems. We can do this on a fairly regular basis as long as the cat is tolerant. If it is stressful for the cat and the staff, then it is better done by a professional when you return.