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Four Legs & Meg Boarding Policy

Boarding Policy 2021/22
1. General boarding policies 
2. Record keeping. 
3. Health and safety within the home.
4. Cleaning and disinfection procedure 
5. Transportation.
6. Feeding procedure.
7. Enrichment activities.
8. Exercise policy.
9. Monitoring health and welfare of dogs.
10. Other animals.
11. Disease control and prevention.
12. Death or escape of an animal procedure.
13. Emergency care for boarding dogs.
14. Waste disposal 
15. Fire policy and escape plan.
16. Vaccination/titre, flea and worming treatment policies.
17. Medication policy.
18. Puppies under 1 year old procedure.
19. Neutering policy. 
20. Introduction of dogs to existing group.
21. Emergency procedures
This is a working document and is available upon request. A copy will be uploaded onto the website and will be updated on a monthly basis.

1.General boarding policy.
The licence must be displayed on the kitchen wall where clients enter the house and is displayed on the business website. The premises is of sound construction and only registered tradespeople will be used to complete works. No more than the stated amount on the licence will be accepted at any one time. All policies will be pointed out to clients and clients may take a hard copy away if desired. If it is deemed that boarding can no longer continue due to extremes of temperature or any other emergency, the client and or emergency contact will be required to collect their dog. Dogs will sleep in the downstairs area and have use of the kitchen and living room. Boarding dogs are not permitted upstairs. They have access to two sofas in the living room and a chair and open pen in the kitchen. Appropriately sized beds are provided, and owners are encouraged to provide a blanket that smells of home to help the dog relax. Dogs can be crated overnight if that is the owner’s routine. A dog gate between the kitchen and living room can separate dogs overnight. Resident dogs sleep upstairs. Dogs are not left alone in any 24 hour period for more than 3 hours. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety and prone to barking are not left alone. Dogs can accompany the licensee if appropriate. All dogs thoroughly assessed and allowances made. If dogs are to be left alone, they are separated from resident dogs and any other boarding dog unless client has given consent and the radio left on for company. Barking is monitored and action taken if dogs bark for a period of time.

2. Record Keeping 
All boarding is subject to a meet and greet and the boarding forms being completed fully. Specific boarding forms must include name and address of client, Name, breed, colour of dog, microchip number, age, vaccination/titre dates, flea and worming treatment dates, and vet details, consent for dogs to be walked, housed and fed with other dogs, exercise expectations, medication, allergy details and any other relevant details. All records are confidential. All records must be viewed with data protection in mind. The records will be regularly updated. The records will be available to the licensee and emergency contact. The records will be retained for three years and archived after this time.

3. Health and Safety within the home. 
Health and safety will be maintained within the home at all times. All dogs to be housed in a suitable environment, which is kept clean and safe at all times. All electrical equipment including smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are inspected monthly and repaired or replaced as needed. The house will be inspected daily for any repairs needed. The garden will be inspected daily for any repairs needed. All gates will be checked once a day minimum for wear and tear. A regular cleaning regime is in place and home maintained. All health and safety will be considered when cooking/cleaning and dogs will be kept from heat sources or being able to ingest anything. All boarders are part of our family and are looked after to the high standard that we look after our own animals. All bins will be behind a door or the garden bin is lockable and behind a gate.


4. Cleaning and Disinfection procedure.
General cleaning will be done daily and a good state of cleanliness will be maintained. All sides wiped down before and after use, floors swept daily, food and water bowls washed daily, throws and bedding washed every three days. A thorough dust, polish, vacuum and disinfect will be done on a weekly basis. Any spillages/accidents will be cleaned up as soon as seen. The garden will have excrement removed a minimum of once daily and food preparation areas will be cleaned prior and after preparation. An antibacterial cleaner and antibacterial wipes, with kitchen roll will be used to maintain areas. Antibacterial handwash will be available by all sinks and wipes. Dogs can be hosed down and washed outside in good weather. Grass will be disinfected every two weeks in summer months and monthly during winter months. Paved areas will be regularly disinfected as needed.. All dogs will be removed when cleaning is taking place

5. Transportation policy. 
Four Legs & Meg do not operate a collection or delivery service. We do have at all times access to 2 vehicles for emergency’s transportation only. The vehicles are adequate to provide safe transportation and all dogs travel safely in an appropriate sized metal travel crate.

6. Feeding Procedure. 
All dogs are thoroughly assessed and watched during feeding time to make sure they are eating, not galloping their food or struggling to chew their food. Dogs will be separated by a dog gate while they eat to assure safety and space. Dogs will eat separately and at differing times to resident dogs. Unless stated all dog food is to be provided by the client. Clients will be asked for details on timings, amounts and kinds of bowls dogs eat from. All bowls will be washed daily. The food will be stored in the fridge and freezer  or in the secure clean plastic containers in the dog cupboard under the prep area. Or if a large supply is given it will be stored in the air tight container provided by the client in the garage. Dogs food intake will be monitored per meal and advice sought from a vet if the dog continues to refuse food after 48 hours. Multiple water bowls will be provided and water changed a minimum of twice daily. All bowls will be washed daily. No food to be left down and will be removed and disposed of in the outside bin after each meal. All bowls will be lifted and placed in the sink area for manual washing. A dedicated work surface to be used to prepare food and to be washed before and after food prep. All basic hygiene rules will be adhered to by anyone preparing food

7. Enrichment activities 
All boarders will have access to enrichment activities within the home and garden. Kong wobblers, enrichment games, toys, lickimats, soft agility equipment, paddling pool. Dogs that are on restricted exercise or other reasons will interact with mind game type toys. Lickimats are a great way to expel energy while using minimum physical exercise and mentally tire a dog out by using natural instincts. All toys will be supervised and agreed with usage with the client prior to boarding. Outside enrichment can include ball games. All dogs will be checked over physically and all equipment checked for suitability prior to use. A paddling pool will be provided with shallow water for dogs to cool off in warmer months. Paddling pool will be shallow and supervised at all times. A ball pit can be used for interactive play and finding games. The equipment will all be inspected prior to use and cleaned or disinfected as necessary. Grooming and interaction will take place multiple times per day. All dogs will live as part of the family and will interact with all members throughout the day and evening.

8. Exercise Policy.
All individual needs will be addressed with older dogs having a different type and duration of exercise. Dogs under a year old will with advice from our vets get 5 mins of exercise for every month of their life twice daily. Adult dogs in good health will get two walks minimum per day. One long walk 60 min +. Every care will be taken to insure dogs individual exercise needs are met with agreement with the client. The shorter walk can be around the football field located 400m from house at King George playing fields. All walking equipment must be provided by the client. We encourage our clients to use secure harnesses and soft leads. No extendable leads are permitted due to unreliability. All equipment provided must be in a clean and safe state. We hold a stock of strong leads and harnesses that can be used. All equipment will be inspected prior to use. All walks and equipment use is agreed with clients upon drop off. At no time would a dog be allowed to exercise of lead unless in the safe surroundings of our secure garden. An 8m long lead is available if more active play is required. 
All dogs must have a collar/harness with the clients name and number on. While on walks all boarding dogs will wear one of our collars or identity tags on. Our tags include our name, address and number. No more than two dogs per person will be walked at any one time. All dogs will be assessed and make sure they are a compatible group. All dogs will be in a safe controlled manner and will not cause any disruption to other people or animals. We have public liability with Pet Business Insurance and are fully insured to walk up to six dogs. Every precaution is taken to maintain a safe walk and all walks are familiar and considered safe. 
9. Monitoring Health and Welfare. 
Dogs will be physically checked over every day for lumps and bumps, ears, eyes and mouth checked, coat checked and paws inspected after every walk. In winter months paws will be rinsed off after walks and in summer months surfaces will be checked for heat. Dogs food intake and general demeanour will be assessed at least once a day but continuously. Dogs that are showing signs of stress will be given their own space and time in the garden, low lighting and the use of the radio. They can also have time in their own den using the blankets or beds from their own home. All clients will fill in the boarding form and will be asked to give details of dogs disposition. All dogs will come for a meet and greet and a decision will be made after discussion on their suitability. Techniques will be discussed to maintain a calm atmosphere with client. All observations about dogs health and welfare will be recorded on the main spreadsheet and reported to owners. All dogs will be handled gently and reward based training techniques will be used. All clients will be advised that any equipment provided by them must be maintained and not be an aversive training tool. The use of choke chains, shock collars, prong collars, anti bark collars, half choke collars is strictly prohibited and all clients will understand that we will not use them. No aversive methods will be used. If dogs are boarding during the periods that fireworks are in use a den for them to escape to and the radio and tv will be used to distract them. Dogs will only be let in the garden during quiet periods and will be supervised throughout. Dogs will be given the choice of company or to hide away at this time.

10. Other Animals
All boarding dogs will have a meet and greet session with the resident dogs in their home. The session will last at least 30 minutes and will include a walk. Dogs will initially meet through a dog gate and be allowed to sniff and get used to each other until we feel that they can safely interact. 

11. Disease control and prevention. 
All clients will provide medical details prior to the stay and appropriate treatment will be agreed. All dogs must be in good health for a minimum of 7 days prior to boarding. Dogs that have stomach upsets or anything considered infectious will not be permitted and their boarding will be cancelled. If any dog shows signs of infection, their space will be limited to the kitchen until the dogs can be collected by the emergency contact or the client. The client will be asked to come and collect their dog and if they cannot their emergency contact will come to collect. This will be agreed prior to boarding. Resident dogs will be housed away from the kitchen and can use the front entrance and front part of the garden at differing times. All necessary steps including clothing will be disposed of or washed in the outside machine at 60 degrees. All water and food bowls will be separated and washed  separately. All advice will be taken from our vets with the handling of the boarder. All other boarding dogs will be asked to be collected too. All toys will be disinfected and washed between boarding dogs.

12. Death or escape of an animal procedure.
If any boarding dog becomes unwell or dies during boarding the client will be informed immediately and asked to come to the boarding establishment. All actions will be taken under advice from our vet. Deceased dogs will be taken to the clients vets to await the return of their owner promptly. If our vet feels that a dog must be euthanised consent from the client will be obtained prior to or the interests of the dog considered. Every effort will be made to contact the owner or emergency contact, but the welfare of the dog comes first. Any euthanasia must be performed by a qualified vet. In the case that a dog escapes from the home or on a walk every effort will be made to find the dog and both the emergency contact and client will be contacted immediately. All local vets will be contacted along with the dog warden. The use of social media (Doglost) may be used if the client consents. The business insurance company will be contacted as soon as possible.

13. Emergency care for boarding dogs.
If the boarding establishment becomes uninhabitable due to lack of heating, owners will be contacted and asked to collect their dogs or emergency contact will be asked to collect their dogs. All clients will be informed of this prior to boarding. If establishment is out of use for any reason owners will be contacted and asked to collect their dogs or emergency contacts will be asked to collect their dogs. If the temperature is extreme either hot or cold every measure will be taken to ensure the establishment becomes habitable. Fans are used on the summer, but if dogs continue to struggle boarding will be halted and the client or emergency contact will be asked to collect their dogs. Extreme weather including flood, snow and drought, every precaution will be taken to make dogs comfortable. In the case of extreme snow advice will be taken from emergency services and forecasts. Fans and extra refreshment will be provided in the case of drought.
14. Waste disposal 
All dog faeces will be removed from the garden at least once per day and disposed of in the secured waste bin located outside behind the gate and away from the dogs. The bin will be emptied if full or daily and disposed of at the waste disposal site. Heavily soiled bedding will be disposed of in the bin.

15. Fire policy and escape plan. 
The establishment has a fire extinguisher housed in the boiler cupboard. Five smoke alarms are  located in the living room, hallway and upstairs hallway. All are inspected and tested weekly and the alarms are inspected by an electrician and changed as necessary. 
The two exits are kept free of obstructions and can be locked from the outside and inside. In case of a kitchen fire the front and back exit can be used. In case of a living room fire the front or back exit can be used and exit through the removeable garden panels.. All gas equipment is inspected yearly and serviced by qualified gas safe engineers. All electrical and gas equipment is visually inspected and tested when used. The designated key holder lives on the premises too, but another key holder lives 5 min walk away and can be contacted at all times in case of emergency.

16. Vaccination/titre, flea and worming treatment policies.
All clients must bring with them and show up to date vaccination records or titre test results. All boarding dogs must have had their primary vaccinations two weeks prior to boarding. All vaccinations must have been given by a qualified vet and be licensed in the UK. All boarding dogs must have been treated with appropriate flea, worming and tick prevention medication prior to boarding. If any dog appears infected, they will be treated using medication from their vets and at the owners expense. All clients will be aware of the policy prior to boarding. If an infestation is discovered all bedding, throws, soft furnishing will be washed and treated with a treatment recommended by our vet. Any areas the dog has been will be treated appropriately.

17. Medication policy.
Customers must provide all medication for their dogs in a plastic labelled box. Labelled with dogs name, frequency and dosage. All medicines must be returned to the client when boarding ceases.

18. Puppies under 1 year old procedure. – We do not board puppies under 6 months as their immune system is still developing and are more susceptible to any viruses carried by other dogs.
Toilet trained puppies are welcomed and all puppies must have completed their primary vaccinations. Puppies are treated like one of the family and experience as much of everyday life as possible. Puppies spend lots of one on one time with the licensee and are given the opportunity to socialise with people and other friendly assessed dogs. Regular toilet breaks are given to encourage toilet training. All puppies are fed separately in a safe area and supervised throughout their stay.  The use of a training line is permitted to ensure a safe walk. Owners are encouraged to provide harnesses for puppies on training lines, but a stock of harnesses are kept for such occasions. Increased feeds are adhered to and toileting habits are closely monitored. Puppies are examined and handled regularly to acclimatise them to regular contact in case of a vet visit. The right kind of socialisation is encouraged and any play between dogs is closely monitored and an intervention if play becomes too raucous. 

19. Neutering policy. 
All clients are advised that we prefer dogs to be neutered prior to boarding. If boarders are unable to be neutered, they will be boarded on their own or with another dog from the same household. If a bitch comes into season during her stay advice from our vet will be taken. No intact males will be permitted on the premises if an unneutered bitch is on the premises.

20. Introduction to dogs of existing group.

When the initial meeting occurs, the dogs will be introduced on leads in an open space in the rear  garden. The leads must be secured but lose to avoid the rise of any tension or anxiety being communication to dogs. They would then be walked outside, side by side with a safe distance between them, changing places occasionally to allow each to smell where the other has walked. If or when the dogs have shown no hostility to each other they can be returned to the confines of our secure garden and released from their leads. The dogs will be observed for any signs of hostility and separated if required. If any hostility or anxiety is noticeable then the above process would be repeated until we are sure of a safe and calm situation. If any dogs need to be kept separate for any reason, for example feeding, grooming, rest time and cleaning of areas, then a handler would remove dogs individually to either side of the 3 separated gated area in the garden, or to living room/kitchen area.
21. Emergency procedures.
If any boarding dog is injured or becomes unwell immediate treatment will be sought with either our vet or if local the clients vet. Consent will be obtained from the client to make decisions based on the vets advice. Clients will be contacted and their emergency contact wherever possible before any treatment is given. Consent to make decisions based on the vets advice will be given. If a dog is injured on a walk the dog will be taken to the nearest vet and emergency treatment will be given. Clients will give consent for emergency treatment to be carried out. The client or emergency contact will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. A first aid kit is kept with the walker and an emergency first aid course has been attended. If the boarding licence is revoked while boarding dogs are staying the client or emergency contact will be asked to remove the dogs immediately. All clients will be informed of this prior to boarding. Client own vet details will be provided.


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