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Old 10.03.2011, 03:33
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Fed up with the Local Kennels

I have visited many of the local kennels to check out their facilities for our 3 dogs. We have used several and I am far from satisfied with the level of care.

We supply our own dog food. I weigh and measure the food for each dog's meal and place the individual portions in a bag that is labelled with the dog's name and photo. I provide the exact number of portions for the anticipated stay. Then in a separate container I prepare a few portions in case of emergency (travel delays). Everything is marked.

None of the kennels give us a break on the price since we bring our own food. That is our choice but it is a savings to them.

On two occasions, at two different kennels, I have picked up the dogs and discovered that there is an extra unused food portion for each dog. I have questionned this. One kennel admitted they forgot to feed the dogs dinner on the first day we brought them. Unbelievable.

Yesterday we picked up the dogs from a kennel we have used several times and this time there is an extra portion leftover. No one can explain it. One staff member suggested our dogs were given the normal food but they can't be sure. The owner was not on site today. She was there when we dropped off the dogs and she knows the dogs and that we bring our own food, pre-measured.

My reluctance thus far to have someone stay at our home is because I haven't found anyone who is willling to who also holds the required qualifications, and is registered with the cantonal veterinary office.

But now I wonder if the legal requirements are what matter. I believe that an experienced, responsible person can provide better care than the kennels. The kennels we have used don't walk dogs, they don't brush their teeth, or clean their ears. We had asked the kennels to have the dogs bathed before we picked them up but they said they forgot. They told us they won't clip nails. They can't even get the food right even though I can't see how I can make it any easier.

So they feed them, give them a place to sleep and a place to run around, which for 3 dogs runs us 80 chf per day.

Is it possible to find a live-in dog sitter for that price?
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Old 10.03.2011, 07:41
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I am going full steam getting my license but I am afraid the dogs would need to come to me! Good luck on your search! X
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Old 10.03.2011, 08:15
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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I have visited many of the local kennels to check out their facilities for our 3 dogs. We have used several and I am far from satisfied with the level of care.

We supply our own dog food. I weigh and measure the food for each dog's meal and place the individual portions in a bag that is labelled with the dog's name and photo. I provide the exact number of portions for the anticipated stay. Then in a separate container I prepare a few portions in case of emergency (travel delays). Everything is marked.

None of the kennels give us a break on the price since we bring our own food. That is our choice but it is a savings to them.

On two occasions, at two different kennels, I have picked up the dogs and discovered that there is an extra unused food portion for each dog. I have questionned this. One kennel admitted they forgot to feed the dogs dinner on the first day we brought them. Unbelievable.

Yesterday we picked up the dogs from a kennel we have used several times and this time there is an extra portion leftover. No one can explain it. One staff member suggested our dogs were given the normal food but they can't be sure. The owner was not on site today. She was there when we dropped off the dogs and she knows the dogs and that we bring our own food, pre-measured.

My reluctance thus far to have someone stay at our home is because I haven't found anyone who is willling to who also holds the required qualifications, and is registered with the cantonal veterinary office.

But now I wonder if the legal requirements are what matter. I believe that an experienced, responsible person can provide better care than the kennels. The kennels we have used don't walk dogs, they don't brush their teeth, or clean their ears. We had asked the kennels to have the dogs bathed before we picked them up but they said they forgot. They told us they won't clip nails. They can't even get the food right even though I can't see how I can make it any easier.

So they feed them, give them a place to sleep and a place to run around, which for 3 dogs runs us 80 chf per day.

Is it possible to find a live-in dog sitter for that price?
I hate to have to pay someone who can't reach the expectation of what you pay for...

May I ask you something? I believe that your expectations on someone dog-sitting is way to high for what is necessary...

Why do you need someone registered to the veterinary office? Are you? I have a cat and I am not registered to the vet office. It doesn't make me less able to take great care of my cat (and previous pets).

You need someone you can trust who'll be there for the dogs, who'll give the care you want them to receive the way you want it. As long as the person has an emergency number, I don't see the need of specialisations, etc...

And I believe your dogs will enjoy much more to be with someone on their own with an environment they know and I am sure you'll save bunch of money!

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Old 10.03.2011, 08:28
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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You need someone you can trust who'll be there for the dogs, who'll give the care you want them to receive the way you want it. As long as the person has an emergency number, I don't see the need of specialisations, etc...

And I believe your dogs will enjoy much more to be with someone on their own with an environment they know and I am sure you'll save bunch of money!

Totally agree.

I used to stay in the house of a friend's friend to take care of their dogs and cats.

And both the dogs, the cats and house very happy....

you don't have any friends you can trust ?
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Old 10.03.2011, 08:33
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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Why do you need someone registered to the veterinary office? Are you? I have a cat and I am not registered to the vet office. It doesn't make me less able to take great care of my cat (and previous pets).
The registration and qualification is supposedly what is required if one wants to be a dog sitter and accept payment. At least that is my understanding.

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You need someone you can trust who'll be there for the dogs, who'll give the care you want them to receive the way you want it. As long as the person has an emergency number, I don't see the need of specialisations, etc...

And I believe your dogs will enjoy much more to be with someone on their own with an environment they know and I am sure you'll save bunch of money!

That is exactly what I am looking for, someone I can trust. As for emergencies, the person should be able to know if a dog is sick and needs medical attention. I always thought it would be strange for the dogs to be at home when we are away but now I think they are probably better off in their home environment with someone responsible and caring.
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Old 10.03.2011, 08:40
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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Totally agree.

I used to stay in the house of a friend's friend to take care of their dogs and cats.

And both the dogs, the cats and house very happy....

you don't have any friends you can trust ?
None that don't have other commitments.
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Old 10.03.2011, 08:55
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

Keep in mind that some dogs eating habits change in the kennel or at least mine did so less food might be used. One of mine refused to eat and since they were worried they fed her treats instead (akin to dog heroin).

My solution has been the neighbours, an EFer and older teenagers (easy money for them). The dogs stay at home where they are comfortable. I know they are walked and played with more than I ever do and they get the occasional night out. Maybe I am lucky.

Do you know any older students? Maybe calling a vet school or even ask your local vet if he knows someone? Get the word out, that's what I did and ever since I've not had a problem nor worries about the dogli's.
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:16
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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Why do you need someone registered to the veterinary office? Are you? I have a cat and I am not registered to the vet office. It doesn't make me less able to take great care of my cat (and previous pets).
Nil, it's the law. Under the new TschV, anyone caring for dog who is working commercially must hold certain qualifications, and be registered with the cantonal veterinary office.

A Summary can be found here - see 'Auch die professionelle Betreuung von Hunden wird reglementiert.':

http://www.kipp-kvniederamt.ch/hinte...vorgaben_d.pdf

Yes, I believe this is overkill - the educational requirements set the bar far higher than needed, so that many people offering dog care simply ignore the law. But nonetheless it is the law.

Yes, I know that many dogsitters/cares are not compliant with the new law - just many are not paying taxes and social contributions either. And yes, I know that many dog owners are so desperate that they are willing to overlook this. But think about it - caring for your pets is first and foremost a matter of trust. If a sitter is willing to ignore the law, how could you trust him/her to follow your instructions?

And what if there was, doG forbid, an accident? An owner could find him/herself in serious hot water for employing someone working illegally.

I've been looking for a qualified dogsitter for well over a year now and despite paying very well I cannot find anyone who is both qualified in my own assessment, and willing to work legally in the eyes of both the BVet and the taxman. The reason I'm having to bring the dogs back to the US is that I cannot find a sitter I can trust who is working legally - at any price. (The last time I had to go to the US, I had to bring a sitter in from the UK. Not something I can continue to do.)

The few people I have found who have the skills and experience to provide the level of care I need have bluntly refused to work legally despite my offering to set everything up for them, and those who are working legally do not have the skill or aptitude to properly care for my mutts, or do not offer the service I need.

Getting back to the question of Tierheim - after interviewing the staff at several kennels I've come away feeling uncomfortable and uncertain that my dogs' basic needs would be met. Granted, few kennels are set up for dogs who need medical care, who have strict special diets, who have some behavioral issues - which is why I need a sitter.

Yes, following the tragedy in Oberglatt it became clear that people caring for dogs need to understand that they have a serious responsibility - but the new law takes things way too far - and has essentially driven this service sector into 'Schwarzarbeit'.

As a foreigner who is already in a precarious position with dog-hating neighbors, I will not take any chances, I will not engage in Schwarzarbeit. Any sitter working for me must be legal in every sense. So the search for the holy grail - a professionally minded dog lover who takes his/her responsibilities seriously - continues.

(Should anyone be interested... http://www.englishforum.ch/jobs-offe...b-h-fe-sz.html )
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:27
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

I am sorry, call me thick here but:

When I was a teenager I was babysitting. I didn't have a degree nor a University degree to do so. I had a first aid certificat and that wasn't even a need to babysit. Nowadays you need a certificat, a diploma, degrees and a binder of references.

How did I manage to not kill those poor kids is out of my understanding...

That was with kids. Today, pets need laws and regulations for pet-sitting?

Please, call me thick but this is just going insane! I never used any professional to pet-sit my cats and dog and they were very well treat by the people who took care of them. A friend, neighbour was always more than enough. The only time I send my dog into a kennel was the biggest mistake I made!

You need classes, certificats and permits to take care of a dog but to procreate.... nope!


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Old 10.03.2011, 09:29
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

Just a clarification - it is perfectly legal to have a friend or someone without qualifications/registration take care of your dogs as long as it is not a commercial activity. (If someone cares for your dog for more than 3 months, though, he/she may be required to do the SKN.)

When dogsitting is a business, however, the TschV comes into play.

And of course, all this only applies to dogs. Anyone can care for cats - or rabbits, hamsters, mice, or other critters.


Given the level of responsibility caring for my dogs entails, I could never ask someone to take on that responsibility as a favor. I need dedicated care - which is why I prefer to pay a professional.
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:31
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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I've been looking for a qualified dogsitter for well over a year now and despite paying very well I cannot find anyone who is both qualified in my own assessment, and willing to work legally in the eyes of both the BVet and the taxman. The reason I'm having to bring the dogs back to the US is that I cannot find a sitter I can trust who is working legally - at any price. (The last time I had to go to the US, I had to bring a sitter in from the UK. Not something I can continue to do.)
Well I wonder if I am going to have any better luck. I know a dog walker I could hire, but she does not do dog sitting at someone's home. Perhaps she knows someone who does.

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Just a clarification - it is perfectly legal to have a friend or someone without qualifications/registration take care of your dogs as long as it is not a commercial activity. (If someone cares for your dog for more than 3 months, though, he/she may be required to do the SKN.)
Okay, so I have to write an ad that says I am looking for a responsible dog sitter. No pay but lots of plus points: a nice house to stay in, a car to drive, internet access, a full fridge and the companionship of three great dogs. I might even leave the parrot at home so they have someone to talk to who will answer back.
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:31
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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I am sorry, call me thick here but:

When I was a teenager I was babysitting. I didn't have a degree nor a University degree to do so. I had a first aid certificat and that wasn't even a need to babysit. Nowadays you need a certificat, a diploma, degrees and a binder of references.

How did I manage to not kill those poor kids is out of my understanding...

That was with kids. Today, pets need laws and regulations for pet-sitting?

Please, call me thick but this is just going insane! I never used any professional to pet-sit my cats and dog and they were very well treat by the people who took car of them. A friend, neighbour was always more than enough. The only time I send my dog into a kennel was the biggest mistake I made!

You need classes, certificats and permits to take care of a dog but to procreate.... nope!


You've been Switzerlanded!
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:32
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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You've been Switzerlanded!
And this is on my way out!
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Old 10.03.2011, 09:37
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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When I was a teenager I was babysitting. I didn't have a degree nor a University degree to do so. I had a first aid certificat and that wasn't even a need to babysit. Nowadays you need a certificat, a diploma, degrees and a binder of references.
Hmm, when I was a teenager I had to get a diploma - that was 16 years ago. But maybe that's just Switzerland.
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Old 10.03.2011, 17:35
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

Since we've arrived, I've refused to put my dogs in kennels. My dogs need human company and I was lucky to find a lady who takes in dogs to her home. She takes a maximum of 6 at a time. She brings them for hour long walks in the forest near her home and my dogs are always happy to go back to her house which is full of chew toys and warm beds. And when I pick them up, I get a detailed report about their behaviour and activities.

If she has time, she'll clean their ears and give them a brush, but that's about it. During an extended stay during the summer, one of the dogs had some teeth problems and she promptly took them to the vet and administered all the medication.

But you're not in my area and I assume there must be more people like her around... Good luck in your search!
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Old 11.03.2011, 02:09
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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Keep in mind that some dogs eating habits change in the kennel or at least mine did so less food might be used. One of mine refused to eat and since they were worried they fed her treats instead (akin to dog heroin).
Unless our dogs are really ill, they will eat. The fact is there was one portion extra leftover for each dog which is why I knew something was wrong. This morning we spoke to the kennel owner and this was her explanation:

One afternoon it appeared one of our 3 dogs had diarrhea but they did not know which one. So they decided not to feed any of them dinner.

When I heard this I was really angry. If they had discovered diarrhea in the morning after a night's sleep I could see how it may not be clear which dog is ill(they seem to share one big box). But am I supposed to believe that during the day no one checks on the dogs and noticed a problem?

The kennel knows that one of our dogs has a very sensitive stomach, she can only eat Hills i/d and is prone to diarrhea. I would bet it was her.

Not giving any of the dogs dinner seems wrong to me. My approach would have been to feed the dogs, watch what happens when they go outside and if that doesn't confirm anything, then separate them to confirm which dog it is.

If I don't find a private sitter I am unlikely to use this kennel again. It is the one in Fisibach, in case anyone wants to know.
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Old 11.03.2011, 08:08
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We used a kennel once and it took them 5 days to figure out our dog wasn't getting any food....the other dogs she was sharing the run with ate it. Never again.

Try www.animal-care.ch and get in touch with Nicole. She has people in various areas around CH that take your animals into their house. We've used her services for years and have no complaints.
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Old 11.03.2011, 08:57
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

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Unless our dogs are really ill, they will eat.
That is not necessarily so. Our dog never eats for the first two days in a kennel when we go away (he's not a very big eater anyway).

But I think they should really walk the dogs at least once a day, otherwise it sounds just like making money for nothing in return. However, giving the dogs a bath and clipping their nails - it never crossed my mind to ask the people in the kennel to do that, for the dog does not stay there for a very long time and these are essential things we do before we leave and after we return.
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Old 13.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

As the search for a good sitter continues... Do any of you know anything about this company?

http://www.schwiizland.ch/dogsitting.html

The price is quite reasonable - the in-house sitters I've used in the past charge 2-3 times that. But I don't see any mention of qualifications, etc.

If any of you have used the service, I'd be interested to hear of your experience.

Many thanks.
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Old 13.03.2011, 17:21
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Re: Fed up with the Local Kennels

For CHF 80 a day for 3 dogs??? personal care??? what do you expect for such a low price??? if you want to have it first class (and it sounds like you want to have it very personalised) you have to pay at least 60- 90 CHF (per dog).

I have mine in a private kennel, only 4 dogs being at the dog sitters house with a 5400 m2 garden, daily walks, swimming, watching TV on her couch, etc. but thats 95 CHF a day...

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I have visited many of the local kennels to check out their facilities for our 3 dogs. We have used several and I am far from satisfied with the level of care.

We supply our own dog food. I weigh and measure the food for each dog's meal and place the individual portions in a bag that is labelled with the dog's name and photo. I provide the exact number of portions for the anticipated stay. Then in a separate container I prepare a few portions in case of emergency (travel delays). Everything is marked.

None of the kennels give us a break on the price since we bring our own food. That is our choice but it is a savings to them.

On two occasions, at two different kennels, I have picked up the dogs and discovered that there is an extra unused food portion for each dog. I have questionned this. One kennel admitted they forgot to feed the dogs dinner on the first day we brought them. Unbelievable.

Yesterday we picked up the dogs from a kennel we have used several times and this time there is an extra portion leftover. No one can explain it. One staff member suggested our dogs were given the normal food but they can't be sure. The owner was not on site today. She was there when we dropped off the dogs and she knows the dogs and that we bring our own food, pre-measured.

My reluctance thus far to have someone stay at our home is because I haven't found anyone who is willling to who also holds the required qualifications, and is registered with the cantonal veterinary office.

But now I wonder if the legal requirements are what matter. I believe that an experienced, responsible person can provide better care than the kennels. The kennels we have used don't walk dogs, they don't brush their teeth, or clean their ears. We had asked the kennels to have the dogs bathed before we picked them up but they said they forgot. They told us they won't clip nails. They can't even get the food right even though I can't see how I can make it any easier.

So they feed them, give them a place to sleep and a place to run around, which for 3 dogs runs us 80 chf per day.

Is it possible to find a live-in dog sitter for that price?
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