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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to evaluate a kennel when boarding pets after a water damage disaster

2/17/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Carrollton looks at the benefits of putting the family dog and other pets in a kennel or other pet care facility during the water damage restoration process.

SERVPRO of Carrollton specializes in fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and water damage restoration. Other cleanup and restoration services include storm and flood damage, mold remediation, biohazard cleanup, and crime scene cleanup. The SERVPRO team can manage the entire project from beginning to end, including project management for the repair and restoration of major damage to the structure. The insurance claims process does not have to be a hassle for the homeowner since the SERVPRO staff can handle the complicated process from beginning to end. Using industry-standard estimating software such as Xactimate ensures that the job starts on the right foot with a detailed estimate accompanied by images and video documentation.

A property damage disaster of any kind is intrusive, disruptive, stressful, costly, and sometimes fraught with sadness and grief over the loss of a home, family heirlooms, family photographs, important legal documents, artwork, or collectibles. When property damage is extensive, the occupants may determine to leave the residence for several days during the initial phase of the cleanup. Sometimes the insurance company will cover these living expenses. However, the homeowner should not make any assumptions about reimbursement for food, lodging, clothing, and toiletries without first consulting with the insurance company. If house pets need to be boarded off the premises, the expenses may or may not be covered by the homeowners' policy. Again, check with an agent about insurance coverage.

Reasons to remove pets from home during the restoration process

Pets, especially cats and dogs, experience the sights, sounds, smells, physical discomfort, anxiety, and emotional distress associated with disaster in much the same way as humans do. In fact, dogs can be easily overwhelmed by the sensory and emotional overload of a property damage disaster. Pet owners should take into consideration the following information when trying to decide whether to remove the family dog from the premises:

  1. Dogs can smell from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans. The acrid, toxic smells of a fire damage disaster can be overwhelming for a dog.
  2. Dogs can hear sounds such as sirens, horns, engines, machinery, blasts, and shouts four times further away than humans. Dogs can also hear almost twice as many frequencies as humans. The sounds of equipment are loud by human standards. The roar of a wet/dry vacuum, the hum from commercial dehumidifiers, and the sounds of hammering, sawing, and drilling can be painful for a dog’s sensitive ears.
  3. Dogs (1,700 tastebuds) have much less discriminating taste than humans (9,000 tastebuds). Dogs hate the taste and smell of citrus (oranges and lemons), a fragrance found in many common household cleaners.
  4. Dogs feel empathy for their humans, who are both stressed and distressed over the property damage disaster. These internalized canine emotions can leave the beloved pet depressed and confused.

From the vantage point of the dog, the best course of action is to take the pet to a trusted kennel until the hustle and bustle of the cleanup and restoration crew has settled down.

Evaluating a kennel for the family pets

If the family has a trusted and reliable kennel, it will be easy to relocate the family pet to a kennel after a water damage disaster or other property damage disaster occurs. Below are some vital points to consider when qualifying for suitable pet accommodations.

#1. To locate a short list of tried and proven kennels, ask local veterinarians, groomers, friends with dogs, neighbors, and family members.

#2. If possible, conduct a walk-through at the kennel. Take the dog along to observe its reaction and how the staff interacts with the new arrival.

#3. Check references and read plenty of online reviews. Is the business a member of a professional organization related to kenneling dogs?

#4. Living spaces should be clean, chemical-free, climate-controlled, and secure.

#5. Ask about immunization requirements. (e.g., Bordetella shot, current rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza)

#6. Are dogs also screened for ticks and fleas?

#7. Do the caretakers interact well with all the dogs? Do pet care providers have certifications?

#8. Is the exercise time adequate, well-managed, and active?

#9. Are bathroom breaks adequate?

#10. Does the facility have a well-defined protocol if a pet needs emergency medical attention?

#11. Is staffing adequate 24-7?

#12. What is the emergency evacuation plan?

#13. What payment methods are available? How do rates compare to other kennels in the area? What services are promised with this level of care? When do clients pay? Is there an additional fee for a late pickup? What is the cancellation policy?

#14. Know what items the pet owner is required to provide.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tip to make the return home calm, relaxed, and uneventful: “When you pick up your dog from the boarding kennel or dog watcher’s home, don’t feed or give them water for at least four hours after returning home. They will likely be excited, which can trigger food gulping, vomiting, and diarrhea. If they seem thirsty, provide a few ice cubes rather than water. Then, let your dog calm down and rest.”

For more information about water damage restoration services in Far North Dallas, contact SERVPRO of Carrollton by calling (972) 446-0383 or by emailing office@SERVPRO10952.com.

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