Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the commonly-asked questions about Top Notch Boarding Kennels:
- Can I view your facilities?
- What is your daily routine?
- Can I pick up/drop off my dog afterhours?
- How old does my dog need to be to stay with you?
- Can I bring my own food in?
- Can my family member/friends dog share a room with mine?
- My dog doesn’t get on well with other dogs. Can they still stay?
- Can you administer medications?
- When can I book in for the Christmas/New Year period?
- How far in advance can I book other peak periods?
- What vaccinations does my dog need?
- What is Canine/kennel Cough?
- What about flea and worming?
- How do you decide who is walked together?
- What if my dog barks?
- How can I help with settling my dog in?
- If my dog requires a vet what will happen?
- My dog has not been neutered, are they able to come?
- My dog has come on heat, can they still come?
Can I view your facilities?
Absolutely! Viewings can be arranged between 1.00pm – 1.30pm Mon-Sat and 11.30 on a Sunday. Please email us or call 03 325 2081 to schedule a viewing. Please note: due to vaccination requirements and other dogs coming in and out of the facility during this time, we cannot allow your dog(s) to come in and view the facility with you.
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What is your daily routine?
7.45am week days is doggy wake up time. All the pups are let out into their grass runs and feeding starts. All dogs are then put back into their rooms while we have new guests arriving between 9.00am – 9.45am. The dogs are then walked and play in groups in one of several large exercise areas. These contain enrichment and a variety of obstacles for your fur-babies to play with or on. 12.00pm is snooze time for our guests and a well-deserved break for the staff. After the 1.00pm – 1.30pm check ins/outs, the dogs are back out for more fun and exercise. Dinner and more outside time in their grass runs between 3 and 4pm. Our residents are put back into their rooms after 4.00pm while we have check ins/outs. They are then let back out for toileting between 6.00pm – 8.00pm. The routine varies on weekends and public holidays but your pups will still get the same amount of outside time, walks and play.
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Can I pick up/drop off my dog after hours?
By prior arrangement, we may be able to accommodate after hours check ins/outs; however, this is subject to staff availability and an additional fee of $60 will apply.
How old does my dog need to be to stay with you?
Dogs must be at least 4 1/2 months old and be fully vaccinated (see vaccination policy) prior to staying. Please note: There is a 14 day stand-down period following the administration of the last puppy vaccine.
Can I bring my own food in?
We can provide an adult or puppy kibble for your dogs stay or you are more than welcome to bring your dog’s usual food in with you. We have deep freezers and storage to accommodate any food needs.
Can my family member/friends dog share a room with mine?
As we cannot actively supervise all of the dogs while in their rooms, shared rooms are reserved for dogs from the same household only. Depending on the size of your dogs and availability, we may be able to accommodate them in adjoining rooms where they can see one another.
My dog doesn’t get on well with other dogs. Can they still stay?
Possibly. A huge part of our focus is on group walks and play for our guests. If your dog is unable to interact appropriately with others they will require individualised exercise time. Due to time restraints, we can only accept a limited number of these dogs at once and additional ‘extra care’ fees apply. We find that a kennel can be stressful for dogs who are not well socialised and therefore may be better suited to a house sitter or a kennel focused on more isolated activity. Please note we may not be able to accommodate any non-social dogs over our busiest times such as school holiday, public holidays or Christmas.
Can you administer medications?
Yes, most oral and topical medications can be administered during your dog’s stay. Please bring any medications in a labelled container identifying the type of medication, instructions on dose and frequency, and your dog’s name. Please also ensure you have enough medication for the duration of your dog’s stay. If your dog requires administration of medication outside of our operating hours, an additional daily fee will apply. Please contact us prior to booking if your dog requires injectable medications such as insulin as we may not be able to accommodate this.
When can I book in for the Christmas/New Year period?
We know that there are periods such as public holidays and school holidays where we will be completely full. One of things our customers love is that we are small and know your dogs intimately therefore we cannot accommodate everybody. We feel it is fairest to give priority to customers who support our business frequently throughout the year, (not just over peak periods), and whose dogs are therefore well known to us. We will contact these customers in February, and will start accepting other bookings from March. If the dates that you require are fully booked, we will add you to our waitlist and contact you if we have a cancellation. Please be aware that the waitlist is not just a number in a ‘queue’ and will be dictated by the dates available and requested, so please only request what you need. Also a factor will be the size and nature of your dog.
Please note that we get a massive amount of requests over this period and this involves a huge amount of work to manage. Please try to only request the dates that you need and minimise any changes, with as much notice as possible. Despite having a long waitlist most people have already made alternative arrangements and we are not always able to fill spaces at short notice. See our website for our cancellation policy. Invoices will be due for the entire stay 4 weeks prior to your booking and if not paid your booking will be offered to the next guest on the waitlist. We are not going to accept dogs that are not known to us so a trial stay or earlier bookings would be required.
Currently we won’t take website bookings for this period and this will show as unavailable in the customer portal so please email us with any requests you have.
How far in advance can I book other peak periods?
We do not like to take bookings more than 6 months in advance for other periods as we like to maintain flexibility for maintenance and staffing changes but if you have a specific request please email.
What vaccinations does my dog need?
Canine/kennel cough – This should be done as a puppy and then most vets do a booster annually. At Top Notch we have a 10 month policy for canine cough. This means it should have been done no more than 10 months prior to their stay. If they are out of date this should be done at least 10 days prior to their stay, if they are still in date 4 days prior is fine.
n.b. We have noticed that some vets are using an oral kennel cough vaccine (vanguardCC oral or canvac cci). This is fine when give with the multivaccination but does not fully cover for parainfluenza and therefore should not be done on its own and we will not accept it.
Multivaccination – This will be either Van +5 or Nobivac DHPPI. Your dog should have 3 vaccinations as a puppy, then a booster at 1 year and then boosters every 3 years. This will need to be done at least 10 days prior to their stay.
Lepto is not a requirement at our kennels.
What is Canine/kennel Cough?
This is the name given to a number of respiratory illnesses in dogs. It is generally highly contagious. It commonly presents as a dry hacking cough/honking, sometimes leading to retching and fatigue. Socialising dogs puts them in contact with others who may have a cough that can be passed on.
As with a human cold, it is spread by airborne droplets (e.g. sneezing) between dogs, mainly nose to nose contact. Vaccinations can help in preventing specific strains, like the human flu jab. Coughs in dogs are impossible to fully vaccinate against. Vaccinations contribute to a baseline immunity which should help minimise the risk.
You may wish to seek veterinary advice if your dog loses their appetite completely, struggles with breathing, becomes very lethargic, is very young or old or has other medical conditions. We do our best to minimise the risks with excellent hygiene standards and a stringent vaccination policy, but as we actively encourage our guests to socialise it is impossible to prevent dogs transmitting it if it has been contracted elsewhere and brought into the kennel.
Common places where canine cough can be contracted are dog parks and doggie day care, in particular those with no vaccination requirements.
If your dog shows any signs of canine cough prior to their stay please be honest and let us know.
Please note if your dog displays signs during their stay we will isolate them immediately and contact you or your emergency contact to collect them as soon as possible.
What about flea and worming?
It is recommended that you follow a regular fleaing and worming programme with your pooch, but if this is not the case please make sure that you flea/worm your dog at least 10 days prior to a stay.
How do you decide who is walked together?
We discuss each dog and their temperament as a team along with any information you provide. Small and large dogs are always kept apart and if a specific group doesn’t suit your dog we will try them with a different selection of dogs. Notes are made in our system on each stay to ensure we gather as much information about your dogs as possible.
What if my dog barks?
We want our guests to spend as much time as possible outside however we have noise restrictions at Top Notch therefore if your dog barks a lot we will try many things to try and help settle them and keep them entertained. If we are not successful or your dog barks persistently we will let you know and try and come up with a plan, otherwise they will not be able to come here.
How can I help with settling my dog in?
New dogs are always encouraged to have a trial day to make sure they are happy in our environment. Suggestions may be made on things we could try with your dog if they are slow to settle. We use Adaptil plug ins and have thunder shirts we can try if your dog is particularly stressed. We also have Kongs, treat balls and puzzles and Likkimats.
We suggest that if your dog is anxious bringing bedding, toys, inparticular sniffing/licking toys and their usual food to minimise upset tummys.
We also recommend arriving in the morning or in our early afternoon slot, so your pooch gets plenty of time to play and explore the surroundings before settling down for the night. Arriving late in the afternoon is definitely not recommended for nervous dogs.
If my dog requires a vet what will happen?
If non-urgent we will always try and contact you should your dog become unwell during their stay. We will take them to one of our local vets and provide them with any pertinent information to ensure their best care. We will make sure any information received from them is handed on to you.
If veterinary care is required urgently we will take your dog to the vet immediately and contact you as soon as possible.
My dog has not been neutered, are they able to come?
We do not take unneutered males over 1 year unless known to us. Some exceptions may apply, please contact us to discuss further.
My dog has come on heat, can they still come?
We do not want to take your pup when she is on heat or is likely to be as this can be very disturbing for other guests and for her. Please note if they come on heat while with us we may have to contact you to collect them or keep them out of our group activities. Additional ‘extra care’ fees will apply. Please contact us to discuss further if you have any questions.
Your dog will have lots of fun at Top Notch Boarding Kennels
1162 Springs Rd, Lincoln 7676 Canterbury
We are located between Prebbleton and Lincoln, 20 minutes from Christchurch airport and Christchurch city centre.