Kennel Shortage: ‘Perfect Storm’ Leads to Severe Space Shortage

Dog owners planning their summer holidays are advised to seek kennel accommodation for their pets as soon as possible as a massive increase in demand has led to a shortage of places.

all dog kennels and sitters must turn away new clients due to demand pressure on their services.

A significant increase in the number of people traveling since the lifting of Covid restrictions, an increase in the number of dog owners and the closure of some kennels due to rising insurance costs have all been put forward as possible reasons for the surge in demand for existing spaces.

“The problem with trying to find a place for a pet was caused by a ‘perfect storm’. Lots of people have had dogs during the pandemic,” Donal Delaney from Beech Grove Boarding Kennels in Upper Glanmire told Cork.

“They are an asset to any family and some people have dogs to help with Covid loneliness. On top of that, there are families trying to catch up on vacation and see the people they missed during the lockdowns.

“All of this has led to an increased demand for kennel spaces.”

“We have about thirty kennels and we are not taking new customers for the months of June, July and August. We stopped about six or seven weeks ago.

“It’s the same for grooming appointments. In fact, we’re even calling other kennels in the area to see if they could handle some of the fallout, but they’re in the same position as us.

“Previously we only had high demand in July, but this year it’s different.

“Our advice to people leaving is to find sorted accommodation now.”

“Do it yesterday,” he added.

A recent CSO survey found that one in five pet owners (20%) said they had acquired the animal since the start of the pandemic.

Alan Russell has run West City Kennels and Cattery on Old Naas Road in west Dublin since 1988 and says they turn away around 30 or 40 people a day ringing the bell looking for a place.

“I have room for about 50 dogs and 40 cats, and I was telling someone a few days ago that if six more kennels opened up around me, we would all still be doing business,” a- he declared. Irish Independent.

“I am full now until December. Some people are really stressed trying to find places for their pets. This is something people have to sort out early.

“The number of pet owners has increased during the pandemic. I see it with the number of people with dogs that I meet when I walk mine. It really jumped during Covid.

“I think rising insurance costs are also a factor in a number of kennels closing. the closures simply did not reopen afterward, in part because of rising costs.

“It’s also hard work. I walk about 20km a day around the kennels just to take care of all the dogs, then I always go out and walk my own dogs after that,” he added.

The DSPCA of Rathfarnham in Dublin also runs a Pet Hotel & Doggie Daycare Centre, and commercial director Chrissy Mahon said she had never seen a year like this for demand.

“The summers were always busy, but we used to have downtime for training and cleaning, but now there is demand all the time.

“We have 52 individual suites which are all indoors and heated, and since the end of October last year we were full until August and also booked for Christmas and New Years,” she said. Explain.

“We think the demand is because everyone’s schedules have been affected during Covid.

“Some have not returned for more than two years. Others had to postpone their weddings and are catching up now, and even communions and confirmations have been moved.

“We could do our daycare three times, the demand is so high, and we’re doing more and more puppy classes than in the pre-Covid days.”

One thing Chrissy criticizes is the lack of regulation in the pet sitting industry. “Boarding is unregulated in Ireland so we would advise people to do their homework when choosing a place to place their pet,” she said.

The cost of caging your dog varies depending on the size of the animal and the number of animals you are caring for.

A medium sized dog will cost around $18-$20 per day, and pet owners may see this increase in the future as the cost of pet food, as well as the energy costs associated with heating and grooming increase.

“A bag of food that cost €14 last year is now €20,” said Mr Delaney, of Beech Grove kennel in Cork.

The DSPCA said it did not raise costs this year because management was aware people were already struggling with price inflation, but said prices may need to be reassessed next year. depending on rising costs.

A shortage of kennel space has led to a growing demand for dog sitters, who care for the animal in their own home or house-sit in the family home.

An online service called Pawshake, set up to fill the void in the pet sitting market, operates as a service to introduce families to potential sitters.

It now operates in 19 countries in Europe, Canada and Australia.

“We have noticed demand in Ireland has doubled since pre-Covid times, and we have 5,000 sitters in Ireland on our system,” said Pawshake CEO Tanguy Peers.

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