A kennel to feel good about (Kennel Creek review)

In the interest of keeping the business of pet care in the family, if we lived closer, we’d send our dogs to spend our vacations at my aunt’s Waggin Tails kennel in southeast Nebraska.

Some of her clients drive upwards of two hours to bring their pets to the boarding and grooming business she operates out of her farm.

Since we discovered Kennel Creek Pet Resort in Overland Park, Kansas, I’m beginning to understand the loyalty a pet owner can feel upon finding a quality place for your fur babies to go when they can’t go with you.

I met Kennel Creek owner Christopher Sailors back at the Great KC Pet Expo. We struck up a conversation because he has the world’s most well-behaved labradoodles (says I).

Photo by Fido Fetch Photography

Photo by Fido Fetch Photography

Months later, I took Chris up on his offer to show me around his pet care business that is conveniently located on the route I take to work every day.

My first impression of Kennel Creek, which operates out of a building that used to house the headquarters for the Applebee’s restaurant chain, was that it is huge, clean and uber-professional.

Like me, Chris said he was always hesitant to board his beloved dogs. In fact, to get around the issue of having to send them somewhere else while he traveled, years ago he bought an RV to make it easier for them to go with him.

Guessing there were other particular pet parents like himself in the area, Chris pursued the development of a facility to meet his personal criteria.

The result is a place for pets that serves practical needs and offers an array of little luxuries.

Some of the things that impressed me:

  • All animals receive reverse osmosis or carbon-filtered water to help protect their urinary tract health.
  • Rather than being bagged up and tossed in a smelly dumpster, dog waste is disposed of in power flush toilets, a solution that greatly keeps the odor down at the facility.
  • Although dog owners can be taken to a window to view the actual kennels where the animals stay, no one besides staff is allowed inside the kennel or play area. Chris says this helps the dogs remain calm – no need to sound an alert due to strangers entering their area.
  • Several times a day, pet parents can tune in to Kennel Creek’s play cams to watch their dogs romping outside.

Of course, I couldn’t really appreciate the value of checking your pets into Kennel Creek without trying it for myself.

So, I made a reservation for Luke the weekend Zach and I headed to Ponca, Nebraska, for the dedication of the shooting complex named after my cousin.

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Crazy dog lady disclosure: I originally made the reservation for Luke and Scooby but at the last minute sent Scooby to my mom’s house due to the combination of his suddenly finicky eating habits and need to take medication several times a day WITH food.

I did take Scooby with me to check in Luke, though, and the little guy seemed confused about why he couldn’t go with his big red buddy.

Zach and I enjoyed getting to watch Luke on the play cams, although when we peeked in, he seemed more interested in the Kennel Creek staff than his fellow visitors. (Typical golden retriever.)
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When I retrieved Luke after his three-night stay, he didn’t seem that excited to see me.

Because he is a notoriously needy dog, I took this to mean Luke was comfortable at Kennel Creek. Also, the staff reported that he did not hesitate to eat his food – something he more or less refused to do when he came along for our Katy Trail bike trip.

Luke returned to Kennel Creek a few days later for a groom, which was performed satisfactorally.

And although with two dogs the overnight rates are at the top of our price range, Zach and I decided to leave both Scooby and Luke at Kennel Creek during another recent weekend excursion. Because they are housemates who get along, they stayed together in a single roomy kennel.

This was the first time I ever sent Scooby to a professional boarding facility.

And you know what? He returned to me happy, healthy and a little more interested in napping in the plastic crate he usually ignores at home.

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The report card for Luke and Scooby I received upon their check out revealed that our dogs were “best friends” who stuck close to each other rather than romping with the other dogs at playtime. In fact, Luke preferred to go out with Scooby and the small dogs rather than playing with the dogs his size.

Frankly, based on their general avoidance of each other at our house, this information came as a pleasant surprise, and it gives me hope that Luke and Charlie Machete could also one day become “best friends.”

Overall, my opinion of Kennel Creek Pet Resort is favorable. The most challenging aspect of the process anytime I have taken my dogs there is the check-in.

As I would recommend to anyone boarding their pets anywhere, bring detailed instructions regarding your pet’s food and any medication needs, and be prepared to go over them verbally, too.

The only real downside to Kennel Creek is that due to being located in Overland Park, Kansas, a city with breed specific legislation, pit bull type dogs cannot be boarded at the facility.

However, I would recommend Kennel Creek to any of my Kansas City-area friends with other kinds of dogs. Head to the Kennel Creek website for more information about doggy daycare, boarding and grooming specials.

Special promotion for Wayward Dogs readers:

If you make a reservation at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, be sure to tell them Wayward Dogs sent you. Your dog will receive a free bizzy bone on his or her first stay!

Disclaimer: I received a discount for Luke’s initial stay at Kennel Creek, but we paid full price for all additional services. My review reflects my honest assessment of the services provided by this business.

About Crystal K. Wiebe

I live with two formerly wayward dogs, and helping other dogs find new homes is my passion. I recently founded the company Beer Paws to help celebrate the relationship between people and pets.

Posted on June 26, 2012, in Dogs, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. What a beautiful facility! It sounds like a great operation…and peace of mind is priceless! Too bad though about the stupid BSL where they’re located. :-(

  2. What a great place to board… I wish there was a place like that here in Wichita! The only thing to dislike is the fact that they have to follow along with the breed discrimination. Not cool!

    By the way, see my latest post, I gave you an award, you always have such great info!

  3. Finding a person or place in which your dogs are truly at home when you’re out of town is priceless. I love positive kennel reviews!

  4. How lovely! I wish they had a place like that closer to me!

  5. I just used Kennel Creek last week. Wish I had the good experience with them that you did, but when my dog came home he was sick with what the VET diagnosed as “stress induced diarrhea.” Many dogs just don’t do well in the kennel environment. I left written instructions and hoped that someone would give him extra TLC since he had an injured leg as well. Perhaps he would have had a difficult time anywhere, but I’m not convinced that Kennel Creek is any better or worse than any other boarding facility. He smelled so bad when we picked him up (pee) I had to give him a bath as soon as we got home too. The extra $200 VET bill was pretty hard to take considering how much I had just spent on 6 days of boarding at this “pet resort.”

    • I am sorry that you didn’t have a positive experience. You are absolutely right that not all dogs do well in boarding – especially when they are already ill or recovering from an injury. Perhaps an in-home pet sitter would suit your pup more the next time you must leave town. In the meantime, I hope he is feeling much better now that you’re home and that his leg heals quickly and completely.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience at Kennel Creek! I actually just toured there two weeks ago to find a good place for Cody. I didn’t end up using them, but their facility looked so clean and new – pleasantly different from most of the other places I looked at. They were at the top of our price range unfortunately and also didn’t have the closed off, individual rooms away from the doggie crowd that Cody needs. I may go there to try their pet spa through for our next grooming session. Glad to hear Luke and Scooby had a good time!

    • Pretty soon, I will be blogging about another place that could be an option for Cody. Charlie Machete, who as a possible pit bull can’t go to Overland Park and who can’t do group play, went to this other place in Olathe recently and did really well.

  7. TizMarie – were you working at Kennel Creek the first week of Sept.? If so, please e-mail me at kcolnar@yahoo.com
    Thanks

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