Elkhound Ranch Kennels

Business Description:


Pet Services

Michelle's Review


Will Recommend

Total Experience

Portage, MI

Elkhound Ranch Kennels

We will never use their services again

My husband and I had to place our one-year-old golden in a kennel for the first time while we were travelling and had to stop in Kansas City for work. We stayed in a hotel for 7 nights. I thought it was really weird that Elkhound would not allow us to provide our dog with blankets, toys, or chews. She is a golden and is always carrying something in her mouth. Because of inactivty and lying on a hard surface, her legs had callouses on them when she left--her first injuries ever ocurred at this kennel. It has been five months and still have not completely healed. In addition, she developed a nervous habit of chewing at her paws--partly (at least) because she wasn't allowed anything in her mouth! Those too took time to heal.

The people at the kennel were nice enough. But obviously, they do not know what a golden retriever needs as a baseline to stay healthy. We thought she would get a lot of activity there, but it does not seem she did. They should take the time to care for pets properly. I now know, after her staying at other kennels, that the treatment she received at Elkhound is NOT NORMAL. We have encountered no other place denies a pet parent to provide toys and blankets for their pet--not in CO, NM, MI. All other places have attentive staff that take enough care and time to assure no territorial or pssessive sqauabbles take place over toys, chews, and blankets.

I would not recommend this place.


We strive to meet every customer's expectations and we certainly do not intend for any habitual behavior to develop at our facility. We do indeed have policies in place at our facility to eliminate as many safety concerns as possible. It seems that there is always a 2nd side of the coin with most policies. Like other facilities, our policy that disallows the bringing or use of your own beds, blankets and toys has been implemented in the past because of the hazard they pose or miscommunication they represent with other pet parents. Pets do different things or react differently when staying outside of their home or normal environment. We had customers in the past who indeed brought their own bedding and then stated that their pet does not tear up items, but upon the parents return and much to their surprise, their pet destroyed the item that they left and the customer holds the kennel responsible. Pieces of this can easily be kicked into another kennel as there are gaps underneath of divider panels. This can be an immediate choking hazard to other animals. Customer provided blankets can easily be mistaken for Kennel provided blankets and be mixed into our laundry. We had past customers who became upset with us because we could not find their blanket, however, it had been soiled and thrown into our laundry to be cleaned. Depending on the rotation of our laundry actually determined how much more upset the customer became because they may have to take a soiled blanket home, take a wet blanket home or come back and pick it up later. Also, we allow our boarding dogs to utilize their kennel while gaining access to outdoor yard time. Because we have indoor/outdoor runs and allow such freedom, we cannot allow toys to be present. The dogs will drag their favorite toy out to the yard and for some reason, they always forget to bring it back inside when they are done playing. We rotate to the next kennel to provide them with the same amenities and if there happens to be two pets utilizing the yard next, this poses a very serious threat. Not to mention loss of the item or clogged drains. My point here is that every facility has different policies for different reasons. Some facilities are set up differently and can accommodate such items and others simply do not allow it. Our facility does not allow it. I am truly sorry that Denali came home with callouses on her elbows. We do indeed provide our blankets and bedding. The dogs are not left to sleep only on concrete floors. Although some prefer it and will kick our bedding to the curb. Denali was active. She played well with the other dogs and was in our Group Play every day. These groups are outside playing 80% of the day. She was always excited and happy to play and showed no signs of boredom. We never witnessed her chewing on her paws and it is definitely strange that 5 months after Denali boarded for the first time ever, obvious and multiple travel occurrences and many kennels in between that one could even draw conclusion that Elkhound Ranch provided ill care. It does make sense the the callouses started while Denali choose her own sleeping arrangements and has probably continued to do the same at other facilities. Hence the length in healing time. It seems that you most recently began traveling more and Elkhound just so happened to be your first stop. I wish that you would have notified us right away as we would have taken the time to come to an understanding with one another, but then again it seems that these issues have progressed over time and it would seem that 5 months later you are trying to establish how it all began. We are definitely sorry and Denali had a wonderful time at our facility. She was well cared for as every guest has been and will continue to be.
Elkhound Ranch Team

Elkhound Ranch Kennels commented on 11/13/2018