Published Thursday, June 16, 2011
The dog days of summer have arrived
By BILLY MAUbilly.firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer is vacation season for a lot of people, but vacations can be tricky for dog owners. Not all vacations are pet-friendly and putting a dog in a kennel can be stressful for both the dog and the owner.
Miriam Rieck, owner of BYD Ranch and Kennel, encourages people to not make dog boarding a last minute decision. Not all kennels are created equal and a bad kennel choice can have an effect on the dog.
“When you’re picking your flight and your hotel, go ahead and pick your kennel,” Rieck said. “If it’s your first time boarding your pet, visit the kennels before you take your pet there. If you aren’t comfortable with the place, your dog probably won’t be either.”
Bad kennel experiences are not only bad for dogs emotionally, but sometimes physically as well. When Rieck opened BYD in March of 2007, she set out to provide the kind of kennel experience she had always wanted for her own dogs.
High on the list of features for Rieck was space. She has always owned large dogs and many kennels are not made to accommodate larger breeds. The dog runs at BYD are much larger than most other kennels, making them perfect for large dogs.
“Our runs are three times the industry standard size,” Rieck said. “I did that for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that in working in the boarding industry, I’ve seen a lot of kennel tail in bigger breeds. A Great Dane is about eight feet from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Every time they turn around in a standard-sized kennel, they smack their tail against a brick wall. Eventually that tail breaks. Sometimes they break multiple times and have to be cut off.”
The BYD spaces are large enough for even the biggest dogs to move around comfortably and are also great for multi-pet families. Some kennels do not allow more than one dog in a run. That can be rough on dogs that are used to being around their fellow pets. BYD can put those dogs in the same space so they can not only play together, but be a comfort to one another as well.
Another step that BYD takes to make pets feel more at home is they have the pet owners provide the food. That means the dogs eat the same food they do when at home, reducing the odds of the dog getting sick.
BYD makes pet owners comfortable too. Rieck has never increased her rates since the kennel first opened more than four years ago. In fact, they’ve gone down.
“I set my rates in March of 2007 and I have not increased them at all, period,” she said. “When credit card fees started getting too high, we talked to our clients and said we could either raise our rates or go to just cash and check payments. They chose to go cash and check. When gas prices went through the roof this year, I dropped my prices because I knew people had to drive a little farther to get out here. Also, quite frankly, everybody needed to do something to help things keep moving and that was my contribution to drop my prices.”
One thing that has allowed BYD to keep prices low when costs everywhere else seem to be on the rise has been a commitment to green technology and self-sustainable living. Rieck installed solar panels on the kennel that she said has compensated for about a third of the business’s operating costs so far. She plans to continue to install solar panels on the kennel, her home and the other ranch buildings on the property in hopes making the BYD Ranch self-sustainable when it comes to energy.
BYD Ranch and Kennel is located at 7353 Dick Elliot Road, just outside of Bryan between Tabor Road and O.S.R. For more information on the kennel or to set up an appointment, call 979-589-1843 or visit BYDRanch.com