We hope that our list of frequently asked questions will cover anything else you need to know about booking with us or preparing for your stay with us. If you have any questions about our facilities, vaccinations, how to get here or what to do when you get here, it will all be answered here! You can also see our useful information page which contains guides on our online booking system, vaccination schedules and more. 

General information & initial enquiries

Please see our contact page if you need to reach us. It is easier to get hold of us via email, our Facebook page, by text/whatsapp or by completing our contact form. We struggle to answer the phone as we are often out exercising dogs or serving customers. It’s much easier for us to respond to a message in between jobs or customers. But if you call between 12pm-3pm on a weekday, you should get hold of us for a quick chat.
Unfortunately we aren’t doing viewings at the moment for a number of reasons. We have had to increase security following break ins at other establishments where pets were stolen after the thieves were able to scout out exits, cameras etc following a viewing so we are being extra careful in order to keep our guests safe. We also find that it can be quite upsetting for our guests to have strangers looking around that they don’t know and recognise and following covid and lockdowns, there are more and more pets who have a fear of strangers. We have made the decision for the welfare and happiness of our guests, that we are not showing anybody around our facility in order to keep them happy and safe and not put them in a situation they are not comfortable with. There are plenty of photos and virtual tours on our website and Facebook page though to give you an idea of our set up.
Please make all bookings online via our online booker. You can use our helpful online booking guide to help familiarise yourself with the system.
We do not impose conditions on our daycare customers such as a minimum number of days a week/month or that they can only come on specific, predetermined days. Our daycare is flexible and on a ‘book as you need’ basis. However this does mean our availability can differ greatly from day to day and week to week so we always advise booking as far in advance as you can to avoid disappointment.
Yes, we are physically working all day however our hours for dropping off and collection are as follows- Monday to Saturday: 7:30am - 11am and 4:45pm - 6:30pm (please note we only accept new arrivals during our morning hours to ensure they have plenty of the day to settle in) Sunday and Bank Holidays: 9am - 11am We are closed Easter Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day An out of hours surcharge of £15 will be charged if you arrive outside of our normal opening hours but we will still not be able to serve you as we are not insured or licensed to open outside of our stated opening hours.
We like for new dogs to come in for a trial before booking in a longer stay to give us chance to meet them and see how they get on, make sure they will settle in ok for a longer stay and also assess them with other dogs. We don’t want to find we are having problems with your dog settling after you have already gone away and the last thing we want to do is cause you stress whilst you’re on your holiday!
You drop your dog off during our morning hours (preferably by about 9:30am) and collect them in our afternoon hours. We will assess your dog with other dogs to make sure they are happy in a range of situations with dogs of all shapes, sizes and activity levels. Your dog will also be assessed on how well they settle into their own room and ensure they don’t have problems with separation anxiety, barking or being independent. When you collect your dog at the end of their day, we will feedback to you how they have been and whether we think they will be fine to come to us again in the future. We might discuss further settling in sessions to give them the best chance of an enjoyable and positive stay or ways to work on any issues we discovered during the day.

Our facilities

We have heating and air con in all of our facilities. Air con is fixed in the cattery and doubles as a heater in the winter months. We have an air source heat pump in the kennels to maintain an ambient temperature at all times and we have portable air conditioning units so we can ensure all areas of our dog facilities are kept cool in the summer.
Yes, all of our guests have their own rooms that are not shared with any other pet (unless you have multiple pets and you wish them to share). They have an indoor area and an outdoor area that they can freely access whenever they wish. It is important to us that all of our guests have their own space to relax into and decompress, especially dogs after having a big exercise session with friends as they need to be able to settle down and have a sleep to recharge.
We have CCTV cameras everywhere, alarms on all property and building entrances/exits as well as all doors being padlocked with a keypad and normal padlock to ensure extra security. We are always on site 24/7 and are constantly on high alert for anything suspicious. We don’t allow viewings of our facilities following break ins at other establishments where the thieves were able to scout out exits, cameras etc because it is not worth putting our guests at risk.

About your pet

Your pet needs to be up to date with all of their core vaccinations which includes their initial primary course and following yearly boosters, including the kennel cough vaccine for dogs. Please see our vaccination schedule for dogs and vaccination schedule for cats for more information on vaccinations. Dog vaccinations should cover:
  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus (normally combined into one vaccine)- given every 3 years
  • Leptospirosis- given every year
  • Kennel cough- given every year
Cat vaccinations should cover:
  • Panleukopenia virus/infectious enteritis/parvovirus, herpesvirus, calicivirus (normally combined into one vaccine)- given every year
  • Feline leukaemia virus (not compulsory and given where required, please discuss with your veterinarian)- given every year
Your dog will need to have this before they can come into us, even if it is just for a trial. This vaccine is a live virus so we do have a 14 day exclusion period and you should be careful to not allow your dog to come into contact with other dogs during this time. Please also be aware that people who are immunocompromised can become very poorly if exposed to the kennel cough virus and can develop a respiratory infection.
At the moment we are only taking on new dogs who are 100% with other dogs. Please see our suitability criteria to determine if we are the best fit for your dog. They do need to be able to run off lead with a large group of other dogs and not have any issues with specific breeds, gender or agility levels of other dogs. We have a variety of dogs in each social group and we need to know that your dog will be absolutely fine in this situation and show no aggression at all.
We do not accept pets who are aggressive towards people as we cannot risk injury when handling or caring for your pet. Please bear in mind that we do not want to put your pet in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable and pushes them into making a mistake. If aggression is not disclosed at the time of booking and we discover this during their visit to us, we will contact you and request your pet be collected immediately. If your pet is fine with people but aggressive towards other pets, please disclose this on your booking form. We can accept cats who don’t like other cats as they do not come into contact with one another. We have limited availability for dogs who are aggressive towards other dogs but we are not currently taking on any new dogs that can’t go out with the social group.
All male cats must be neutered between the age of 6 to 12 months. We do not socialise intact male dogs over the age of 12 to 18 months old so therefore we are unable to take them if they are still intact over the age of 18 months. Please see our neutering guide for our policy on this. We prefer for female dogs and cats to be spayed but this isn’t a requirement, however we cannot take them when they are in heat. Please see here for more details on heat cycles and when we can and cannot accept them for boarding/daycare.
We can take your pet from two weeks after they have completed their initial kitten/puppy vaccinations. It is important to wait these extra two weeks to give them chance to start building an immunity before exposing them to other pets. We do not have an upper age limit as long as your cat is still fairly fit and healthy. We can take measures for elderly pets staying with us such as limiting exercise for dogs and providing easier access to litter trays for cats.
We do not discriminate against breeds here at Haleswood, all are welcome and we mix a variety of dog breeds within our social group of dogs as each dog is assessed on their own merit. Any breed of cat is also welcome and we only ask that all pets are absolutely 100% with people. However we do have a size limit for dogs as they need to be able to comfortably access their indoor and outdoor areas via a hatch that is around 70cm high so your dog can’t be taller than this at their shoulder/top of their back to prevent injury or soreness of dipping their back to get in and out of the door.
Our license does require for us to not exceed certain noise levels and decibels. We do also have near neighbours that we take into consideration as well as making sure our other guests remain happy and settled. Noise is expected at certain times during the day such as playtime and dinner time, however excessive noise outside of these times due to problems such as separation anxiety, reactivity or just bad habits, are discouraged and may effect whether we can accept a booking that might disturb our other guests, neighbours or cause us to breach bearable decibel levels.
Please do let us know if your pet is destructive and if there is anything in particular they may destroy. Please note that any damage will be added to your account/bill and we ask that you provide suitable bedding and items for your pet for the duration of their stay. Excessive destruction that causes significant damage to any of our rooms is not acceptable and may result in us asking you to make alternative arrangements or being unable to take another booking for your pet in the future.

Your booking and payments

Yes, all boarding bookings require a 50% deposit within 48 hours of making the booking to secure your stay. For daycare bookings, full payment is required within 48 hours to secure your place. If a deposit isn’t paid within this time, it will be removed from the system and we may not have availability if you try to book again at a later date.
Deposits are non-refundable and not transferable to another booking.
You will receive a link via email to pay your deposit. You can also log onto your account to pay online but please note, this will only allow you to pay the full amount of your booking which we do not require initially. You can pay any outstanding balance on drop off or collection using our card machine. Alternatively you can pay by bank transfer but this is not linked to your online account so you will need to notify us when you make a payment so we can add this to your account manually.
You can manage your bookings via your online account and submit a request to make a change to your bookings on there. Alternatively please email us with any other changes you need to make or discuss.
We are only a small establishment in the middle of nowhere on very small country lanes! To limit traffic at any one time and to make sure there aren’t too many cars on the car park, we operate in 15 minute windows. We also like to spend time giving owners any feedback from their pet’s stay so this ensures we have a couple of minutes to chat or discuss any concerns.

Preparing for your pet’s stay

Please make sure you have updated your online account and pet’s profile with a copy of your pet’s most recent vaccinations, a local emergency contact, your current vet, details about their diet (how much food they have, how often etc), any medical information or medication required and any other details we need to know to make their stay enjoyable. Please also make sure you have signed the relevant documents sent to you to give us consent to socialise your dog or allow your pets (of the same type) to share a room.
Please make sure you are readily available in the event that you don’t have anyone locally who can step in in the event of an emergency. You will also need to give us permission to make any decisions on your behalf if we can’t reach you. Emergencies can include medical emergencies involving your pets but also situations where the facility becomes unusable such as a fire or flood, so if there is anyone you can ask to be a back up in these events, it would help.
Bring along any food that your dog would normally have during the day at home. You can also bring a blanket or a couple of toys if you feel it will help your dog settle during their nap times. Please also make sure your dog is wearing a suitable collar and ID tag (that is not on a harness).
You will need to bring your dog’s normal food (to avoid a change of diet and any upset tummies), any bedding that you think will help your dog settle in which can include an item of your clothing with your scent on that can help with familiarity, any toys/bones that they are attached to and any medication that they are taking in it’s original packaging with clear instructions for administration. Please also make sure your dog is wearing a suitable collar and ID tag (that is not on a harness).
You can bring your own crate if you wish although we do have many types and sizes of crates here but if you wish to bring your own crate, if this is what your dog normally sleeps in and is used to, that is fine.
You will need to bring your cat’s normal food (to avoid a change of diet and any upset tummies), any bedding that you think will help your cat settle in which can include an item of your clothing with your scent on that can help with familiarity, any toys including dangly toys that they are attached to and any medication that they are taking in it’s original packaging with clear instructions for administration.
You don’t need to bring any bowls (unless it’s a slow feeder) as we have plenty here and we don’t want to lose your bowls during the washing up process if they look the same as ours. You don’t need to bring any litter trays unless they are specialised or you know your cat won’t go in a different tray. Avoid bringing too many toys/items, we are happy to put a few toys in their rooms but we like to ensure they have plenty of space to move around and stretch out. Each pet has a limited amount of storage, suitable for storing their food and a couple of extra bits but please avoid bringing lots of things with them as, during busy periods, we will struggle to store anything excessive.
It is a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar with an ID tag containing your information such as your name, address and phone number. We do require for all dogs to wear a collar when going out with other dogs to socialise so we can hold onto them where necessary and easily put them on and off a lead. Cat’s do not have to wear collars if they are not used to them.
For dogs, we can store sacks of food for longer stays, but if you are packing for a shorter stay please don’t send in massive sacks of food. Please use reusable containers where possible such as plastic takeaway boxes or Tupperware containers. If you wish to send your pets food divided up already into sandwich bags, please note we will send all bags back with you to be used again rather than binning them. Wet food such as tins and trays can be sent in their normal packaging. For cats, we can store boxes containing pouches/trays easily and their smaller sacks of dry food.
This is absolutely fine, we have a fridge and freezer to store raw food and we have no problems feeding this to your dog. Our own dogs are raw fed so we are familiar with this type of diet.

Getting here

Our postcode is TF6 6NE and it’s best to check where we are on a map as we are rural and not on an immediate main road. We are situated right between Telford and Shrewsbury, 20 minutes from each. We are 1.4 miles off the closest main road (the B5063) down some rural lanes, about 10 minutes from Shawbirch.
Drop us a message or give us a quick call and leave a voicemail if we aren’t available. As long as we know you are still on your way but just running late, it isn’t a problem. But please remember we do have specific opening hours so if it doesn’t look like you will make it before we close, we may ask you to make alternative arrangements such as getting a friend or family member to help or that your pet stays with us another night (if we have availability) and collected the following day in the event of a flight delay etc.
On arrival, you will find a board next to the driveway that we ask you to read. Please do drive carefully when travelling to us, we are in a very rural area where there are many other types of road users (horse rider, cyclists, dog walkers etc). There are cats roaming the property too so please do not drive quickly down the drive/on the car park. We will know of any arrivals from our CCTV and ask that you wait in your car until we come out to you, please don’t wander around the premises.
There is a small car park on site so you don’t need to park on the lane, you just need to turn into the drive and bear to the left. There is a sizeable turning area but please be courteous to other customers when parking and allow plenty of space for others to manoeuvre and come in and out.
We don’t allow owner’s to settle their pets into their rooms as we prefer for the handover to be done swiftly on the car park rather than dragging out goodbyes, your pet getting wind that something is different or about to happen and having your pet then associating their room/Haleswood with you and fretting over where you have gone. Often, owners can become anxious and stressed when leaving their pet, this in turn makes their pet anxious which can manifest in many different ways such as nervous aggression, putting us at risk of injury. Our whole aim is to give your pet a positive experience, and although we can completely understand that you will miss them and want to say a big goodbye, this really isn’t conducive for your pet and doesn’t do them any favours. If we allowed owner’s in to settle them into their rooms, this goodbye becomes harder for both you and your pet as you will find you want to then spend time with them in their room and it prolongs the whole process of settling them in, making it difficult for us to continue caring for our other guests in the meantime. Once we take them from you and go through the gate, they won’t associate anything on the other side of that gate with you, which is actually a really good thing as it makes for a brand new and positive experience.

During your pet’s stay

We post photos on our Facebook page every evening so you can see pictures of your pet enjoying their day. We appreciate that you may be nervous about leaving your pet and we are happy to alleviate any concerns, but we do ask that you use the photos to relieve any worries as we aren’t able to give individual feedback daily on how your pet has been. Please remember we are looking after many pet’s and we wouldn’t have time to contact every owner, every day with an update. If we are having any problems we will always let you know in the first instance, so take it as- if you don’t hear from us, then everything is well!
Please rest assured that you pet will get plenty of attention and time spent with them. Dogs are exercised multiple times a day and this is always supervised by us so they have chance to spend time with us and getting fuss before going back off to play with their friends. We are always around so they see us throughout the day (although we do try and leave them to have a good siesta in the afternoon!) Cat’s get 1:1 attention throughout the course of the day and time is spent with each cat, stroking them, cuddling them or playing with them, depending on what your cat is comfortable with. If they prefer to have their own space then attention is not forced on them, we let our presence be known and they can choose whether they would like to interact or not.

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