At some point in your life, there will likely be a time when you need to leave your dog behind for a little bit, whether it’s for travel, an emergency, or some other reason. There are different kinds of dog boarding, from outside facilities to in-home options.
We’ll explain what dog boarding is, the different choices available, and an extra option: pet taxi and relocation services so that your dog can go with you!
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Dog Boarding Kennels
A large building housing many kennels and dogs is likely what you think of when you hear the words dog boarding. Many owners who need to put their dog up for a while trust their pets to dog boarding kennels.
The problem with dog boarding kennels is that there are so many of them out there; how do you know which one to choose? We know your pet’s safety and well-being are at the top of your list of priorities, and you don’t want to drop them off with just anyone. One of the best ways is to ask your vet: they might have a tried and tested dog boarding facility in mind.
There are thousands of dog kennels across the US in operation, so pet parents have a safe place for their dogs while they are away. Not all of these kennels are dog-centered and may house other animals like birds, cats, and even snakes. Before boarding your dog, you should tour the living quarters to ensure that you’ll be leaving your pet in a safe, clean, and orderly place.
In-Home Dog Boarding & Pet Sitting
Another option for pet owners is in-home dog boarding. Especially for dogs that are anxious, leaving them in a strange place might not be the best idea, unless it is unavoidable. This crate-free dog boarding can help your pet feel at home while you’re away. With in-home dog boarding, your pet will still be traveling, but they will get to stay with another pet lover rather than a kennel with other animals. Most services that offer this will allow you to meet the person who your dog will be staying with and see the house where they’ll reside.
There’s also pet sitting as an alternative, where another dog lover will stay at your home and take care of your pup while you’re gone. The best part about this option is that your dog gets to stay in the place that they know, which is an advantage for anxious dogs.
Similar to any other dog boarding, it’s important to ensure that the person you leave your pet with is a good fit for them. With in-home and pet sitting options, you can walk them through your dog’s regular routine and give them specific instructions to ensure your dog has a safe and fun time while you’re not home. Remember to ask for references and follow up on each one.
Things to Check When Choosing Dog Boarding
While some dogs do perfectly fine with dog boarding, others do not. Just like looking for a preschool for your child, you may have to consider a few before you find the right one for you. Here are a few things to consider to make sure your dog is left where they will get the attention and care they need.
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Will Your Dog Be Comfortable
You know your dog best and what kind of environment will suit them. The facility should be clean, warm, well-ventilated, and have good lighting.
- Ensure each dog is in an adequately-sized unit.
- There should be proper bedding and boards, so your dog does lie on the concrete.
- The area should be free of draughts and be secure and dry.
- Each run should accommodate only one dog.
- Outdoor runs should be protected from rain, wind, and snow.
- Look for smoke alarms.
- Do the dogs you see there seem happy or stressed?
What’s the Staff Like
The staff in any dog boarding facility should be well-trained, knowledgeable, and patient. Observe their attitudes and behaviors towards your dog and the other dogs there. Are they attentive and kind? They should also:
- Be confident with your dog
- Ask you about your dog’s likes and dislikes (show that they care)
- Ask about your dog’s medical and vaccination history
- Show genuine interest in your dog (ask their name, routine, diet, etc.)
Your dog may feel fearful at being in a new place and being apart from you, but friendly, understanding staff can go a long way to helping them through it.
What Are the Boarder’s Credentials
There are no federal licensing requirements for dog boarding businesses. Some states require boarding kennels to have a license and are regularly inspected to ensure they meet specific standards.
If your state requires credentials, make sure that their certifications are up to date. They will have gone through many checks and inspections to ensure they’re fit to care for your dog.
How is the Dog Boarding Kennel Run
Dog boarding facilities may be run differently, with their own standards of operating and procedures. So be sure to ask questions to confirm your dog will be happy and cared for while there.
Questions to ask:
- How they operate during the day and at night
- What is the staff to dog ratio
- Are their routines flexible – so your dog can stay on their own schedule
- How do they handle pet emergencies
- How and how often are the dogs monitored
- What other services do they provide
- Can they give you updates on how your dog is doing
- How long will your dog be in a kennel?
- How many dogs do they hold at one time?
- How often are the dogs exercised and allowed potty breaks?
- Is playtime supervised to minimize dogfighting?
Yes, things can go wrong with dog boarding, but they can also be a positive experience for you and your dog.
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How About Taking Your Dog With You?
If you’re going to a pet-friendly area, the best choice for your dog’s health and mental well-being is to take them with you. We know this isn’t always a possibility, and when it’s not, dog boarding can be a great option if you take the time to find the right facility for your pet.