Do you always get worried about what to do with your pets whenever you want to go on vacation? Leaving them is not as simple as it is. Every pet has a different personality, and you should take these into account whenever you’re hiring a sitter. With this in mind, more and more pet owners are now opting to go for dog boarding.
Dog boarding offers more options as compared to dog sitting. People who leave their pets in this facility shared that their dogs had a better experience while they were away. With this in mind, The Furry Companion will explore the seven reasons why you should go for a dog boarding service this 2020.
Benefits of Dog Boarding
Professional dog boarding provides your pet with a safe and secure daycare. You don’t have to worry about them getting hit by a car, running loose in the streets, sustaining an injury, or eating greasy food. This place also protects them from encountering dangers with wild animals.
With dog boarding services, your babies are secured in their own private spaces. Take note that these programs provide more than standard kennels. Instead, they offer private rooms and suites that will ensure that the animals are living comfortably and safely. These facilities also do not allow other people to enter the property. Only the staff and pet owners are welcome at the premises.
Should your dog experience an emergency, these places also provide them with pet first aid. There are instances where the staff are trained when it comes to these issues, but there are also times where they have an on-ground nurse dedicated to this job only.
According to Ernest Ward, DVM, “This is probably the safest option, since well-designed kennels are safe and secure. Many boarding facilities are associated with veterinary hospitals and are staffed with trained professionals to care for your pet.”
When finding a service like this, look for one that has rigorous safety controls in the place. One example is the placement of CCTV cameras. Do not be content with just one or two cameras watching the door. Your choice of location should have this equipment installed in every room to safeguard your pets. You can also use these recordings should something negative come up in the course of the stay of your dog.
The caregivers who serve at these places ensure that their guests receive the proper nutrition during their stay. Before they accept clients, they ask the owners to inform them about any recurring allergies or health concerns. This way, they will be able to adjust their menu. They also tailor the taste of their food in line with their dietary needs and serve it on a regular schedule.
Aside from this, the servers also make sure that they provide an adequate supply of water to hydrate them continuously. Several dog boarding owners also ensure that these pets have water dispensers installed in their rooms to avoid the hassle of bringing them back and forth to the pantry.
Enriching Activities in the Dog Boarding Facility
There are times that your dog might crave for the attention that it gets from you. So that they won’t miss you too much, dog boarding services also add various activities inside the facility. Some fantastic features include a combination of indoor and outdoor activities: bridges, wading pools, benches, playgrounds, a pool of toys, and more.
These activities are installed in these areas so that the pets won’t get bored. Also, the boarding owners want to give the same amount of exercise they get from running errands and walking around the park.
24/7 Staff Availability
One constant offering that dog boarding can offer is the 24/7 staff availability. Compared to dog sitters who only have intended work time and hours, these facilities have their on-site staff who will take care of the pets. This expert level of care will assure you that they will be able to handle emergencies quickly since they’re present in the facility.
You might have some apprehensions when you hear 24/7 availability. Some might think that this is not possible because the workers have to sleep as well. This concern is valid, but take note that they do not only have one staff in place. These people work in shifts (day and night shifts) so that they will be able to provide your furry companion with the best services all day.
“Many pet owners prefer boarding at a veterinary facility so that their pets have access to veterinary care,” Ken Tudor, DVM adds.
Boosted Socialization Skills
Getting your pet socialized with other pets is essential in your dog’s overall well-being. Dog boarding places can raise the socialization level of their clients. The reason behind this is that their activity areas also have other pets present, so these pets can play with one another. In these instances, it’s most likely that they will make lots of new friends in the metro.
Whenever dogs stay in dog boarding institutes, the handlers place them in playgroups depending on their size, age, and temperament. This will be their team for the rest of their stay. They go for this approach so the dog will quickly adjust to the environment set by the facility.
Take note that the staff will only place them in this situation if they can socialize. If they think that the dog is more comfortable handling itself alone, then they won’t force it to undergo this setup.
This is contrary to what dog sitting can offer. In instances like these, they only have the sitter to play with, so they will most likely get bored in the process, especially if your vacation extends for how many weeks.
Add to this the fact that not all home caretakers interact with them to keep them happy and stimulated. Some sitters just perform the necessary tasks such as cleaning their poop, giving them water, and preparing their food. They do not give them the proper amount of emotional support that these pets crave from their owners.
If you are working on a strict budget, then dog boarding is the best option for you. There is a misconception that these facilities are expensive; however, they only rack up the prices should you get specialized services. But if you’re just aiming for the primary offering, then it is more affordable than hiring a long-term sitter.
How so? The room and accommodation of your dog are under a fixed rate. Compare to this the stacking fees of sitters who charge per hour or visit.
Undoubtedly, your pet will miss you. They might not feel this in the first hours of your vacation, but they will eventually wonder in the next few days. With this in mind, the caretakers must supplement the love and support that you give your pet.
Good thing that in most cases these expert staff are also solid dog-lovers. They know how to handle them whenever they are feeling anxious or lonely. Some of them even undergo training so that their approach is backed up by experience or science.
Tips in Choosing the Best Dog Boarding Facility
Whether you’re just leaving your pet for a few days or a few weeks, you will be more at peace if you find the best dog boarding facility. Doing so will lessen your worry while you are on your trip. Therefore, here are some tips that will help you choose the best option wisely.
Take a Tour of the Dog Boarding Facility
Do not rely on what you see online. You have to tour the pet care facility so that you’ll know what happens in reality. Since you’re present in the area physically, you will also have the chance to talk to the staff regarding your major concerns. If you feel comfortable with the way the employees treat the dogs there, then it’s plus points for them.
Doing this might be a hassle on your part, but at least it will give you a real picture on whether it fits your pet or not. “Visit well in advance — unannounced is best — to see the facilities. Be sure to check references, too, especially veterinary ones,” Marty Becker DVM advises.
Check If There Is a Veterinarian on Call
As a dog owner, you should always be concerned with the health of your pet. The best dog boarding places will most likely have a veterinarian counterpart to ensure that their clients are at their best while staying there. Knowing that they have this kind of service will give you peace of mind.
The Dog Boarding Facility Must Be Hygienic
There are a lot of dog boarding buildings popping out in every corner. The more options there are, the more difficult it is to come up with a final decision. One factor that you should always consider is whether the place is hygienic and clean. Yes, they might advertise that they have the most spotless facilities and homely environment out there, but you have to validate.
Once you visit the place, make sure to answer this hygiene test:
- Do they clean the rooms every day using water and soap?
- Do they make sure that there is no poop or urine on the floor?
- Do the dogs take a bath daily?
- Are there hand sanitizers or alcohol placed around the facility?
- Are the dog kennels clean?
If your answer is yes on the said questions, then you can consider this dog boarding service as clean.
Expert Staff Members
The staff members stationed in the area should have apt training and background in dog or animal care. They must be knowledgeable when it comes to dog behavior, dog training, and dog care. This way, they will be able to deal with current issues appropriately.
Proper Health Requirements
Of course, you do not want your dog mixing with animals that are sick or not vaccinated. Because of this, you have to ask the boarding facility about their current health requirements. Check whether they do not accept canines with recurring health issues so that your dog’s health won’t be at risk as well.
In the end, every pet owner wants the best treatment and experience for their little one. They do not want to leave their pets in a lousy environment while they are on holiday.
If you are interested in opening your own dog boarding facility, you may check out Sarah Clark’s book entitled How To Start Your Dog Boarding Business: What To Know About Dogs, Kennels, and the Business. You may also read this if you are a pet owner. This way, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with how dog boarding facilities work.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when a dog is boarding?
Pet boarding means that the dog will stay the night in the lodging facility instead of being left in the house with a pet sitter. Staying in a dog boarding also means that they can get to interact with other dogs while doing other activities.
Do dogs miss their owner?
Dogs miss their owners; they also grieve at the loss of their humans. Dogs do not understand the concept of death. Still, they have an emotional feeling towards losing someone who has been a part of their everyday lives.
What is the difference between dog sitting and boarding?
Dog sitting or pet sitting is when someone gets hired to come into your house to take care of your dog. It’s quite like babysitting but for pets. Meanwhile, pet boarding is bringing your pet into a boarding facility where they will spend hours or maybe days. A pet boarding facility employs staff who are accredited to take care of pets.
Are dogs traumatized by boarding?
There are instances when dogs end up being traumatized in a boarding facility, but it rarely happens. A good boarding facility should provide the best care for your dog and not inflict pain, harm, or trauma. To avoid inadequate boarding facilities, make sure to do your research and visits.
Will my dog be OK in boarding kennels?
Boarding kennels are perfect for dogs who enjoy socializing with other animals. If they enjoy playtimes, they will surely have their best time in a boarding facility. But no worries for dogs who prefer being alone because there are now facilities that provide private space for dogs who need it.
Where can I leave my dog when I go on vacation?
There are many options to choose from, depending on which one is convenient for you. You can select any of the following:
- Dog boarding
- Dog sitter
- In-home pet boarding
- Family, friend, or neighbor
Remember to never leave your dog alone for at least six hours because they might either go hungry or be unable to relieve themselves. Also, they might feel sad being alone to themselves.
How much does it cost to board your dog for a week?
The average cost of a dog boarding facility is $40 a night, but the range is between $25 to $85. But some dog boarding facilities offer a weekly rate, which is discounted than a daily price. The average weekly rate is $150.
Is boarding stressful for dogs?
Dog boarding can be stressful for your dog primarily if they are not used to it. The change in environment and diet may stress them out. Some dogs even experience vomiting and diarrhea because of stress. It will help prevent this from happening if you bring their own food to the boarding facility.
How do I get my dog used to boarding?
If you are going to leave your dog in a boarding facility for the first time, expose them first to the environment. Allow them to get used to the smell, sight, and meet the staff ahead of time to ensure a smooth stay and that they would be adapting well.
Nicole is an avid sports fan and an excellent multi-tasker. Aside from her full-time work as a Commercial Management Trainee in a food and beverage FMCG company, she also entered two fulfilling part-time jobs: one as a researcher in a business news channel and another as a freelance writer of various companies. Nothing can beat the adrenaline she feels from all of these amazing side hustles!