Whether you go on a vacation or you have to relocate for a few weeks or months with work or a project, your pet requires lots of attention. Are you allowed to bring your dog? Can you find someone trustworthy to leave your furry family member? At this point, you have more options. You could have a close friend or family look after your dog, but you could also hire a sitter or perhaps rely on long term boarding. Boarding seems to be the preferred choice in the long run.
Each option out there has both pros and cons. How your dog reacts to each option depends on more things. For example, your dog’s personality can help you make a more informed decision.
It also pays off researching each option to determine how your dog would behave. Now, what do you need to know about boarding for dogs? Can the benefits of long term dog boarding outweigh the potential disadvantages? This guide will lead you in the right direction.
Advantages of long term dog boarding
Most importantly, people leave their dogs in boarding facilities for a specific amount of time because they cannot trust anyone else with their pets. You could, indeed, get a dog sitter. But that means you need to give them the key to your house. Letting a stranger into your house is not always the best option – your peace of mind will suffer.
You will inevitably end up asking yourself – will they go through your stuff? They know that you are away for weeks, so they might as well sleep there, throw a party or take all the time in the world to go through your valuables or perhaps steal something. Even if you find an agency or a business with good reviews, these thoughts will still cross your mind every now and then.
Now, think about the actual activity your dog gets. Someone will walk your dog a few times a day, but this is pretty much it. In a long term dog boarding facility, your dog will be close to professionals all the time. Experienced people will look after your dog. They will know what to do if any health issues occur or unexpected situations arise.
A sitter will not be able to take pet care if it is not around. When you take your dog to a professional facility, you know someone will always be there. Of course, it pays off researching your options upfront. You need to go through reviews and recommendations, only to ensure you hire someone who knows what they are doing.
Consider your dog’s special needs as well. Your dog must be well fed and walked on a daily basis. At the same time, you spend a decent amount of time socializing with your dog, which will not happen while you are away. In this case, socialization depends on whatever activities your dog might get while left in the boarding facility.
Luckily, dogs get some quality social time while you go away. Dogs are not walked individually, but usually in small groups. Your dog will get to spend some time outdoors with other dogs while enjoying a walk in unexplored territory. Choose a pet sitter and the only socialization your dog will have will be close to none.
Finally, the price has a major impact in the process too. You will be away for days or weeks, rather than just a day. In other words, costs may add up. A pet sitter will give your dog personal attention, so the price is higher. In a boarding facility, all dogs get the same level of attention. This is what keeps the price low, yet it might be seen as a slight disadvantage as well.
Disadvantages of long term dog boarding
Dog boarding may seem the better option, yet it is not perfect. There are a few cons as well. For example, your dog will mix with other pets. Sometimes, there is a risk for your dog to catch an infection from others. However, I always care about the boarding near me for dogs come with strict rules. For instance, dogs must be vaccinated. The risk is quite low, but it is still there.
Then, your dog is less likely to get personal or individualized attention. There will be dozens of dogs in that facility, so they will all benefit from the same level of attention. At night, there are usually a couple of employees left to overlook the facility while everyone else goes home. It could be a professional facility, but your dog is less likely to get too much one on one attention.
Finally, consider your dog and the stress it might go through. Imagine yourself waking up one day in a new family, with people who you have never seen before, in a completely new environment. How stressful would that be? Dogs seem to be better at socializing though, but shy dogs may feel a bit overwhelmed by the change.
Alternatives to long term dog boarding
A dog sitter becomes a good option for one on one attention, but the sitter will not always be there to look after your dog. Other than that, this service costs more and it involves letting a stranger into your home while you are not there. You could also get a full time service that implies the sitter must stay there. It is better for your dog, but not so much for your peace of mind.
A close friend or a family member might be a good option too. However, doing business with friends is not always a good idea. There is money involves, as well as small discrepancies between your opinions and their opinions. Unless your friend already has a dog and they love animals, it may not necessarily be the best idea.
Frequently asked questions
There will inevitably be a few question marks in the process.
How long can a dog be boarded?
It depends on the facility, as well as your budget. Dogs react differently to change. They will get used to it and they will not forget who you are. Different dogs have different characters, so some of them will take it easier than others. You can easily board dogs for weeks though.
Will my dog be OK in boarding kennels?
Choose a professional boarding dog kennel with a good reputation and your dog will benefit from professional attention, as well as treatments should any unexpected situations arise.
How much does it cost to put a dog in a kennel?
Prices vary widely from one kennel to another, based on the conditions they offer. Many kennels provide good packages for 10 days or maybe a month. The size of your dog, your location and length of stay will determine the price. Average rates range at $25 a day or $150 a week.
Do dogs miss their owner?
Of course. Even if they have a good time in a kennel, they will still think about their owners. After all, you are their family, just like they are yours.
The bottom line, long term dog boarding could be painful from a sentimental point of view, but at the same time, it is one of the most professional and efficient ways to ensure your dog is well looked after while you are away. If you cannot find a free alternative like a friend or a relative, a kennel is your main priority.
There are more options out there and you need to consider your dog’s social skills in consideration. Furthermore, a bit of research is mandatory. You need some reviews and recommendations before leaving your beloved pet in a stranger’s hands.