At some point in your dog-owning life, you’ll face one common challenge. The challenge of finding someone to take care of your dog while you’re away. It could be on business, vacations, or some kind of emergency that won’t allow you to take your pup along with you.

Whenever that happens, you’ll need to find a way to assure your dog is being taken care of in the best possible way. It’s important that you find the option that’s most comfortable for you and your pooch. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution. It will depend a lot on how your dog is and how you are as a dog owner.

It’s also good to prepare your dog for this eventuality. You can do this by teaching some basic commands (like sit and down) and with proper socialization. That way your dog can be comfortable with the change of environment and having different people and animals around while you’re away.

What is dog boarding?

Although there are different dog boarding options, all of them involve you leaving your dog somewhere else besides your home. It’s like a daycare for dogs where they’ll be able to stay for several days.

Dog boarding facilities need to provide proper care for all dogs. They’re responsible for assuring the dogs’ well-being by feeding them, allowing them to exercise and interact with other dogs.

Dog sitting or dog boarding?

As mentioned earlier, in dog boarding you leave your dog somewhere else besides your home. With pet sitting your dog can stay at home and someone will go to your house to take care of your pup.

Pet sitting has two options. You can either choose to hire someone to go to your house two or three times per day to take care of your pets. Or hire someone to stay at your house while you’re away. That way you can have someone look over your house and even have them do some additional and small chores. They can do some things like watering your plants or collecting your mail.

If you only have one dog which is still a young pup, you might choose dog boarding. That can bring you some extra peace of mind by knowing that there’s always someone watching over your dog 24/7. If you own several pets, then pet sitting may be the best option. They won’t feel lonely and will be able to stay in a familiar environment which will cause them and you a lot less stress.

What are your options when it comes to dog boarding?

Dog boarding at a dog hotel

Within the dog boarding world, there are a few different options for you to choose from. Here’s a small overview of each one.

Dog hotels

Dog hotels have dogs stay in a large room alone or with other dogs. Each dog will have its own bed and some additional facilities. They will also have playtime sessions where dogs can interact and play with each other. It’s like a big playground but for dogs.

The staff at the hotel should have experience dealing with dogs with different personalities. They’ll also need to be able to easily sort dogs by groups according to their temperament to avoid any problems.

Kenneling services

In kenneling services, your dog will be staying in a crate. If your dog is crate trained this might be the best option as your dog will see the crate as a place to stay calm and feel safe. If your dog isn’t crate trained, then putting them in a crate or kennel might be the worst option. That may turn them away from crates for good. Kenneling services also need to provide your dog with exercise. But not all of them provide playtime sessions.

At your vet

Talk to your vet and see if it’s possible to board your dog with them. Many veterinarians provide this service. It’s the perfect choice if your dog is older or has any major health condition that requires specialized supervision.

However, do keep in mind that it’s unlikely that your dog will have a lot of time to exercise. They may only have some quick potty breaks.

In-home dog boarding

Finally, if you think your dog will be more at ease in an environment closer to the one at home, you may consider boarding your pooch at someone else’s house. Some pet sitters provide this service. Be sure to ask them about other pets they may have around the house. It’s also important to know what are the facilities they offer indoors and outdoors.

How can you stay in touch with your dog?

Dogs that are at a kenneling services

Some dog boarding facilities may offer the possibility of receiving a certain number of photos or videos of your dog during their stay. But, if this is something that’s important to you, you need to ask the facility about this before committing to leaving your dog with them.

Try to agree on how often you’ll be getting in touch with your dog so that you can have some peace of mind while you’re away. With in-home boarding this may be easier as your dog will be living with the sitter and you can be in constant communication with them. Although it would still be a good idea to agree on how often you’ll be able to communicate so you both know what to expect.

Making sense of it all

Start by thinking about everything that is important for you and your dog before making a decision on what type of facility to choose to leave your dog while you’re away. There’s no right or wrong decision, you’ll need to pick the option that best fits your particular case.

Make a list of all the questions you want to make and visit the facility you have in mind before agreeing to leave your dog there. How are they interacting with the dogs? Are the dogs happy? Do they have enough exercise?

You can also include your vet in this decision as it’s likely that he’ll have some good references from some of his other clients.