Limited Options for Dog Care for Vacationing FamiliesBoarding kennels almost seem like cruel and unusual punishment for dogs accustomed to having the run of the house, getting lots of daily exercise, and sleeping in bed at night with their humans. Some pet owners report their dog’s personality seems different after being boarded.
And then there are contagious diseases to consider whenever your dog is sharing an institutional-type facility for several days with strange (unfamiliar) dogs. Bordetella bronchiseptica is called ‘kennel cough’ for a reason. (Thebordetella vaccine, by the way, while required by many kennels, grooming shops and other pet care facilities, is ineffective and I don’t recommend it.)
The other side of this coin is that the vast majority of boarding kennels require “up-to-date” vaccinations – often several of them. If you don’t believe in submitting your dog to unnecessary re-vaccinations, your pet won’t be accepted at most boarding facilities anyway.
Hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to stop in twice a day for short visits also isn’t an option for many pet owners. Canines are pack animals and require more human interaction on a daily basis than pet sitters are typically able to provide. Some professional sitters will stay in your home with your dog while you’re away, but the cost can be prohibitive.
What If You Could Leave Your Dog in Another Dog Lover’s Home While You’re Away?
My advice is to choose carefully. Look for someone with a background in animal care or a professional pet sitter who has been doing it for years. If your pet has special medical needs, insure potential hosts can care for him adequately.
Check out the pictures of the host’s home and make sure it feels comfortable to you. I also recommend requesting a meet-n-greet at the host’s home, with your dog, before you make your selection.