To board or not to board? Which is safer?

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Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 4:47am PST 
I have 3 standard poodles that are my shadow. They have never been away from me for more than a few hours. Our family is going to the beach for about a week. I am SO worried about my dogs. I am afraid that at a boarding facility they would be so upset that it could cause sickness. They have never been crated so the kennel would freak them out. They have never been around other dogs in a situation like this. They sleep in my bed and when I am relaxing one of them is always in my lap. Our home is very large and the dog door is connected to a 3 acre fenced in yard just for them. I thought about letting a sitter come over and this would be an option but the person would need to stay at my home 24/7, not just a few hours a day. I would be scared for their safety in my home alone for hours on end. Thought about taking them with us, but have never traveled with them for long periods and don't know of beaches that allow dogs. Any advice will be welcome.

st. francis of- asses
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 5:47am PST 
I have dalmatians...total velcro dogs. I don't work so they are with me 24 hours a day. I too worry about them when we leave but I think it's harder on us than on the dogs laugh out loud My dogs have been boarded at the vet and now at a "doggie resort", Neither place had dogs in crates, they are in a 8x10 inside enclosure with beds and a doggie door to another outside enclosure. They also get 2 long walks a day and pottie breaks. Check with the place you are boarding about how they keep them. Go take a tour of the facility. Mine provides beds but also lets you bring their own plus toys.
The pups are always very happy to see me but the place keeps a daily journal on my dogs to give to me, letting me know each day how their energy level was, did they eat all their food, did they enjoy their walks...
It is always hard to leave them but sometimes we have to for our own sanity laugh out loud Just check the place out very well, put their number in your cell phone - I call and check on them once a day.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 5:57am PST 
Get recommendations from other dog owners.

Drop by the place to take a tour. If they don' allow this-don't use them!

Do you know any trustworthy teenager looking to make a few bucks near the end of summer? They wouldn't mind coming to house and pet sit perhaps so you dogs wouldn't be left as much.

I just had a bad experience with boarding with Daisy. And, it was a place I was using for their daycare so I *thought* I knew it was a nice place. I also can not board Bella period. Her anxiety pretty much prevents me from being able to.

So, I use a petsitter. Even a few times a day is better than the alternative to me.

Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 11:39am PST 
A professional petsitter would be your best bet, one with background checks, references, and insurance. They'll be able to give your babies the best care. However, I can guarantee all day all week sitting won't come cheap. Plus many sitters would have to go back home to check on their own pets.

Another option is to find a very responsible older high school student or college student who will basically house sit for you. This will be much more economical. Again, I'd ask for referrals, or get their name from a respected friend. I wouldn't want any old student in my home, but find one that's also an animal lover and I bet it'll work out well.

Also keep in mind, it's not really practical to expect the sitter to be at your house 24/7 for a week. Even new moms with infants get out more than that! The sitter might have their own needs to attend to a few hours a day, or groceries to pick up, etc. I would practice leaving the poodles for a bit longer stretch of time and see how they do, I bet they'll surprise you and just sleep the whole time anyway! You could even implement a tall baby gate in a kitchen or other safe area and see how they do with that if you'd feel more comfortable.
Mr. Pibbs- *CGC*

Snuggle up!
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 6:17pm PST 
My daughter works at a very nice kennel. In a pinch, I would use them for 3 of my 4 dogs.
With that said, I also have a high anxiety dog with a siezure disorder so I could NEVER use a kennel.
As the other posters suggested, check around for a "stay over" sitter. One of the young women I volunteer with at a local shelter stays with my guys. Try calling some local vet's office's because many vet techs/assistants will double with pet sitting. Ask for references and be leary of anyone asking for payment up front.
Good luck!

I have just met- you and I LOVE- you!
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 7:12pm PST 
I wouldn't board my dogs, not ever, I used to work in a rather up-scale dog day-care and boarding facility and saw what the place did to dogs who didn'tgo to daycare daily and were just dropped off for one week a year. They were stressed and miserable. I am a pet sitter now, I do go to peoples houses and do stay the night, but 24/7 is absolutely out of the question. We do still have lives. Many of us have other clients throughout the day to attend to, have our own animals, and still need to go out. I'm not saying I'm gone all of the time, but expect that the dog will still need to be alone for 3-6 hours a day. At least that's how I'd do it, they need to be left alone for short periods. Who knows, you may be able to find a college student like Tanuk said, but any professional sitter with have other clientel that will make a 24/7 week impossible. I still think an in-home sitter or a trusted family member or friend who they can go to would be your best bet. Best of luck!
Charlie Pete

G-day mate! - Wanna Play?
Barked: Fri Aug 26, '11 10:46am PST 
I think it's hard to make say all boarding is bad or all pet sitters are bad....you just have to find the right one. One of my two dogs is dog reactive and requires very careful management. I do not trust a pet sitter with him (mostly because I haven't foudn the right one). But I have to travvel quite a bit for work. Mine stay at a very small kennel and they love it. But I was very careful in screening the kennel and seeing how they adapted before leaving themt there for more than a day. First they went for day care...once a week for a month or two. Then they did overnighters for a few months with me in town. Now they stay for sometimes up to two weeks when I have to travel. I still take them out there once a week for day care and once a week for a run in the paddock so this is their second home. I have no concerns about it. The owners know Charlie Petes 'special needs' and are very careful with him...he doesnt run with other dogs but has his own ball time. We have never had any difficulties and his reactivity has reduced dramatically. He can easily go to the kennel and sit back to back to another dog as long as a fence in between them. Just be very careful in the kennel you pick.

Reagan Fat Baby
Barked: Fri Aug 26, '11 11:06am PST 
I think it can go either way- NOT ALL BOARDING FACILITIES ARE CREATED EQUAL. I don't think it's fair to pass a set judgment on all boarding facilities. Some are awesome and some I would never set foot in myself, let alone board my (very special woofers) there!

However, I have been working at a large, up-scale vet and boarding facility (In the Houston, TX area) for the past 9 years (I have been the manager for 8) and I have just about seen and heard it all.

Most of the time it is harder on the owners then it is the dogs. I have heard to no end "this is the first time they have ever been away from me" or "I know they won't eat anything" or "they are going to be so depressed, they are outside all day, the kennel will stress them."
Most dogs are very adaptable. Very few dogs, out of the thousands I have handled in boarding, ever get truly depressed or stress that much. MOST do quite well. If my outside, stress at everything, claustraphobic wolfdogs can handle boarding, most doggy dogs can handle boarding!!!

But of course you have to be careful! Same way you have to be careful if you are looking into a pet sitter!!! Look into every detail, ask questions and be specific. Get references if possible and check the place (or person) out for yourself!

I have heard just as many horror stories and accidents happening with pet sitters as I have about boarding facilities. It's up to you- use YOUR best judgement!!!

Member Since
Barked: Fri Aug 26, '11 5:54pm PST 
I would also suggest having a teen over (as long as they are trust worthy) I am a HUGE animal lover and have met a retired shiba inu breeder and I'm prepared to drop down and beg to dog sit laugh out loudbig laugh

I hope there is a big animal lover near you that can do this. I know a teen wouldn't mind doing it for a price lower than what a dogsitter would charge. Do you have any family members that could do this (Such as cousins, nieces/nephews)?

You MIGHT have to board them, but you can always do a thorough investigation before making your decision.

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Sat Aug 27, '11 7:59am PST 
I would recommend that if you find a boarding facility you like, take the dogs there a few times (for a day at a time, or even for an overnight) before you take your vacation to get them accustomed to the the staff and routine. way to go