Home Boarding For Dogs.
What is home boarding for dogs?
Home dog boarding is when your dog goes to stay with a host family. Your dog will live as part of the family, with his own bed, food etc. and will enjoy all the comforts of a home away from home. There are no kennels and no cages involved, (unless you bring your own puppy crate). The stay should be personal and one-to-one. All care is delivered according to your instructions with the aim of providing an enriching experience for your dog.
Is my dog suitable for home dog boarding?
Most pet dogs are suitable for home boarding and indeed, having a family home to stay in while you are away, is the best all round solution for holiday care for your dog.
Your dog will not be suitable for home dog boarding if he is aggressive to people or other dogs, either in the home or out walking. If your dog suffers from very severe separation anxiety, a trial stay is recommended with a carer who can be with your dog 24/7.
If your dog is a known to be a destructive chewer, unfortunately, he will not be suitable for staying in someone else’s home. Equally, excessive barking habits may prevent your dog from being accepted by a dog carer.
Dogs that have incontinence problems, severe mobility, or health issues may also not be suitable. Puppies in training are generally accepted in the right carer home.
What to look out for while choosing your dog’s carer?
1. Always visit your dog’s carer in good time before any stay – if they won’t see you then don’t leave your dog.
2. When you meet your dog’s potential carer, observe how they interact with your pet. They must not be pushy in their approach to your dog, but should interact with your dog in a calm and pleasant manner.
3. If the carer you are meeting has their own dogs, make sure they are fully accepting of your dog. Some dogs don’t instantly play, but they must be comfortable and accepting of their guest.
4. Ask lots of questions about your dog carer’s experience. Dogs they have owned, their own current dog’s character and routine, other dogs they have had to stay, do they have regular returning guests?
5. Is your dog’s carer working independently, or do they have the back up of a professional organisation? If anything went wrong, ask yourself who would they be accountable to?
6. Is the carer fully insured? What is their veterinary procedure should your dog require it?
7. Ask about other members of the family and, if possible, request to meet them.
8. Do not leave your dog in a smoking household.
9. Ask about other dogs staying. If you are expecting a one-to-one stay for your dog, then this is what you should get.
10. Make sure dates are booked in writing, a booking fee is paid and confirmation of the process provided. A casual, ‘yes’ may very acceptable at the time. However, a last minute let down can be devastating.
11. Take a very good look at the enclosed garden. Make sure it is fully enclosed for your dog, with good fence height and no gaps where your dog could escape. Let your dog have a wander.
12. Make sure the garden is clean with no old dog mess, free from hazards, open drains, sharp edges, deep ponds etc.
13. Ask where you dog will sleep at night. When will be the last time your dog can relieve him, or herself? Will the carer be able to hear and attend to your dog in the night, where necessary?
14. Make sure your carer is fully contactable during your time away and, in addition, they are happy for you to make contact.
15. Make sure your carer fully understands your exercise instructions.
16. Make sure you leave written instructions for your dog’s stay and that your dog’s carer listens attentively to you. They must be willing to administer any medication correctly.
Just as your dog is right for you he must be right for your dog’s carer too. Therefore, although you may know a pet-sitter down the road, their home may not be right for your dog.
Never just go for the nearest, or the cheapest option for your dog. Research well and always expect references, or testimonials, from other clients.
Other points to consider:-
Would he be happy with other dogs? Many dogs enjoy the company of others which helps them settle in, others prefer to be the only dog.
If there is a cat would he be OK with this?
Is your dog used to busy family life, or does he prefer a quieter home?
Is your dog familiar with steps, or stairs?
Will he be allowed on chairs , or do you not want him to get into bad habits?
Does the ‘feel’ of the house match your home?
Does the house have laminate flooring, or steps that your dog is not used or, perhaps cannot manage?
Will your carer insist your dog stays shut in the kitchen at night, or will they allow him free run of the house?
Is your dog strong on the lead and will your dog’s carer be able to manage him?
Do the surroundings of the house suit your dog? Is your dog familiar with livestock? Is your dog comfortable walking near heavy traffic, or crowded areas? Does your dog like meeting other dogs, or does he prefer solitary walks?
It may sound obvious but make sure your dog’s carer is not moving house, or changing their circumstances, before your dog’s stay.
Above all, home-from-home boarding is far preferable than leaving your dog in a kennel. It is a rapidly expanding service. Choose wisely and your dog will be safe and happy while you are away.
Home dog boarding involves a high degree of trust and your dog’s carer carries a position of great responsibility. Always leave your dog with someone you and your dog likes. The person who cares for your dog, should fully understand their responsibility and be professionally committed to your dog.
Holidays4Dogs provides all of the above thought, care and attention, when it comes to placing your dog with one of our professional nationwide carers. Give us a call for a chat and see if we can find the perfect holiday home for your pet.