If you’ve never had professional dog boarding or sitting before, be sure to do your research and thoroughly consider your options. Once you have chosen the best option for you and your dog, it’s good to keep a relationship going with the dog sitter or dog boarding company, as your dog will be more comfortable going back to a familiar person and familiar surroundings, especially when they’ve had a positive experience.
- To kennel or not to kennel: Most people these days will not take their dog to a kennel, since they realize that keeping a large number of dogs in close quarters can create various challenges. Kennels are often crowded during busy times and have a low staff-to-dog ratio. For these reasons, we like to offer and suggest in-home dog boarding and pet sitting.
- The posh dog resort: These are springing up everywhere it seems, as a kind of better replacement for the traditional dog kennel. These dog resorts are often very fun for dogs, and perfect for socializing. As dogs are free to roam, however, your dog MUST be non-aggressive, well-socialized, and accustomed to being around other dogs 24/7. If your dog is easily over-stimulated, aggressive, or very hyper, the dog resort may not be the best option for you.
- The friend or family member: Friends and family are great, aren’t they? They may be willing to quickly stop by while you’re away to take your pup out for a potty break, feed them, and give them some affection. They might even be able to commit to doing this twice a day while you’re gone. This may be just enough for some dogs, but most others will require more attention and supervision, especially if they exhibit any signs of separation anxiety. Dogs are social animals and usually do not like to be left alone. If you’re going for a short overnight trip, this may be the best option for you. Any longer than that, and you should probably consider a different boarding option for your dog.
- The home of a professional dog sitter: This option provides a lot of comfort for your dog, and ease of mind and flexibility for you. Many dog walking companies provide boarding care, and there are many individual dog sitters with small businesses dedicated to boarding dogs. Professional dog sitters are often very qualified and have an extensive background in dog care. Dogs will get one-on-one care in a dog sitter’s home, and will often be treated like another member of the family. Your dog will have a comfy place to sleep and plenty of opportunities for cuddles. One thing to consider: be sure to ask if the sitter will have other dogs or pets around while your dog is boarding with them.
- The professional dog sitter stays at your place while you’re gone: This is usually the most expensive option, but also one of the best. Your dog gets to stay in familiar surroundings, with familiar smells, and all their favourite toys. The sitter will also water house plants, take care of any other pets, get the mail, and do other light chores arranged between you and the sitter.
Whatever you decide for your dog boarding options over Spring Break, make sure you find the best fit for you and your dog. That’s always the most important!