Boarding Your Dog

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Airn, Dec 3, 2012.

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Have you/would you board your dog?

  1. Yes I have and/or would

    20 vote(s)
    52.6%
  2. No I haven't/would not

    9 vote(s)
    23.7%
  3. No I haven't/yet

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  4. Yes I have but would not do it again

    8 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    Unfortunately I'll have to board Gwen because I'll be out of town for a week. I would have preferred to leave her with my family but they don't want to and it wouldn't be best for her. They did agree to pay for the boarding, though. That's one less stress for me. (I would still like to find a place under $300).

    Thoughts on boarding? How do I know if it's a 'good' place? What do I look for? Are the chain ones 'good'? We have a camp Bow Wow around here and it looks really nice. (A bit pricey compared to the others, though.) What about boarding at a vet's? I've never had to board my dog so I'm not sure what to ask and what I should expect.

    Another (smaller) concern is if she will be accepted. I know some dog day camps are very strict on the dog's behavior. Gwen isn't big on getting in on the action. At the dog park she tends to stay to herself or pick one dog to play with. If more dogs join in, she leaves and just watches. She doesn't like multiple big dogs coming up to her. She has come a long way but she is still a bit cautious of new people. I haven't left her alone for more than a day. I'm unsure if she'll freak out or refuse to eat or what. When we first got her, we tried to find some calming aids that worked on her. Should I look for some medication or herbs to calm her down or just trust things will work out? I don't want to be that crazy dog 'mom' but I'd hate for all of her hard work to be wiped away in a week.
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    We boarded rosey once. She escaped (not the boarding places fault -- they had triple fencjg. She was determined to get out) and ran the hour home whee my cousin found her.

    That said, Roseys not dog sociable, so I found a place that would house her away from others and give her free time alone. She ended up in a very normal "kennel place"... link chain runs and then a link chains fence keeping them in when they have free time.
     
  3. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I am in the "have not yet" pack, and we will be finding out how Frodo does with it next Sunday. Frodo, because of his issues, will be going to a splendiforus "special needs" type boarding kennel.

    So far, I love the place. People I trust send their special dogs there with no issues. The staff (two people) have made the floor level of their home into a boarding facility. They are amazing when it comes to dog body language and whether dogs are enjoying being in the yards together, they have a working knowledge of how and when to administer Frodo's behavior meds (one is "as needed" which can be tough), the dogs can't see one another in their boarding space, they do stuffed kongs and woods hikes with the dogs. Just awesome!

    They even suggested the trial attempt, so this Sunday we will drive down to the facility (it's a good 3 hours from my apartment) and drop Frodo off, then spend the night at a local Bed & Breakfast in case we would need to pick him up during the night. I'm both very excited and very nervous. If he can stay there, that opens up so many more opportunities for Ryan and I to go places, and if he can't stay here then there isn't anywhere he is going to be able to stay!
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    We boarded the shelties quite a lot and I think Beau once? There was one really really bad episode with Trey escaping but it was while we were there checking him in, not while we were gone. We just boarded at the vet.

    Now we either get a pet sitter or board the dogs at Summer's breeder's house. It works very nicely.
     
  5. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I voted yes but wouldn't do it again.

    Right now my unstable and aggressive dog isn't a candidate for boarding, and the only way I would board if it was a facility I really, really trusted and the dog was incredibly stable and I knew would take it all in stride.

    Personally I'd definitely look for an in-home pet sitter (or someone with a small group of dogs that stays with them in their home) or just paying a friend to stay with them. That IMO is far better than boarding.
     
  6. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    In some ways I actually kind of prefer to board. Since I have a couple of places that I trust absolutely, I worry less than if they are with friend/family/neighbor because I know they are professionals who are going to do exactly what I say without any "Wellll, but I'm sure it would be ok if I did abc just this once."

    I also have a neighbor who I really trust but really only like to impose one dog at a time on them. Last time we went somewhere, Squash stayed with them. He's the only one who has never boarded so far.

    I used to always have house sitters but since the boys are in a rotate situation indoors right now, I just don't really want to put that kind of situation on someone else or end up with a "just this once" kind of mishap.
     
  7. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    I have boarded them once in an emergency situation at my vet. I would be okay boarding them at my vet in a dire situation again... IF they were okay feeding them our raw food, which I kinda doubt they'd want to do that. ;)

    They stay with my mom or go with me. To be honest she's the only person I trust. If two of my close friends still lived right here I would be okay with either of them babysitting because I trust them totally.

    I had a close family friend come to my parent's house several times a day to take them off to run in the pasture, feed them, etc. when mom and I went on a trip where we couldn't take them (went to Seattle to visit big bro and their two very old cats who'd never met a dog were still alive then... they aren't really dog people either. Well my bro totally would be, but his wife's family never have and never will be... sad for him!), so it was all around an odd situation. They did great with it. She even brushed them twice for me! I had their food all organized by day in the fridge and left written instructions stuck on the outside with a magnet. Man I love knowing practical people who don't balk at raw and have good common sense/judgement.
     
  8. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    My ideal would be to have a friend (possibly relative) stay at the house. We have Gwen and Charlie (the cat) so it would be best to know that the cat and dog are being taken of and together. Charlie doesn't need much attention, but I think it's silly to split them up.

    However my dad is very odd about his house and won't allow anyone else here. My friend would probably be more than happy to pet sit and house sit but my dad is being super weird about the whole situation. My grandfather was going to but he wasn't sure he was active enough for Gwen and last time he watched her she whined the whole night.

    Boarding isn't my first choice and I hate that this vacation has been sprung on me. I am a planner. I would have had a place picked out months ago for her stay at. But, it's going to be free and since my grandfather offered to pay for her boarding, I'll take the less than ideal situation.

    So far I've found two places that do dog day camps. Camp Bow Wow and a local place that looks pretty decent based on their website. (Their price is around $25 a night and they have a $25 reservation fee for the holidays.) There are also a lot of vet's offices but they don't list their prices or services on their sites. I feel weird asking prices when I call a business. I don't want to waste their time if it's over my price range and I'm worried they'll think I'm a crappy owner for not wanting to go over my budget.

    I'm going to call the local place tomorrow and see if I can take Gwen to do a test run. I might make a few vet calls too. I just wish they would list their prices and services clearly.


    I'm crossing my fingers that Gwen doesn't try to escape or freak out. I really don't know what to expect with her.

    When you say Rosey isn't 'dog sociable' what do you mean? Does she get aggressive or fearful? I'm not sure what I would classify Gwen as. At first she was extremely fearful but now she seems to be fairly confident. She's always improving, though.
     
  9. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

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    I know one of our members used Camp Bow Wow in Indiana and LOVED them. They have video monitors you can watch the dogs on as well.
     
  10. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I've worked at good places and bad places. The good places were good and the bad places bad, though clients wouldn't have a clue about the bad places. I would say definitely make sure they have areas they turn dogs out into, and when you go to visit, make sure there are dogs out there! The one bad place had these nice completely fenced yards, and never put the dogs out in them :(. I really think it is healthier for the dogs to be getting out of the kennels for walks or put out in yards.

    Two kennels I worked at had extra 'playtimes' in a yard (told clients the dogs would go and play ball, hang out with staff, etc), and they did not do those but accepted the money for them. One kennel I worked for DID do the playtimes and the dogs were happier.

    The bad kennel I worked at was daycare as well so I don't have a ton of experience with the group daycare thing. I knew someone on forums who worked for Camp Bow Wow and it seemed pretty kosher.

    The vets I worked at were just basic care. The dogs were cared for just fine, walked and fed, but really no frills and not a lot of attention.

    I would not and will NEVER board at a place that requires you to make an appointment to see the place. I just show up, if they seem surprised or tell me to come back, I run. I never call beforehand. I also like to see the WHOLE facility. Some places show you nice runs and then keep the dogs in crates.

    I trust boarding kennels far more than I trust someone coming into my house, though.

    The kennels I worked at had NO problem feeding whatever you brought, as long as the dog eats. There were employees that thought it was silly, but everyone was fine feeding it. People would bring in raw or 'homecooked/frozen' meals.
     
  11. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Oh, and I've never boarded Rosey after that, and never would again, just because the type of dog she is. She isn't happy with it.
     
  12. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    I've never boarded and I'm not comfortable doing so.
     
  13. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I won't board Jackson just because he's the kind of dog that would flip out. I left him overnight once at the vet and came back to a dog whose butt was all gross and smelly (from his anal glands, he expresses them when very scared) and just very shaken up. I felt awful. He does not do well in loud situations with lots going on, or new people, he just completely breaks down. Thank goodness I have family that knows him so well and that I trust. If I didn't, I'd have to find a trustworthy in home pet sitter and do a few meet and greets with me there first.
     
  14. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I would probably never be comfortable boarding Zander. No one believes me when I say he's special needs, extremely skittish AND WILL RUN.

    Then I have to deal with a broken and/or escapee dog.

    So, fook 'em. Not even professionals know how to follow simple directions.
     
  15. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    I have, and worked at the same place, so quite comfortable that the dogs are in good hands. The dogs are in crate or xpen sized 'suites' during the night and turned out in huge pens to play during the daytime on grass or bark.

    With family looking after the dogs, I had several phone calls in a panic because the one relative never had dogs and wasn't used to 'normal' dog things like runny eyes - she also didn't find any pine sol so went and bought a big jug and cleaned everything so the house reeked. Then my parents left the gate open, lost the dog, then didn't want to tell me (they called my friend who called me, figured out where he was in the pound but couldn't get him out) OR go to the pound to get him so we had to come home early to get him. A neighbor fell for every 'sad' look the boogers gave her, cooked things like roasts and mac and cheese for them and I came back to butterballs - never thought dogs could gain that much in three days. And the last straw, the same nice lady didn't think not eating, drinking a ton of water and thick discharge was something to pick up the phone and ask me about - came home, got on the phone, emergency pyo spay the next morning.

    So now, yeah, use the kennel. If the dogs have anything, they have a mini drug store on hand, everything from vetwrap and cones to antibiotics and IV's.

    And the dogs don't get away with acting up either. Auntie is strict.
     
  16. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Meg's been "boarded" once, although I almost hesitate to call it that. My good friend runs an in-home boarding business, so Meg went and lived with her for 3 days while I went to Florida. It went completely fine, but it was several years ago and I'm not sure I'd do it to Meg now. I'd absolutely trust the care, I just know she's an older, more settled dog now and wouldn't enjoy it much.

    I haven't left the dogs since getting Gusto, and I'm not sure I will. It's in the forefront of my mind right now, because my family is going to Florida in a few months again and I'm trying to figure out if I'm even going to be able to go because of the dogs. I have one person who I'm going to ask about house-sitting, because both my dogs adore her and I'd trust them with her for sure. If she can't do it, I'll stay home. Meg is not a dog who would handle kenneling well; Gusto is a bit more resilient, but I still don't think I'd put him through that unless it were an emergency. My desire to see the Harry Potter world at Disney doesn't constitute an emergency ;)
     
  17. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

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    I'm not a fan of boarding clinics. Honestly, I'd rather have a neighbor kid come over and take care of Boo at our house (second to that would be sending her to someone else's home) while we are gone.

    I worked in the boarding kennels at a (reputable) vet clinic. The kennels were cleaned and disinfected 3x/day (occasionally would end up being 2x if the dog kept it clean, but would be more if the dog soiled his or her crate). The dogs were walked 3x per day. Clients could pay for their dog to have 15 minute play sessions separate from the walks (either 1 or 2 per day). Water was changed at every cleaning or more if the dog tipped it over. Each dog got a towel or blanket in its crate unless it was proven to be a blanket shredder. The dog kennels were housed in a separate room from the cats. Each time they were walked/fed, notes were taken on whether they relieved themselves and/or ate their food. Overall a pretty solid, reputable boarding clinic.

    Yet, I would say that fewer than 10% of those dogs had a comfortable time. Those that were prone to being shy or skittish were terrified of the new people and loud dogs nearby. Those dogs that were more outgoing were clearly feeling deprived of attention. The young, active dogs were clearly not happy being locked in a kennel only slightly larger than their body size for the vast majority of each day (even those with "play sessions" barely had enough time to burn off any of their energy). I felt bad for the older dogs when an employee would follow regular protocol (of 1 towel per cage) and not give them extra padding. I felt horrible for the few puppies that we would get in boarding because of the crucial socialization and interaction that they were missing out on (not to mention housetraining!)

    I also think that a lot of people are unaware of just what "3 walks a day" can mean. When I think of a dog walk, I think of a nice half an hour stroll through the park. Unfortunately, when the clinic closes at 7 PM, and there is one kennel worker, 25 dogs, and the dogs are not allowed to be fed before 5 PM (understandably, because we couldn't walk them until after they were fed and their morning walk wasn't until 7:30 AM or so), walks are short. Five minutes per dog to walk and clean the kennel was an average. I'd give the "good dogs" a chance to wander around the hallway of the boarding area while I cleaned their kennel, but still, if you didn't pay for play sessions, your dog was probably seeing daylight for about 10 minutes a day and out of its kennel for 10-20. The aggressive dogs, the ones that would play hard to catch, the ones that tried to get into things, or the ones that would try to "fence fight" with the other dogs through the cage doors were tied to the door of their kennel and then put straight back in once it was clean.

    So personally, no it's not something that I would ever do unless it was absolutely necessary. Misty has been being boarded lately when we go away because of her oral medications, but for Boo at least, unless it's for a medical reason such as that, I do not feel comfortable using a boarding clinic.

    Of course, I will say that with a boarding clinic, you should get knowledgeable staff, a regimented schedule, and a safe, healthy dog upon your return. It's just all that little stuff that worries me. I'd rather run the possibility of the neighbor kid accidentally letting Boo out the front door than know for a fact that she would be safe, but stressed and locked in a 2'x4' kennel for 99% of the day.

    Just my two cents.
     
  18. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I think all the dogs I've had have boarded at least once, and probably will board again.

    I do not use kennels that do daycare kind of things involving the dog being out with other people's dogs. I don't consider that particularly safe with any dogs, and really not something I want my Staffords involved with. The last thing I would want would be my dogs to get involved in a fight, and I don't really trust most people to know enough to avoid that kind of situation. The kennel I've used is a very basic, old-fashioned kind of boarding kennel where my dogs are in their own indoor/outdoor runs. I could pay extra for walks or playtime, but usually don't. My dogs aren't the easiest to handle (just powerful, and kind of unruly, not aggressive), and when they are in their runs, I know they are safe. Maybe not happy, but completely safe. That is what is important to me.

    I do have a friend who is opening a new dog business, and will have boarding, so if I need to board again, I'm actually going to go there. A little more expensive, but not excessively so, and she won't require vaccines, which most boarding kennels do. She still won't be turning dogs out together.

    At other times, I've had people stay with my dogs in my house (once it was a person who worked with a friend, once, it was my sister), and paid them for that, and it worked fine, but I did worry more about the dogs, since there was potential for escape. And the last time I made a trip while Tully was still alive, I hired someone who works for my vet to come over twice a day to feed her- she also walked Tully once a day. I left Tully with the run of the house and the dog door open for her to go in the yard. At that point, the Cushings was affecting Tully pretty badly, and she couldn't do much that was bad, but tended to stress a lot if she was away from home, so I thought that was the best option. It's the most expensive of the pet care options I've used, it cost me $25/visit, so $50/day. But worth it under those circumstances.

    My next trip (in 10 days), Pirate is actually going to go stay with a friend. I think that's the best option of all, if you have a nice enough friend. ;) I wouldn't trust just anyone to manage the unruly beast, but she's known him for a long time, and is very dog experienced. And he actually will be playing with other dogs in that situation, but the difference is that I trust this person to supervise correctly.
     
  19. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    My problem with people coming into my place to watch Frodo is that they would have to manage him out to go to the bathroom, I don't feel comfortable with that.
     
  20. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I have boarded Juno before. Given her anxiety issues now, I would rather not do it again (even though she's been to that place numerous times before for daycare, I don't think her brain would comprehend that), but if she would have remained a normal dog I'd have absolutely no issue.

    We typically don't go anywhere so it's not really an issue. The time Juno was boarded, I had a friend stay at the house with Lucy (our boarding place is cage-less, and Lucy hates dogs. And people.), but Juno was only 1 year old and still ridiculously high maintenance, so I didn't want to put that burden on anyone lol.

    I don't like boarding at vet clinics just because oftentimes it's just an on-the-side service they offer. There's not a lot of effort and attention put into the dogs. The only time vet clinic boarding would be an option for me is if I had like, a grumpy cat with a bunch of medications.

    I like my boarding place because it's cage-less. Employees get to know your dog. Boarders get a stuffed Kong at bedtime, free. Baths are given, free. Employees stay overnight. There are webcams. Many employees have vet tech training.

    What I really hate are places that offer all these little additional services for a fee - want your dog to get an afternoon walk? $15. Want your dog to play with other dogs for an hour? $15. Treats? Another $5. Those are all things I want my dog to have, but it gets way too freaking expensive to tack them on. So then I would feel like she's just rotting in a kennel all day because I can't afford the fun stuff.

    It's so dog dependent though.... it was easy for me to find a place for Juno, but I don't think I would ever truly feel comfortable bringing Lucy somewhere.
     

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