For pet owners, there’s an extra expense to be considered when you plan a holiday – the cost of caring for your dog while you’re gone. While some holiday destinations are dog friendly, there are lots of reasons why you might choose to leave your furry friend behind.
From travel anxiety to sorting out dog passports, you might find yourself needing to arrange care for your dog from anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
This is where a dog boarding kennel comes in. So, what are dog boarding kennels, and are they the right choice for your dog?
What Are Dog Boarding Kennels?
A basic dog boarding kennel provides a kennel and enclosed run for your dog, alongside other dogs and their kennels and runs. Your dog will be fed, watered, and exercised every day. You’ll pay a daily fee for their care, and there’ll be a number of staff members caring for the dogs.
This is a dog kennel at its basic. Kennels need to balance efficiency and cost with the dog’s comfort and wellbeing. Most dog owners want their pets to be as happy and comfortable as possible, and the basic kennel-and-run area really doesn’t seem good enough for their pets. So, more expensive dog kennels offer extra services, usually something special to help your dog feel more at home.
More elaborate dog kennels allow the dogs to mingle, play, and get extra attention. You can usually pay for extra services for your dog, on top of the basic care you pay for. If you have a dog that needs extra care, attention, or even medical treatment, you may need to pay for the higher bands of care. If your dog’s medical needs are too extensive, the kennel may not accept them at all.
So, what are the pros and cons? What should you consider before dropping your dog off at the nearest kennels?
Pros Of Boarding Kennels
Safety. First and foremost, at a dog kennel, your pet will be kept safe. The danger with hiring dog sitters for at-home boarding is that you don’t know who you’ll get. Your dog sitter might have little to no experience with animals, and no real desire to make your dog comfortable. Dog kennels have insurance, so if your dog gets ill or injured, you have something to fall back on, and you know that they’re experienced in what they do.
Dogs are kept separately. Some at-home dog sitters may take on two or three dogs at the same time, for efficiency. While this means that your dog should still get more personal attention than they would at a kennel, there is a risk that the dogs will fight and your pet could be injured. It can be difficult or even impossible to keep two dogs separate in a house, however, dog kennels keep each one of their dogs separately in their own kennels and runs.
Plenty of ways to burn off energy. Some dog kennels provide free-roaming areas, allowing your pet to really stretch their legs and go for a run. This form of exercise is much more effective than taking your dog for a walk on their lead!
Professional staff members. As mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to know just how much experience your dog sitter has. However, staff at dog kennels are trained, experienced, and usually have industry standards to measure up to. Word of mouth is a good way to discover how good a dog boarding kennel is – what do the reviews say?
Cons Of Boarding Kennels
Lack of personal attention. The kennel staff only has so much time, and it has to be split between any number of dogs. This means that realistically, your dog isn’t going to get any real time and attention. If your dog is used to being loved and spoiled, this can be very upsetting and lonely for them – remember, they’ll be missing you, too!
Crowded areas. In busy or full boarding kennels, your dogs may not have very much space at all. Not all kennels have free-roaming areas, so that means that your dog may be confined to a kennel and a short run. For dogs with lots of energy, this can be unbearable.
It can stress dogs out. If your dog is easily stressed or anxious, a dog kennel can make matters much worse. Dogs can become distressed in kennels, especially if they don’t feel comfortable around strangers or other dogs. They’ll miss their home, and they’ll miss you. Dogs can’t understand why we would leave them even for a few days or weeks, so your dog might think that this is their new home and start to panic.
Which Dogs Shouldn’t Go Into Boarding Kennels?
Your dogs should be up to date with their latest vaccinations before you put them into a kennel, and most boarding kennels require proof of vaccinations first.
If your dogs are aggressive, either with people or other dogs, or they have severe problems with stress, then a boarding kennel might not be the best option.
If your dog is very old or very sick, the stress from staying in a dog kennel could be bad for them. The staff may not be able to care for your pet’s medical needs, or you might have to pay more money for additional care.
Either way, a better option here is to go for an at-home dog sitter, preferably somebody your dog is familiar and comfortable with.
What’s The Alternative?
So, if you decide that dog boarding kennels aren’t for you, what are your options?
The obvious solution is basic dog sitting. Go for a highly rated agency, perhaps one that a friend or relative has used before. Take your time and do plenty of research.
It’s worth noting that it’s best to book your dog’s care as early as possible – whether you go for a dog sitter or a boarding kennel – to make sure you can get your chosen service booked and sorted in good time.