As we move into the heart of vacation season, pet moms and dads out there have to consider how their fur-babies are going to be cared for while they are away.
Now a days, there are a variety of options for summer pet care. Owners may chose to hire a family member or friend for the week to watch their pets or they may check out apps and websites such as Rover and Care.com for qualified pet sitters. In addition, small businesses that include pet sitting in their services are springing up everywhere.
However, boarding dogs and cats in kennels during summer vacations is still a popular option for many pet owners. While kennel boarding is a great way to ensure your pets are kept safe while you are away, it may not be an option for every pet owner out there. Here’s a list of questions you may want to consider before boarding your dog or cat this vacation season.
1. Can I afford it?
The average cost to board a dog in a kennel is between $25-$45 a night. So for a single dog for a weeks stay you would pay about $175 to $315 to have your dog boarded. If you are like me and have multiple dogs, the cost to have your pets boarded quickly becomes astronomical. Pet hotels can be even more expensive, with the average cost hovering around $50 a night.
As vacations can already be expensive enough, one of the first questions you may have to ask yourself is: can i afford to have my dog boarded?
It may be worth exploring your options for local dog kennels and seeing if any of them offer discounts for long term stays or additional dogs, but if boarding your dog still remains out of your reach financially hiring a pet sitter for your home may be a better option for you.
2. Is my dog well socialized?
Many dog kennels and dog hotels now offer play areas for dogs that are boarded to romp around in so that they are not locked up in their kennels all day. However, these play areas are shared by all the dogs that are currently being boarded. If you are worried about your dog being locked up in their kennel all day you may want to ask yourself if your dog is well socialized enough to be in a kennel environment.
Play areas are a great additional to boarding facilities to provide exercise and stimulation to boarders, but kennels will not allow dogs that are prone to unfriendly behaviors out in them. Dogs who are not socialized well enough also prove difficult for kennel employees. Keep in mind your dog is going to be in an environment surrounded by countless other dogs and humans. You would never want to put anyone else or your dog at risk.
3. Is my dog prone to anxiety?
Boarding facilities can be very loud and overwhelming places for even the most well adjusted of dogs. If your pup is prone to anxiety or is fearful, putting them in a boarding facility may not be the best option for them.
I know that when Bean had to be boarded her first summer with our family that the entire experience was highly uncomfortable for her. Thankfully she had her fur siblings, but she was still prone to snapping at the employees and was generally just not like herself when we came home. As a result, I have decided not to board Bean again.
For fearful and anxious dogs, it is better to keep them in their own, familiar home environment. If you can find a friendly face to watch them for the week and not a stranger that’s even better. For the anxious dog, you want to avoid uprooting them as much as possible.
4. Is my dog a puppy?
Boarding facilities do not board puppies. If your pooch is too young to be boarded you will need to explore other options for pet care while you are away.
5. Is my dog healthy enough to be boarded?
If your dog is a senior or suffers from health problems, boarding your dog may not be the best option. Having to provide medications on a schedule can be difficult in crowded kennels and the stressful environment can take its toll on your pup.
If you still want to give boarding a shot, do your research on the kennels. Who are the employees there? Are there knowledge vet technicians employed there or are they high school and college students looking for extra money? If vet techs are employed at the particular kennel you are looking at, you may be more comfortable boarding your senior dog or dog with health problems.
Trying to determine the best option for your pet’s summer care can be stressful, but hopefully after thinking about these important questions you have a better idea of what the best option for your furchild is!
No matter what you chose-whether it be to have your dog boarded in a kennel or watched at home-only you know the best option to keep them as comfortable and happy as possible while you are away.
And of course they will miss you, but just think about how happy they will be to see you when you return home!
How are you planning to provide summer care for you pet? Leave a comment below 😊