Boarding vs. in-home pet sitting (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
With all the options available to today's pet parents, choices can be pretty confusing. You can take your dog to the vet for boarding when you head out of town. You can have a neighbor/family/friend look in on them. You can take them to a pet sitter's house. Better yet, take him/her to a professional dog boarding facility. What's a weary pet owner to do?
Having a family, friend, or neighbor look in on your pup sounds great but I've heard some horror stories. Dog parents have told me that dogs have run out the front door and run off. My husband worked with someone who that happened to and he never could find the dog. A current client had his son looking in on his dogs before he found us. One got out and was killed when he was hit by a car. I've also been told that some sitters just didn't look in on the dog(s) as planned (some not at all). Don't get me wrong, there are some great sitters out there. It's all a matter of figuring out who you feel you can trust.
Taking your dog to a pet sitters house is all the rage right now, or even to a family or friends. Keep in mind that they may love your dog but they may not care for him/her the way you do. Dogs may tend to get out of front doors in these situations looking for their parents. Years back we looked into using a dog sitter (pre Ruby's K9 Corral) and I just didn't feel right. She said that all the dogs would be shut in a room at night with free range (and no humans). That is a recipe for disaster with dogs that don't know each other and aren't used to each other.
We were also told a story a couple of years back where someone boarded dogs out of her home, no kennels, free range. When they left the home one of the dogs chewed through the drywall and chewed an electrical cord which caused a fire quickly killing all the dogs. Such tragedy can be so easily avoided.
Many of our clients have used their vet for boarding. When my dog isn't well that is where I always take him. I haven't personally used a vet for routine boarding. You do have options when it comes to yourself - stay at a hospital while on vacation, a hotel, or a rustic ranch setting (like Ruby's). Now at days your dog has options as well.
The biggest difference with our facility is your dog gets to have fun, gets let out several times daily and gets to interact with other dogs if they are dog friendly. Most of our guests love to come back to us. It's a great option for healthy dogs!
Now with dog boarding facilities. I always recommend take the time to check them out in person prior to booking your dog's stay. Be aware of bad odors, inapt cages and/or kennels, play area (how large, how high is fencing, etc.). Avoid using facilities that don't welcome visits or won't let you see certain areas. Ask about how much outside time your dog will get. Make sure they can accommodate your dog's needs (such as doing well with other dogs or need to go out by themself, medications, etc.). Do they require recent vaccinations? If not run for the hills.
Speaking for our facility at Ruby's, we wanted to set it up right from the start to avoid any downfalls. Our fencing all around is 5 1/2' to 6' to help prevent escapes, plus we have our property double fenced. We even have a large storm shelter in one of the yards to help with those pesky tornadoes. We offer four outside play areas and one indoor play area. We originally started out with our 20x4 indoor-outdoor kennels which are our most popular choice. We have since added on a new building with more indoor runs including 8x4s, 6x4s, 4x4s and kennel banks.
We also made our kennels with welded wire instead of chain link or chicken wire as dogs can chew and bust their way out. Not a believer? Ask my corgi. He created a large hole in a chain link gate and both he and my Vizsla got out. Our ultimate goal is to eventually put a pond or pool in for our guests to cool off in when the warm weather returns. We resides the premises so your dogs are never alone at night. Please feel free to come on by and check us out in person, see what sets us apart from the rest. Find out why our furry clients love coming back to us.