Dog Boarding Services in USA
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Why Should You Board Your Dog?
Booking your dog into a pet boarding facility is an excellent alternative if, for one reason or another, you won’t be able to take care of them for long periods of time. It is a much safer option for your dog and for your home than leaving the pooch all alone.
Here are some of the common scenarios where dog boarding will come in handy.
- Home renovations
- Long work hours
- When hosting many guests, especially if the dog is not socialized
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how handy dog boarding can be.
In general, dog boarding has a lot to offer both the dog and you as the pet parent. Here are some of the reasons why these facilities are a much better alternative to leaving your pet home alone.
Access To Emergency Care
If something happens to your dog while you are away, dog boarding facilities give you peace of mind knowing that there is someone on deck to give your dog emergency attention. This could be anything from choking on a chew toy to allergic reactions.
If your dog runs into such misfortune when alone, the results will almost inevitably be tragic.
Why not just get one of your friends or a neighbor’s kid to look after your dog while you are away? The answer is simple; they are inexperienced.
This is particularly important if your dog has special needs, including health requirements that an untrained person may not be able to adequately attend to.
Dog caretakers at boarding facilities also have the experience required to ensure that your dog will be adequately entertained and generally well-taken care of. This makes adapting to a few days without you much easier for the pooch.
Other Pets To Socialize With
The other major perk that comes with leaving your dog at a dog boarding facility is the fact that they will have plenty of other furry friends to play with. If your dog could talk, they would tell you that this is way better than being left all alone at home.
Is It Better To Board Your Dog Or Leave Them At Home?
Whether or not it is better to board your dog or leave them at home depends on your priorities and circumstances. This is because both boarding facilities and at-home care both have numerous pros and cons.
However, dog boarding is arguably the better option of the 2, with pros that far outweigh the cons.
Pros And Cons Of Dog Boarding
On the one hand, boarding ensures that your dog is cared for by trained and experienced professionals and has access to emergency care if it is needed. It is also a great space for dogs to socialize and play.
However, dog boarding has some disadvantages, including trauma to the dog due to being in an unfamiliar environment as well as the risk of disease spread while in the kennels.
Pros And Cons Of Leaving The Dog At Home
Perhaps the biggest advantage of leaving your dog at home is the fact that the space is familiar to the dog. They thus do not have to go through the often traumatizing period of adjusting to a new environment.
You also don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of packing or the risk of your dog contracting diseases from the kennel.
Unfortunately, the cons of leaving your dog at home are just as hefty as the pros. The biggest risk is that your dog may suffer an injury or other medical emergency without access to immediate assistance.
Your dog will also be dreadfully bored and lonely and may end up developing psychological issues like separation anxiety or depression.
What Is The Difference Between Dog Boarding And Daycare?
The main difference between dog boarding services and doggy daycare is in the operating hours.
Dog boarding services typically offer dog-sitting services at their facilities, including overnight stays, whereas daycares will require that you pick up your pooch at the end of the day.
How Long Can You Board A Dog?
Ideally, you should board your dog for a few days, with two weeks being the upper limit. Once you get to the 30-day mark, the disadvantages of dog boarding start to overshadow the pros and could put your dog at physical and psychological risk.
Here are a few things that could go wrong if you board your dog for too long.
Separation anxiety is a psychological condition in dogs where they get anxiety attacks triggered by being separated from people, places, or things that are familiar to them.
This often happens with prolonged dog boarding as the dog is forced to adapt to a new environment with people that they do not know. Furthermore, the dog has to deal with the trauma of feeling like they were abandoned by their human companions.
Increased Exposure To Diseases
Dogs usually interact closely in most dog boarding facilities which increase the risk of spreading diseases among each other.
These include health issues like kennel cough and other contagious dog diseases that can be transmitted through saliva, feces, or even contaminated doggy accessories and toys.
Poorly-run dog boarding facilities could also expose your dog to parasites like fleas and ticks. The risk of being affected increases the longer your dog stays at the facility.
The Dog May Forget You
This may sound silly, but it is actually possible for your dog to forget you and become less closely bonded with you if you leave them at a dog boarding facility for a long time.
This usually happens in cases where the dog forms bonds with the staff at the facility and ends up moving on from what you had with them.
Are Dogs Traumatized By Boarding?
Although rare, it is possible for your dog to be traumatized by its boarding experience. This usually happens to dogs that stay in the boarding facility for too long. It could also happen if the dog was mistreated by staff or attacked by other dogs while they were there.
Here are a few ways you can tell that your dog is suffering from trauma when you bring them back home after their boarding stay.
- Excessive vocalization
- Withdrawal from you and refusing to be handled
- Clingy behavior
- Aggressive outbursts
- Potty accidents
- Hesitancy to handling
- Reduced appetite even for their favorite snacks
If you notice these signs or have a gut feeling that your dog did not come back the same way they left, it is best to get a vet involved for tips on how to deal with your dog's trauma.
Sometimes all it takes is patience and giving your dog space to reacquaint themselves with their home and to get comfortable with you.