Alternatives To Boarding Your Dog At A Kennel

Taking your dog to a kennel might be advantageous. But in other situations it’s not possible. Many kennels will require your dog to be updated on vaccinations, including bordatella (kennel cough). This is great to help keep diseases out of the kennel but some dogs can’t have routine vaccinations due to health conditions or just preference of the owner.

Other times, kennels and doggy daycares will require dogs to be spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering is great but in some cases, veterinarians suggest waiting on this until the young dog is older. In this case, your dog couldn’t be boarded or kenneled, but don’t worry, keep reading to see two other options you can look into so your dog is cared for while you’re away.

Alternatives to Boarding Your Dog At A Kennel

Doggy Daycare

Any reputable doggy daycare will conduct a temperament test on your dog prior to placing your dog in close proximity with other dogs. This helps determine if your dog can handle being in that type of environment or if it’s too stressful.

Some dogs aren’t social enough, have aggression, behavior or medical issues that might prohibit them from interacting closely with other dogs. In that case, pet sitting might be a better option.There are alternatives to boarding your dog at a kennel

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting is a great option for most dogs, especially those with medical issues and some behavior issues.

However, dogs that are destructive when left alone might have a hard time being in their home without someone watching them 24/7. In that case, we recommend kenneling or boarding because your house could be destroyed otherwise!

Dogs that like to just chill on the couch or hang out in their crate while their people are gone often do great with a pet sitter. Dogs that are older, blind, deaf or grouchy with other dogs do much better at home than at a kennel or daycare.

Pros and Cons To Kenneling, Boarding and Pet Sitting

As a professional pet sitter, I’d love to say that pet sitting is the best, but for some pets it isn’t. On the flip side, doggy daycare is great for many dogs but other’s it’s a horrible idea. Kennels can be great but we recommend you visit first before you just take your dog and drop him off. Some kennels are dirty and run by incompetent people and the dogs in their care are neglected. However, there are some really nice and clean kennels but without checking yourself, you would never know it.

There’s pros and cons to all three of these pet care options. We encourage you to know your dog before deciding which option would be best for your dog. Keep in mind that a pet care professional will be able to guide you through this process and hopefully do the best thing for your pet.

Pros – Kenneling

  • Dog isn’t at home
  • Dog is in a controlled environment (little to chew on or tear up)
  • Dog is usually in their own kennel, away from other dogs
  • Mandatory vaccinations/spaying/neutering

Cons – Kenneling

  • Dog can become stressed being isolated from other pets and humans
  • Dogs are forced to stay in loud kennel areas, makes it hard for them to relax and sleep peacefully
  • Dog often has to lay on a cold concrete floor
  • Dogs newer to kenneling can stress easily and not eat, which can lead to other health problems
  • Dogs can bark incessantly and lose their voice
  • Dogs that stay in a kennel can take hours and days to decompress when they return home
  • Dogs can potty and poop in their kennel and lay in it, sometimes the kennels aren’t cleaned promptly so dogs get stinky and need a bath before going home (extra money for you, extra stress on your dog)
  • Mandatory vaccinations/spaying/neutering

Pros – Doggy Daycare

  • Dogs are only allowed to play with each other if they play nicely
  • Dogs aren’t at home
  • Lots of socialization and interaction with people and dogs
  • Dogs are watched almost all the time they’re in play groups, this keeps it safe
  • Dogs are wore out at the end of the day so they are calmer (usually) when they go home
  • Knowledgeable staff know when play is getting too rough and it’s stopped
  • Mandatory vaccinations/spaying/neutering

Cons – Doggy Daycare

  • Could be too much activity and running for older dogs
  • Daycare is often loud, stressful and keeps dogs awake
  • Not good for dogs with medical issues, i.e. blindness, deafness (not always), heart murmurs, etc.
  • On rare occasions dogs get injuries like paw pad tears, nips, scratches and bites from playing with other dogs, often this is normal play but it can escalate if staff isn’t trained to watch closely

Pros – Pet Sitting

  • Dog stays home
  • Dog gets to sleep in their own bed, couch or other special place
  • Dog can stay on their own routine
  • Dog doesn’t have to listen to other barking dogs
  • Pet sitter visits often and spends one-on-one time with them
  • Dog doesn’t have to have extra vaccinations or be spayed or neutered
  • Great for crated dogs and dogs with medical and behavior issues in some cases
  • Your pet sitter can continue caring for your dog if you need to stay away longer
  • Your house is taken care of while you’re gone
  • Pet sitter has insurance (if you go with a professional business)

Cons – Pet Sitting

  • Dog is alone while pet sitter isn’t there (not great for dogs with separation anxiety)
  • Might not be enough human interaction for puppies or dogs that need constant supervision unless frequent visits are scheduled
  • Potential for pet sitter to miss a visit or shorten a visit (our system prevents that from happening)
  • Pet sitter can have little experience caring for pets unless you use a professional business)

Something Else To Think About

Whichever method you choose, remember that you your dog could change at any time.

Just because you start out with a pet sitter, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to continue with that as your dog ages. You might start your puppy off with daycare a few days a week but as he gets older, his personality may change. Instead of enjoying running and playing, he might get grouchy and aggressive.

This is an important topic and that’s why we wanted to share this information with you. Being an informed pet parent will help you make the best choice for your dog and other pets.

If you’d like to learn more about us or if you’d like to set up a consultation, we’d be able to contact you. We take care of all types of animals and work around the clock.

sit-stay-play provides pet care in Muncie, Anderson, Yorktown, Daleville, Dunkirk, Albany, Hartford City, Jay County, Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel and Broad Ripple.

Click here to schedule a pet sitting consultation or to learn more.

Thank you,

Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”

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