When we began offering long term boarding almost 9 years ago I had no idea what a big rewarding job it would be. But this job comes with huge responsibility. I agree to bring a dog into my home, around my family, my pets for 6 months, 3 years or longer. I agree to love and provide not only a space for that dog to occupy but a home. Home means nurturing that dogs spirit and well being, not just putting food in front of him/her, So when you have 15-20 dogs it means making sure you have for them all and hire people who will love and nurture them as you will. It means paying attention to every little detail. If one seems a little depressed, giving extra attention, understanding and knowing the unique personality of that dog. It means you are ready to do whatever it takes, including bringing that 100 pound dog into your bed, to comfort and insure their well being.
Over the past few years there has been places that think its a good idea to offer long term boarding. I think this is great IF they understand the responsibly involved in caring for an animal long term. In the past few years we had heard and seen countless cases where dogs were abused or did not receive the level of care expected. If you are out of the country you’re powerless.
Always Check References
If you are considering a long term dog boarding facility please get references of people who have actually boarded their dog there. If at all possible visit the facility. How are the dogs kept? Do they have plenty of fresh water? Do the dogs look healthy and happy? If you are going out of town or the country for an extended period you may want to consider letting your dog stay there for a few weeks prior to your commitment. Email them and request pictures or videos. Are they responsive to your request? It’s ok to be concerned and even fanatically. Your care provider should be sensitive to your needs and feelings as well as your pets. If you need to call or get pics everyday until you feel ok with their care then they should be willing to supply this without delay or hesitation.
Leaving your pet with a friend or family member is also a big responsibly. Make sure they are able to provide care without strain and also have a back-up plan should they suddenly find themselves ill or in a life changing situation.
If choosing a pet sitter type of arrangement where there are no referrals its important to that they offer a background check or agree to allow you to do one. How often has that person moved? Do they have a criminal background? In one case a woman had unknowingly left her beloved dog with a convicted animal abuser. Luckily her dog was ok, although malnourished and dehydrated. Another case was reported that a dog had been repeatedly kicked to the point that he had internal damage. The list goes on and on and on. It’s important to check and make them continually accountable for the welfare of your dogs.
We charge anywhere from 400.00 to 500.00 a month. This might seem like a lot of money but there are so many things this needs to pay for. Every two weeks we clean ears, trim nails and shave butts when needed. We work hard to not only make sure they are well fed but stimulated. If a sitter or facility is charging 200.00 for a month I would need to question the standard of care.
We have limited availability for long term dog boarding, however if I can’t help you or you can’t afford our rates, please let me at least help guide you towards a solution that will ensure your dogs safety. I am available by email and always happy to answer your questions and help you any way I can. You are never a bother to me, especially when it comes to animal safety.
here are a few links to help you:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4474572_tell-dog-has-been-abused.html – how to tell if an animal is abused.
Pet Abuse Directory http://www.pet-abuse.com/ – not every case is reported but its important to check it out anyhow and get tips.
Making the decision to be away from your dog is extremely tough, especially if you have so many things going on or you find yourself in a hard situation. Making the right choice for your dog is what a responsible pet owner does.
If you have any questions or concerns please call my direct cell phone line 434-549-1616
Tamara – firstname.lastname@example.org – my personal email