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Now that you have a dog, you have the following options when you next nok your holiday.
- Take the dog with you on a staycation
- Hiring a professional pet sitter to stay in your home with the dog
- Placing your dog with a suitable home boarder
In recent years, pet sitting and home boarding have become more popular, particularly in the case of home boarding, and have become much more regulated.
Home boarding, where your dog stays in the person’s home, now requires the local council licenses them.
The great thing about both pet sitters and home boarders is that your dog will get far better attention than it will in a kennel.
When looking for holiday care, the first thing to do is to ask your friends who they recommend. It is also a good idea to check with your local council for a list of licensed home borders.
Top Tips for Dog Home Boarding
Whether you’re looking for a pet sitter or a home boarder, you need to start looking as soon as you know your holiday dates. Pet carers get booked quickly, especially during peak holidays such as August.
Many people go away at roughly the same time each year. As a result, they provisionally book in advance as soon as they have finished their current holiday.
Indeed, come Easter; most home boarders are fully booked up for August
Once you have a short list of home boarders that you are thinking of using and have confirmed they can accommodate your dates, the boarder will ask to meet you and your dog for a meet and greet
This will be at the house of your potential border. At this meeting, you may be asked to bring proof that your dog has had vaccinations. Some borders will also want to go on a trial walk
This meet and greet usually last around an hour, and you will be shown around the house where your dog will be sleeping, eating, etc. You will also hopefully be able to meet any residents and see if they look happy etc
You will both have a chance to ask each other questions. The people looking after your dog for the period will probably also want to see up-to-date vaccination and medical records.
Some questions you might want to ask your home border your initial meeting
- Ask to see their insurance and license.
- Can they provide references?
- Do they look happy if they have dogs staying with them at the time?
- How many dogs are you licenced to board by the local council, and how many do you have on average? _ Many home boarders are licensed up to 6, but a lot of them will restrict it to 4
- What would a typical day be like?
- So you take all the dogs out together, or do you split the walks? If you split the walks, are the others left alone or is someone with them.
- Dio, you leave the dogs alone at all.
- Do they walk locally or travel in a van or car? If they travel in a van or car, how are they secured?
- Will my dog be allowed off-lead?
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
- What training have you done? First aid? Body language?
- What procedures do you have in place if my dog gets ill or has some problem?
- What emergency procedures do you have in place if you get ill?
- Can I bring my dog’s bedding and blankets?
- Can I bring my dog’s food?
- What other items do I need to provide?
When asking your home border questions, it is essential to remember that there are no correct answers.
Every dog walker, pet sitter, or home boarder runs their business slightly differently. , This is one of the reasons you should have a short list of borders.
The most important thing is that they are insured, have a valid license and that you and your dog are happy with them#
The questions listed above are an excellent start to give you an idea and help You compare.
It is important to ensure you do not feel you have to go with the first border you visit.
If your gut feeling doesn’t feel right at the meeting and you don’t feel comfortable about leaving your dog in their care, then consider someone else., If you can take your dog with you and they show signs of not liking the person, then listen to them
If this is the case, then the home border may recommend someone else with whom your dog will be happier, for example. Maybe you have a Miniature dog, and he was a bit spooked by their being bigger dogs. Then consider someone that only takes little dogs in, such as Darcy’s little dogs.
Once you have chosen your home border – what next?
Once you have decided on the home border that suits you, the next stage is to have a sleepover or assessment so the border can see if your dog will be ok away from the owner and his familiar surroundings.
During this trial, the home border will monitor your dog to see how they fit and provide you with feedback on whether they are suitable.
Assuming the trial goes ok and everyone is happy, then you will be asked to confirm your booking and probably pay a non-refundable deposit to reserve the dates you require (especially during busy periods when they are probably turning people away)
Here are a few things you may or may not have thought off when choosing a home boarder
Puppies and young dogs should neet your border as often as possible. So they don’t suddenly;y decide that the border is “scary” The reason is they go through lots of changes, including the ‘fear phases’
This is where they re-assess everything they have learned and decide if situations and scenarios are ‘scary’.
Don’t forget to let your vet know that your dog will be staying at a home border, so if they need to contact them regarding medical records and decisions whilst you’re away, they know the home border has your permission.
It is also a good idea to provide your vet with an emergency contact, such as another family member or friend who can help with any emergency arrangements.
Please speak to your vet to see how they want to register the emergency contract/home border.
Many dogs will act differently when they are around other dogs all the time, especially as it is very unlikely that they will be to sharing things like their bed.
Some dogs also start showing signs of resource gardening as they are not used to sharing food and fear they will miss out.
Whilst home boarders are experienced, and some may even choose to feed dogs in separate rooms, it may not be possible for your dog to fit in, which is why the trail is essential.
Should I provide blankets?
The answer is most certainly yes.
Supplying your blankets and towels will make a big difference in helping to settle your dog down. This is because it will be familiar smells from home and comfort your dog.
What you decide to consider for your dog, whether a pet sitter or home boarder, is vital to remember that they will get booked up early for busy periods like school holidays, Christmas etc.
Many people will take their holidays at a very similar time each year and so will most likely provisionally book the pet sitter or home border as soon as they finish one, especially if their dog enjoys himself)