Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG BEHAVIOR

In-Home Dog Boarding

By: Nicole Pajer

A vacation is a time to relax, unwind, and take a break from the obligations and stresses of everyday life. The last thing you want to be doing is lying on the beach or lounging by a pool worrying about your dog. Finding someone to watch your pup when you travel is always a challenge. Traditionally, your options involve coaxing an unreliable friend or family member into watching your dog or taking him to a kennel that is simultaneously boarding ninety-nine other dogs. Thanks to the help of organizations like Dogvacay.com, dog owners have a third option: In-home dog boarding, a trend that is becoming increasingly popular for vacationing dog owners.

Dogvacay.com — which has been referred to as a Match.com for dogs whose owners are out of town — offers a convenient means of pairing dogs with responsible, affordable, and reliable twenty-four hour home care. Dog owners can search the website for a registered home to leave their dog at while on vacation. Aaron Hirschhorn and his wife Karine Nissim Hirschhorn founded the site after experiencing their own obstacles regarding what to do with their family dog when traveling. Having previously boarded dogs in their own home, the couple realized that finding a trustworthy and comfortable environment for a dog to stay in while its owners are on vacation is often a stressful endeavor. Kennels board hundreds of dogs, keeping many in cages throughout the day or in areas with limited supervision. Vacation care for dogs is also pricey. The Hirschhorns found that the average dog owner spends about $275 a year on boarding alone.

    Services like Dogvacay.com offer your dog all of the benefits of in-home boarding such as:

  • Kennel-free boarding and the opportunity for your dog to comfortably have access to a full living area.
  • Reduced risk of catching diseases such as kennel cough, which your dog can easily contract when exposed to many dogs at an overnight kennel.
  • An affordable alternative to kennels and pet hotels, with in-home boarding services as low as $ 15 a night.
  • Twenty-four hour supervised care by a responsible and trusted dog watcher.
  • Individual attention and exercise including regular walks, trips to the dog park, and the opportunity to socialize with other dogs in the household.
  • Diverse, individualized placement from a tiny one bedroom apartment for a Chihuahua to a sprawling ranch house for a Great Dane, or a professional trainer for difficult dogs.
  • The opportunity to follow a regular routine, such as eating schedules, bathroom breaks, grooming necessities, and daily exercise requirements.

Dog owners who use in-home boarding services are given the opportunity to select homes for their dogs to stay in that are located in their geographic area. This provides them with the opportunity to stage a “meet-and-greet” with potential dog babysitters. In-home boarding websites like DogVacay.com do a background check on canine hosts to make sure that they are qualified to watch your dog, and the founders of DogVacay.com have in fact turned away potential dog boarders who didn’t meet their criteria. It's also free to join and communciate with potential dog hosts, with no fees or obligation until you make a reservation. While this makes a lot of the process easy there are, of course, still other considerations when looking for a vacation sitter for your dog. Here are some things to look out for when selecting an in-home boarding spot for your dog:

Is the home of the dog owner clean and safe? Before agreeing to send your dog to stay with a family while you’re on vacation, you’ll want to check out the facility and make sure your dog will be placed in a home that is dog friendly and secure.

Are the homeowners reliable and responsible? Have they watched other dogs before and, if so, did they receive a positive review for their services?

Are there dogs in the house? How many other dogs does the homeowner have? Are they well-behaved? Does your dog get along with the other dogs? If your dog is small and tends to be easily frightened by large dogs, you won’t want to board him in a home that has three Saint Bernards.

Is the schedule of the dog watcher conducive to your dog? When selecting a host for your dog, you’ll want to make sure that they are available to maintain your dog’s regular feeding and exercise schedule. For instance, if your dog needs to take a heartworm pill at noon every day, you’ll want to make sure to pick a home for him to stay in with an owner who will be there to distribute his medicine to him at that time.

Will the potential dog watchers be able to meet the needs of your dog? Are they able to take your dog on his usual three walks a day? Will they brush his teeth at least twice a week? Will they give him a bath if he gets dirty?

In-home dog boarding is a great way to ensure that your pet is safe while you’re away on travel. When selecting a home for your dog to stay in, make sure that you ask a lot of questions and that you pick a responsible dog sitter who will make your dog as comfortable as you are while you’re away on vacation. Also make sure the dog watcher has your veterinarian’s information and your out of town contact number, and knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Would you like to become an in-home dog sitter yourself? Find out how here.

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