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So we went on vacation for only 5 days and I left my dog at a cage free boarding facility. I first went for a walk through and thought it was good and not only that but I knew 2 people (relatives) that used this same place and were happy and when dogs came in they pulled and pulled from the owner to go to the back. So I felt 90% good about leaving him. Upon picking him up he just didn't seem right so I took him in to the vets and he had a fever and conjunctivitis his collar smelled horrible like poop was all smeared on it and it was lightly washed off, threw that away real quick.

He is now better after antibiotics etc. But now where do I go if I need a boarding place! It just makes me mad that paying $45 a night and I get him back like that. Sometimes I think ok no more vacations because good help is hard to come by. I would easily pay more a night assured that he would be well taken care of.

Sorry just had to vent.

 

Btw I checked out a few other places and they were no good plus they were kept in cages and he does not do cages well at all. Blah to boarding places!

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Have you thought about getting an in-home sitter? I don't have specific advice about boarding kennels because I personally wouldn't do that...it's not right for my kids' temperament. With 5 dogs it's also a lot cheaper to have someone come to the house :)

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I second a sitter or at least just having someone stop by a couple times a day.

 

I have a neighbor that comes over twice a day when we're gone to visit and put the dogs outside in the morning then feed, visit and let them in at night. She will walk them too if needed.

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We used a petsitter when we went away for a week this summer. I posted something on the kids' school listserve asking for recommendations. Within 24 hours I had a slew of individuals to choose from, mostly with quite a bit of experience working with animals. College students, kindergarten assistants looking to supplement their salaries now school was out, vet techs... I ended up hiring the older daughter of someone on the boys' robotics team, whose parents we knew pretty well. She was a college kid, a soccer player with an interest in getting lots of exercise and quite a bit of experience with animals. Duncan got at least five walks each day. He thought he was in heaven. And it even ended up costing less than a kennel would have. Plus we didn't need to get him vaccinated for canine influenza (which he would have needed had we boarded him).

 

The last time I boarded a cat, it was a 2-year-old cat that my older son doted on. We went away for spring break in Florida. At one point I asked him how he was enjoying things. He told me he loved it, "except I miss my cat". Well, when I went to pick the cat up from the vet's, the receptionist said "Oh. The vet wants to talk to you". Turns out said cat was at death's door. (Now why they didn't call me remains a mystery). At first they thought it was pneumonia. 24 hours and over $1K in treatment later they decided it wasn't pneumonia after all, but he wasn't responding to any treatment and bloodwork was showing signs of multiple organ failure and they were guessing it was cancer but told us he almost certainly wouldn't survive the stress of exploratory surgery. I know, I know, it might have happened anyway, but I'll never board a cat again.

 

At this point we have a totally awesome dogwalker. He took Duncan for a five-hour off-leash walk yesterday afternoon when we were out of town. (Of course that time involved picking up and dropping off other customers as well; not all of it was actually walking). He has multiple assistants so the ratio of dogs to humans is entirely reasonable. And he has an impressive rapport with dogs, won't take on customers if their dogs don't do well with other dogs, so he puts them through a screening process first. He will also "board" dogs in his house (no more than four at a time; they are allowed to sleep on his bed), and I may consider that option in the future.

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Meant to add: his boarding fees are no more than you'd find at a kennel. And his dogwalking fee is actually less than our prior dogwalker charged for an hour of on-leash walking around our neighborhood. Duncan votes for the off-leash hike through the woods instead.

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Dear Doggers,

Five sheepdogs and three guard dogs - one: old, sick and sleeps in the house. Anne and I rarely travel together or, for that matter, spend a full day in town together. We live between the Game Commission and National Forest and our nearest neighbor is a mile away. Some years ago, we left a somewhat smaller pack in the care of a neighbor boy. He was so worried that the dogs would take off once they were outdoors he didn't let them out. For three days.

 

Donald McCaig

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I wish I could use a petsitter, but without a fence here I wouldn't trust anyone else with my dogs. So alas I must use a boarding kennel because I haven't found anyone who boards in their house here yet. I am not a fan of cage-free, mainly because of my dog with issues, but also because there is too much potential for injury and other issues. So I use a kennel where I split my four between two suites. They're not taken out with other dogs, but they all go out together to romp in the kennel's secure fenced yard. It costs about $75-80 a night for all four.

 

Don't let one bad experience with a less-than ideal set-up turn you off from kenneling all together. When done right, it works well. Whatever option you use in the future, do your research!

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I will also recommend having a house sitter. We have always had 2 dogs and it is usually cheaper than boarding. We used to travel a bit and never had a problem with a sitter. In the beginning it was easier, we were younger and had lots of friends who were single and living with room mates so it was easy to bribe them to stay in our house. Today some of those friends are still single but own their homes so that plan no longer works. We have hired a sitter a couple of times, found through friends recommendations and never had a problem.

I have also located a couple of places that offer in-home boarding that I think offer a viable alternative now I have younger dogs.

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I like the idea of a pet sitter.... But I think I would be freaked out the whole time. On top of being worried about my dogs, I would be worried about my house. :unsure:

 

If I travel my mom watches my dogs. On the rare ocassion that we do travel together w/ family, we try to take the dogs with us. When we went to England, I boarded Daisy at my vet's office. This is where she goes to day care too. So she went to day care during the day and then spent the night in one of their "cabins" which is the biggest enclosure that they have - it's not a wire cage - more like a little room. I was able to bring her bed and a toy or two of hers that were safe to be left in her cabin with her over night. I felt comfortable leaving her their because she was familiar with the environment and the people. And as an added bonus, she was at her vet's office - which gave me piece of mind.

 

I know that there are some day care places that do board as well. Perhaps, you could check into one of those? That may allow your dog to become more familiar with the surroundings and allow you to get to know the people, etc?

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I think just like we have the "willing to transport list" we should all compile a list of each other and where we are located (we don't have to be specfic except in private messages) then trade off dog sitting each others dogs.

 

We all sorta know each other, how we take care of our own dogs and I would feel pretty comfortable with most of the members on this board to dog sit my dogs, either at my farm or at their place. which ever made it easier on the sitter.

 

If I can't use my family then I take mine with or don't go. After years, I think hubby might be bothered with the no vacation thing but he's the one that chose to move away from family so that counts them out for sitting. I myself don't like to travel without them. Even with trust worthy care, after about a week I'm a basket case missing and worrying about them.

 

But I have to add, A poopy collar smell could easily come from a group of dogs out in the grass, my dogs love to roll in wonderful things outside. Most of the time they don't have collars on but when they do and it's particularly bad, I usually toss the collar and start fresh. Other wise it gets bathed with the dogs, and I don't bath much. They swim in ponds or get hosed off when needed.

 

Don't know why, I just can't stand the idea of kenneling my dogs. They aren't wussy dogs, they can spend the night out in a friends kennel or sleep in the car, but I just can't stand the idea of leaving them somewhere in a kennel with people I don't know, likely they'd be just fine, I'm the real issue!

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There are plenty of horror stories regarding kenneling but I've worked for vets for over 15 years, all of who have had traditional kennels. We have had as many as 8 dogs, so when I trial, some get boarded. Granted, I know the operation since I work there but despite boarding elderly dogs and cats, one real heck of a butthead dog, and pups - I've only had one incident where a girl fed my cat the wrong food and he got the runs. No kennel cough, no truly sick animals and all of the dogs liked going to the kennel or at least showed no stress about it. Personally, I've seen far more "incidents" at cage-free type places. It's hard enough to leave dogs with strangers, but how many strangers would you trust to manage a pack of dogs at a time? I definitely don't want my dogs "running free" with dogs I don't know, whether they are screened for temperatment or not, there's chance that can go bad really fast.

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I also use an in home pet sitter if I absolutely can't take my dogs with me. Actually, taking the dogs, all four of them, is my preference. But when that's not possible, I get someone to stay at my house with them.

 

If that doesn't work for you, you might be able to find someone who would take your dog into their home. I do that for friends.

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Kris, I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. I'm not sure what you mean by "cage" but I'm guessing it's the floor to ceiling mesh wire space that would be a called a run if it were outdoors as opposed to a crate? ETA -- or is it the type of wire cage they use at the vet's office?

 

It's boarding for us... but we've got a great kennel in the neighborhood... I share my own experience to show that boarding your dog can be a positive experience -- if you find the right kennel. I've boarded my dogs for five years or so at the same facility that I am somewhat embarrassed to admit is cleaner than my own kitchen. Before we left Ladybug there for the first time the owner let me do a trial run -- it was back in the peaceful days of just Ladybug and she let me leave Ladybug for a half day on a trial basis (I paid for a day) to see if Ladybug would be okay as we'd recently rescued her from the SPCA and we wanted her to know we'd come back for her.

 

The dogs are housed separately in a large heated room (with a dividing wall so that the dogs don't face each other. The entire room, including the individual spaces for the dogs has tiled floors and walls (not concrete) and the owner accepts at most 12 dogs at at one time. Every effort is made to ensure that their individual diet and personality quirks are met. The dogs are let out every 4 hours during the day for exercise and bathroom duty. The kennel door opens up into a fenced in yard (that is also picked up regularly)- no chance of escape. Strange dogs are let out separately -- no chance of them "mixing it up on the playground." The health of the dog is primary...the dog is checked for any communicable disease before coming into the kennel and vaccinations must be up to date -- no excuses even if you've boarded there a month ago and the dog went out of date last week. Each kennel space is cleaned/disinfected before the next dog comes into that cage. The cost is half what you paid. My dogs are happy to stay and happy to come back to me and I go away with peace of mind.

 

My DH grumbles every time we go away...he'd rather not leave home, so he'd use any excuse for NOT going, including having to leave the pups, but even he acknowledges that they are in good hands.

 

So keep looking - there is someone out there who will take very good care of your dog if you ever need them to do so!

 

Liz

 

 

 

So we went on vacation for only 5 days and I left my dog at a cage free boarding facility. I first went for a walk through and thought it was good and not only that but I knew 2 people (relatives) that used this same place and were happy and when dogs came in they pulled and pulled from the owner to go to the back. So I felt 90% good about leaving him. Upon picking him up he just didn't seem right so I took him in to the vets and he had a fever and conjunctivitis his collar smelled horrible like poop was all smeared on it and it was lightly washed off, threw that away real quick.

He is now better after antibiotics etc. But now where do I go if I need a boarding place! It just makes me mad that paying $45 a night and I get him back like that. Sometimes I think ok no more vacations because good help is hard to come by. I would easily pay more a night assured that he would be well taken care of.

Sorry just had to vent.

 

Btw I checked out a few other places and they were no good plus they were kept in cages and he does not do cages well at all. Blah to boarding places!

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So we went on vacation for only 5 days and I left my dog at a cage free boarding facility. I first went for a walk through and thought it was good and not only that but I knew 2 people (relatives) that used this same place and were happy and when dogs came in they pulled and pulled from the owner to go to the back. So I felt 90% good about leaving him. Upon picking him up he just didn't seem right so I took him in to the vets and he had a fever and conjunctivitis his collar smelled horrible like poop was all smeared on it and it was lightly washed off, threw that away real quick.

He is now better after antibiotics etc. But now where do I go if I need a boarding place! It just makes me mad that paying $45 a night and I get him back like that. Sometimes I think ok no more vacations because good help is hard to come by. I would easily pay more a night assured that he would be well taken care of.

Sorry just had to vent.

 

Btw I checked out a few other places and they were no good plus they were kept in cages and he does not do cages well at all. Blah to boarding places!

I'm a pet sitter. I can usually do up to 4 or 5 dogs for about $40 a day. That is with 3 in home visits that last 1/2 hour.

 

There are some dogs that you have to board. If they are too aggressive or if they get destructive or bark nonstop. But if the dogs can stay by themselves and not wreck everything then they just do so much better if you can leave them at home. Some of the dogs I have just like to go out into the backyard for half and hour and wander around. Others I play with. And if there is no backyard I walk them for half an hour.

 

Kennels - even the really expensive ones - are just so stressful. So many strange dogs barking, strange smells, strange people. Its so hard on them. And then there are all of the illnesses that just lurk in those places.

 

When I go 3 or 4 times a day the dogs do really well. They are home and they are comfortable.

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I'm really glad that I have family that can care for my dogs. I've always either left them with family or taken them along. Missy does not do well when things aren't normal. I took her along to 2 out of state family weddings and she did fine. I left her home in the care of my brother's GF for the last family wedding I went out of state to attend and she was a basket case. After 2 days she stayed in her crate wouldn't go outside. At all. I felt bad for the GF becasue she is awesome and really tried hard. The only times she's done ok at home were when I left her with my grandparents - same property so when she did run home a couple times my grandma just came over and picked her up and took her back.

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we dont go on vacation much, as besides the dogs, we have the horses, cattle and sheep to care for as well..we have good neighbors whom we swap care with.

 

I boarded our dogs (3 at the time) once..I knew the lady personally, she had been my son's obiedience instructor. Her facility was second to none, sparkling clean and our dogs seemed quite content..Although, at $18 a day per dog, for 4 days, it added up. IMO, if you are paying for a service (espc what YOU paid) you should expect a certain amount of care..Im sorry you didnt receive it!

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I just couldn't sit here and not respond. I actually OWN a boarding kennel. I run it from my home. I work ALL the time. It is hard work, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Most of the dogs I keep LOVE it here. Quite frankly, they probably get more attention here than at home. Most pet people don't spend the time with their dogs that the majority of the people here do. I work really hard to make it a nice, small place. Quite frankly, "cage free" is a big fat gimmick to make people feel less guilty about leaving their dogs.

 

I'm a pet sitter. I can usually do up to 4 or 5 dogs for about $40 a day. That is with 3 in home visits that last 1/2 hour.

 

There are some dogs that you have to board. If they are too aggressive or if they get destructive or bark nonstop. But if the dogs can stay by themselves and not wreck everything then they just do so much better if you can leave them at home. Some of the dogs I have just like to go out into the backyard for half and hour and wander around. Others I play with. And if there is no backyard I walk them for half an hour.

 

Kennels - even the really expensive ones - are just so stressful. So many strange dogs barking, strange smells, strange people. Its so hard on them. And then there are all of the illnesses that just lurk in those places.

 

When I go 3 or 4 times a day the dogs do really well. They are home and they are comfortable.

 

 

I will NOT deal with the aggressive dogs, nor the excessive barkers. There are exceptions to the rule, but most of these problems stem from the owner's lack of training/socialization. And as far as the "illnesses" that lurk in "those places," do you change your shoes or disinfect them between the homes? How do you know you aren't bringing something onto someone elses property? My runs get disinfected and cleaned, more so than my own house to be honest. Not all pet sitters are the exact same either. It is rather obtuse to lump all of anything into one limited category.

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I suppose I'm in the minority here, but if I were going out of town I would want my dog in a boarding kennel with good, stout runs and the most secure perimeter fence ever. I don't like to leave my dog with friends or family. Accidents can happen, no matter how careful people are. I don't want to lose a friend over them letting my dog get out or putting her in a situation that might make her bite, etc. Yes, she would be bored. She'd probably take a day or so to acclimatize. But she would be safe, and I wouldn't risk having to be angry with family or friends who screwed up with my dog.

 

Do you have to choose your boarding facility very carefully? You bet! Do you have to shell out megabucks for them? Probably. It's worth it to me.

 

And I don't like those "doggie day-care centers" that have your dog in a big pen/room with a bunch of other dogs. I've seen too many sick or sutured dogs come out of those places. Even the well-recommended ones with "nannys" and video cameras. Give my dog a clean, 6' chain link run w/ a top on it, that gets scrubbed down once or twice a day, and has a blanket for her to curl up on the rest of the time. I'll provide the food and she's all set.

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I suppose I'm in the minority here, but if I were going out of town I would want my dog in a boarding kennel with good, stout runs and the most secure perimeter fence ever. I don't like to leave my dog with friends or family. Accidents can happen, no matter how careful people are. I don't want to lose a friend over them letting my dog get out or putting her in a situation that might make her bite, etc. Yes, she would be bored. She'd probably take a day or so to acclimatize. But she would be safe, and I wouldn't risk having to be angry with family or friends who screwed up with my dog.

 

Do you have to choose your boarding facility very carefully? You bet! Do you have to shell out megabucks for them? Probably. It's worth it to me.

 

And I don't like those "doggie day-care centers" that have your dog in a big pen/room with a bunch of other dogs. I've seen too many sick or sutured dogs come out of those places. Even the well-recommended ones with "nannys" and video cameras. Give my dog a clean, 6' chain link run w/ a top on it, that gets scrubbed down once or twice a day, and has a blanket for her to curl up on the rest of the time. I'll provide the food and she's all set.

 

I'm actually really glad you did post! And for what it's worth, I let my boarders out 4 times a day, the last being 10-10:30pm at night. I have very few that potty in their runs (which are 4'x18').

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I occasionally will take on a "boarder" so to speak - although usually these dogs belong to people I know. They stay with me as one of my dogs - although adjustments are generally made for the individual dog. So the thing is, any time you allow dogs to mingle like this there is ALWAYS the opportunity for the unforseen to arise.

 

For example: when Moon was a pup we had a run of the green eye goo through the dogs (when I say "we" I mean the conjunctivitis was not limited to just my dogs). I'd thought I'd had it under control (ie hadn't seen it for WEEKS) when I dog sat a non-border collie whose humans seemed to be new to dog owning. The eye goo had been gone long enough I didn't even give it a second thought. However, on the last day before the dog left I saw it pop up in one of my dogs - one of the ones that the boarding dog had played with. When they came to pick him up I warned them of it - explained that I was surprised by it, apologized, and gave them some details.

 

Sure enough, a few days later he popped up with it. They were LIVID. They actually will not speak to me to this day. I was preparing to offer to pay the vet bills but they wouldn't answer my return emails and I finally dropped it. But truly, this is the risk you take when you allow dogs that don't live together to play together. This particular dog had the TIME OF HIS LIFE. He'd never been loose in a house (they crate him when he comes in) and had never played with other dogs. Had I known that I hadn't fully rid my dogs of the conjunctivitis I would have kept him completely seperated. In fact, a few weeks after that two other dogs came to stay - and I forewarned them that it had popped up again and even though I'd treated everyone again it was a possibility. They wanted their dogs to stay - as usual.

 

But I didn't know - and I can guarantee you that unless the owners of the kennel in the OP had SEEN the signs when the dog was admitted they wouldn't have known either. *shrug* If you have dogs for any length of time and they do anything other than hang out inside of your own house forever... these things will happen.

 

But we each have to figure out what we can live with and what we cannot. I'm probably the boarding house from you-know-where for the woman with the eye goo dog, but then for some people I'm one of the FEW places they'd ever send a dog to stay. It's all perspective (ie when I brought home my first puppy I was appalled and horrified that it had worms... now I know it just is part of the deal). It's all relative.

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but then for some people I'm one of the FEW places they'd ever send a dog to stay. It's all perspective (ie when I brought home my first puppy I was appalled and horrified that it had worms... now I know it just is part of the deal). It's all relative.

Yep, Laura and a couple other people are the only ones I'd leave my dogs with. I trust Laura so much that I send my special-needs dogs to her. I recognize that sh** happens, but I would choose a trusted friend over any other option any time. I don't particularly have anything against boarding kennels or pet sitters, but with 10 dogs that would simply be cost prohibitive not to count on my friends. And in turn, I keep their dogs for them when they travel. (Well, except ones that whine and howl, lol!)

 

J.

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I'm actually really glad you did post! And for what it's worth, I let my boarders out 4 times a day, the last being 10-10:30pm at night. I have very few that potty in their runs (which are 4'x18').

 

You're not my boarding kennel (if a disclaimer is necessary) but I'd sure bring my dogs to you in a heartbeat for the reasons Geonni states - I've got to know that my furry family is safe and I want runs, fences, a professional handler, who won't mix them up with other dogs and feeds them what I what them fed on schedule. None of my friends are set up to take care of three lively Border Collies and I'm off the beaten path for someone to come to the house -- if Ladybug would let them in...I'm lucky to have the person that I do in the area. Good people are out there.

 

I'm really hoping my husband doesn't get the idea of that RV -- He really hates to leave his pups behind :) and I'd never get away without them again - except for the future possibility of the odd trial, of course! If we get that far with one or both of the pups, we'll even take Ladybug!

 

Liz

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