The Pros and Cons of Boarding Your Dog

Updated On: Friday, November 19, 2021 13:29:01 PM America/Los_Angeles

Dog paw-rents have a limited number of options when it comes to care for their fur babies while they’re away from home. Some prefer kenneling or boarding, while others prefer pet sitters or dropping their dog off at a relative’s. There’s no one size fits all with this one, and it really depends on the needs of both pet owners and their pets. Here, we talk about the pros and cons of each as well as how to make your time away a smoother process for your pup.

Photo by Jana Shnipelson

Do Dogs Enjoy Boarding?

For some dogs, kenneling or boarding may be the more practical route. Some may even prefer this option! If you have an extroverted dog who loves canine companionship, boarding might help them feel more comforted than being at home alone. 

Another population that might benefit from boarding are those who have a lot of energy or engage in destructive behavior if left alone. Some boarding locations have safe and enclosed areas that allow their furry guests to roam, which can be great for dogs who need to be active. Destructive behavior when left alone can signal separation anxiety, and having more constant human and canine presence may help these dogs feel more secure.

Why Shouldn’t I Kennel or Board My Dog?

All dogs are unique, and each pup will find security in different environmental factors. Some dogs prioritize the presence of other dogs and humans, while some will prefer familiarity of their home over social interaction. If you have an introverted pup or a dog who becomes stressed by unfamiliar situations, then having them stay at home with a pet sitter may be a safer bet. There, they’ll have the comfort of their own bedding and security of knowing exactly where to find food and go potty. 

A middle ground would be to take your dog to a family member’s home. If you know your pup struggles with being alone but also prefers familiarity, take them to a relative you know your furry one is comfortable around. Bring along their usual bedding, treats, and toys to help them feel right at home. 

What If I Want to Keep My Dog at Home?

The most common alternative to boarding is keeping your dog at home. Depending on your dog’s needs and preferences, having your pup stay home may be the less stressful alternative. Here are some tips for a successful stay home alone: 

  • Develop a relationship with your dog’s sitter: If you don’t already have a consistent sitter, help your dog develop a connection with one right away. Have the sitter visit before you leave so that your pup can recognize the sitter as a safe person. It helps for them to see you interacting in a calm and friendly way with this new person who your dog will soon be sharing a space with and relying on. 
  • Provide an indoor dog bathroom: While you may be there to let your furry one out between walks when you’re at home, they don’t have that luxury when you’re away. Make sure a pee pad like DoggieLawn is readily available so they can use the pet potty whenever the urge strikes them. 
  • Make interactive toys readily available: A lack of mental stimulation does more than result in a bored doggo. Boredom can exacerbate separation anxiety or result in destructive behaviors. In severe cases, not having enough mental stimulation can even lead to depression. 

Check out more ideas on how to keep your furry rascal occupied here. Though we all hate to be away from our dogs, there are plenty of ways we can help make the time apart as easy as possible!