We asked Helga AuYeung, owner of Liberty Pooch, to shed some light on the option of home-style boarding for your pet while you’re away.
Check out what she had to say below!
What is Home-Style Boarding?
Home Style Boarding is exactly as it sounds. Your pet will be cared for out of the Residence of the caregiver. Whether it be a house, townhome or condo, your pet will stay in the comforts of the caregivers’ home. As such, there are typically only a small number of dogs that are boarded at one time. Usually cage-free (unless specifically requested), home-style boarding provides a more personal touch compared to a kennel or a facility.
Why Home-Style Boarding?
A home-style boarding option allows for more personalized care- because there are a smaller number of dogs being cared for, the dogs get more one-on-one attention from the caregiver- just like at home! And, being in a home environment creates a cozier, comfortable space that will have a similar general feeling to their own home.
What to look for in a Home-Style Boarding Service?
Here are the top requirements you should check for when searching out a home-boarding service for your pet:
- Check caregiver references and reviews, and request a home visit
- Look for a caregiver that has Pet First Aid Certification, and is insured and bonded
- If the caregiver has children or pets of their own, make sure your dog is compatible
- Ask where your dog will be sleeping, how many times they will go out each day, how often they will be communicating with you while you are away, and how often they will be left unattended
- Is there a yard? Dog Park? Green space nearby? Where will they go on walks, or for quick ‘bathroom breaks’?
Safety and Security on Walks.
No one wants to go away on vacation with deep concerns about their pet’s safety with the boarding option they chose. Does your dog do better on a solo walk? Be sure to find out what the daily walk structure is, and don’t feel shy about voicing your dog’s preference, whether it’s a solo walk or with the rest of the group. Also, if greenspace or dog park ‘free time’ is included, make sure you are made aware of the areas that will be visited, and let your dog’s caregiver know if your dog can be off leash, or must be kept on leash at all times.
Red Flags – what to be cautious of?
Like many situations in life, your gut feeling is a good indicator of whether or not you should move forward with a decision. Never compromise your pet’s safety for convenience or a good price- don’t move forward with a company if:
- The caregiver refuses a home visit.
- If you do not feel comfortable during your home visit, or the caregiver refuses to provide you with any references/reviews- trust your gut and find another service
- If your dog does not seem to get along with the caregiver’s dog or vice versa, and the caregiver insists this will not be a problem.
- If there are used pee pads lying around, the residence does not seem clean, or if there are dangerous objects lying around that may be hazardous to your pet.
- If they do not ask you questions about your dog’s health, eating habits, exercise needs, or any potential medical issues
- Don’t choose a home-style boarding service if anything about their home space or caregiving style makes you or your pet uneasy- the last thing you want on your trip is to be worrying about the safety of your pet!
- Do choose a home-style boarding service with strong references, readily-available proof of certifications and insurance, and you and your pet are comfortable with.