Health and Wellness, Roadtrips, Vancouver

Finding a boarder

October 29, 2014
We are off to Mexico in a couple days and we’ve had a bit of a trouble finding a place to keep Whiskey while we are gone, probably because I’m very picky and only want the best for her. Our main concerns were that she would have off leash walks at least once a day, that she would be closely monitored on the small chance that her first heat might start early (very tricky!), and that she would get lots of cuddles and human attention. Honestly I wouldn’t have booked the vacation had I known we were getting a puppy but the vacation was pre-paid, no refunds before we knew about Whiskey.

There are so many choices in Vancouver for boarding and we visited 4 locations before making our choice. We considered her staying with her walkers, daycare locations, some excellent “getaways for dogs” and kennels. In the end we were recommended a professional home boarder that doesn’t work and stays home with her child. I’ll update you when we come back on how it all works out! Here’s a compilation of choices we had:

positives: One of the best case scenarios is that you have family willing to take in your dog while you’re gone.  It’s free (hopefully!) and they have more invested because they know you.  Also they will know your dog, their issues, and wouldn’t be a stranger.
negatives: If your dog needs lots of exercise, depending on whom takes care of them, they may not be able to let them out as much.  Then again the opposite could happen where they have more free time to take your dog out. A well meaning family member could be “softer” on the rules then you and encourage bad behaviour.

eg a Dogs Life
positives: if your dog has dog aggression issues, this will ensure he has his own space.  Some kennels are very clean and have runs attached to them.  They are usually temperature controlled, have beds and you can easily separate sick dogs. Usually cheaper than a “dog getaway”.

negatives: They look like prisons and dogs don’t usually get natural grassy areas to run and socialize with other humans and dogs. The quality of kennels can range and you have ensure your dog will have enough human interaction. Walks may not always be included.

professional home boarding
eg Deepcove dog, Mountain and Wave
positives: More one on one human time.  Sleeping in a homey environment.  Less noise, less stress and faster feedback on issues. There will most likely be times your dog will be left alone (not a huge staff).  Hopefully the boarder is not a stranger, and most likely you will meet up first and see how the dog is reacting and the space they will stay.  Professionals should be insured, bonded and have first aid training. Most of the time a regular amount of walks are included.

negatives: hugely dependent on the person boarding the dog, make sure they have had Vizsla experience or are happy to learn about the breed ahead of time (no punishments or harsh “training” methods)

daycare boarding/ location getaways
eg Outward Hound, Ruff Stuff, Bowen Island Ranch
positives: Lots of playing time during the day with loads of other dogs.  Exercise will most likely not be a problem. Usually cheaper than other options. These are professionals so they tend to upload pictures and have reviews that you can read with ratings.

negatives: not as much human attention and contact, more potential to get sick and pick up bad behaviour. Not as well monitored since there are usually lots of dogs to person ratio. The staff may be students or not trained specifically with dogs. They may rely on dog playing for exercise so the dogs may not necessarily be walked on trails.

positives:  Usually cheaper with more personal time.  The dog gets a home style environment and you’ll probably get a better idea of how they’re doing.  You can give more one-on-one instructions and most likely it’s in a quieter environment than with lots of dogs. Usually a petsitter won’t take many dogs at once.

negatives: If you’re not going through a company like dogvacay, your petsitter could be uninsured and won’t be covering any accidents that occur during their stay. This person may not have the expertise to take care of tricky situations or dogs with issues.  They may also not reinforce all the training you’ve worked so hard on.  It’s so easy for a dog to learn bad behaviour that you may spend months having to retrain them.  They could be a stranger and you would really need to trust them.

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