Home boarding for dogs involves your dog going to stay at someone’s home whilst you are away. That means they become part of the hosts family for that period of time enjoying the comfort of a family home.
In 2018, new legislation was introduced which means dog boarders must obtain a licence from their council to home board dogs. This should provide reassurance when looking for dog home boarders as the Council have strict criteria for boarders to be approved.
How does it work?
Usually the dog home boarding company will offer you a meet and greet with the host family they match your requirements to. This is a great chance to take your dog to the host families home and discuss your dog and their quirks! You can also see first hand how your dog is in a new environment with new people. As usual, gut instinct can be a big influence here.
You can also ask the home boarding company if there is an option to book an overnight trial stay with the home boarder. Most companies will be more than happy to do this, but there may be a fee for the stay. This will give you peace of mind prior to booking a big stay away for your dog.
Will there be other dogs there?
This depends on the policies of the boarding company. Some home boarders may have their own dog(s) which is why the meet and greet is so important to check everyone gets on. At Scamps and Champs, we only ever board one families dogs at a time. We feel this adds an extra level of protection against any problems with dogs getting along.
There are also boarders without dogs if your dog is more suited to being the only dog around.
What does my dog need when going to a home boarder?
Try and think through your dogs daily routine and pack anything associated with this. Here is a basic (not exhaustive list):
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Favourite comforter
- Towels (for those muddy walks!)
What will my dog do whilst I am away?
If the match is right, your dog will settle in to the host families home and become ‘their dog’ for the period of time you are away. The home boarder will try to keep your dogs routine as close to normal as possible to ensure a smooth transition. Your dog will get their usual walks and lots of fuss and cuddles if they’d like it (a boarders favourite thing!).
Once settled, a good host should send you regular updates and feedback about your dogs stay so you can relax knowing they are well cared for.
What if there is an emergency with my dog?
Whilst we don’t like to imagine the awful situation of our dog becoming unwell whilst we aren’t around, good boarding companies should prepare for this. This should be part of the initial paperwork when you can leave details of your veterinary practice and who to contact in emergency if you aren’t contactable. Boarders would always act in your dogs best interests and contact you where possible.
Anything else to know?
Home boarding is constantly increasing in it’s popularity, and with the rise in people getting pets during the lockdown period, if you have specific dates in mind and want to secure a good home boarder, book as early as possible.