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Dog boarding kennels and holidays

(79 Posts)
bytheway Thu 23-Sep-21 08:23:06

Last year we got a puppy, she is the most adorable dog and we are very close.

I had wanted a dog for ever but due to working full time felt it was unfair, anyway I finally retired last year and we got a puppy.

Part of the pleasure of retirement was that we like to travel and could go away at a moments notice…which we do…travelling and finding accommodation with our pup has been easy but I have found that whilst we are away there are lots of things we can’t do with a pup.

We can’t wander round shops, go into stately homes, go out for meals etc etc…

I have considered leaving her in a boarding kennel but every breath in my body tells me she would hate it…and I would spend my holiday worried sick.

At home she has loads of attention, is very sociable but is scared of big dogs she doesn’t know or large groups of dogs. She is a toy Cavapoo so quite a small dog.

I have no one else who could look after her.

Has anyone else had this problem? How did you get over it?

Aveline Thu 23-Sep-21 08:27:03

My DD's friend takes in dogs for short term stays. They live with her in her house and she looks after them like her own. She'll sometimes have two or three at a time but only if they're all 'friends'. She knows all her regulars well and is always busy. Does anyone local to you provide such a service? More dog boarding than actual kennels.

Josianne Thu 23-Sep-21 08:27:42

Do you know what, bytheway, I nearly set up a business in our seaside town this summer looking after holidaymakers' dogs while they went for meals out and on the beach (where dogs aren't allowed)! It is a real problem for them, I know exactly what you mean.

Gingster Thu 23-Sep-21 08:35:25

Yes, having a dog can be a big tie!
We have a 4 yr old cockerpoo who we love to bits.
We are both retired so little pooch is hardly ever left alone.
We have a holiday home by the sea in this country, so it’s ideal for her.
My DS1 always has her for us if we go away for a couple of days.

But still we have to think about her - we haven’t been able to go to our local nature reserve or the RHS since having her and on,y leave her for short periods. We haven’t been on a cruise or abroad since we had her,
We wouldn’t have another.
Please think long and hard about having a pup when you retire.

I think the best thing for you is whatAveline says. Find a dog minder in their own home.

Having said all that - enjoy your pup 🐶

Nonogran Thu 23-Sep-21 08:45:51

Get a house/dog sitter. There are organisations on line who provide this service.
As a trusted friend to dog sit? My partner and I have done it for friends.

MayBeMaw Thu 23-Sep-21 08:50:41

I have considered leaving her in a boarding kennel but every breath in my body tells me she would hate it…and I would spend my holiday worried sick
Really? Oh dear!
Rosie 🐶 will be dropped off at our nearest kennels in a couple of hours as I am off on “granny duty” overnight. She pricks up her ears when she gets there and trots in quite happily and the better she gets to know the people there the easier it becomes.
I know she is safe, comfortable and with people who know about dogs.
Think of a child going to nursery because both parents have to work - of course they would rather be with you, but needs must, so you find a safe, loving environment and it also
helps your child to socialise and learn not to be entirely dependent on mummy and daddy.
Of course there are alternatives- for your dog when it comes to your holidays, house boarding, dog sitters, perhaps the ideal option but not necessarily perfect, as there may be issues of safety and insurance, but (and this is the big but) you chose to get a dog and that was likely to involve some lifestyle changes .
There are solutions, perhaps compromises, but if there weren’t nobody would ever have a dog!
It sounds as if home boarding or a “doggy friend” or family member might be best for you, or if she is crate trained, renting a dog friendly cottage where you can leave her just as you would at home if going out for a meal or to the cinema. Not all day but two or three hours should be possible.
Most dogs, once they have outgrown puppyhood will happily sleep for most of the day but I know you want your dog to be happy so do look at the various alternatives.

sodapop Thu 23-Sep-21 08:52:27

We leave our dogs and cat at a kennels we know and trust bytheway they are always perfectly fine. Don't get too hung up on this, generally kennel staff are professional and caring. I like to have a holiday where I can relax and not have to worry about animals for a short time, it's good for all of us. Talk to other people who use the kennels, visit, let your dog have a short stay first. Our kennels puts pics on FB so we can see they are all OK.

grannysyb Thu 23-Sep-21 08:54:08

My last dog went to a lovely lady when we went away. She owned three dogs and would board another couple. Abby was really happy there and never minded being left. It's not cheap, but is better than kennels.

Charleygirl5 Thu 23-Sep-21 09:10:20

Many years ago I looked after two dogs for a friend in my own home. One was a German Shepherd, the other an Old English sheepdog. When the couple returned, it was embarrassing because the sheepdog wanted to stay with me because he had had such a good time! My friend was in tears and the dog eventually left. At least she knew they had been well cared for!

Neen Thu 23-Sep-21 09:12:08

Hi . I used to work for trusted housesitters before I got Rana. Wow, I went and stayed at lovely homes from Wales to Cornwall to France. I loved it. Basically your vetted but the more sits I did the more reviews I got and the more places I got offered. Lots apply and you work out who you want in your home while on holiday.
No payment was paid tho I often got gifts back of holiday or a bottle of wine left in the fridge and booked again. For me it's a free holiday and the responsibility of loving their animals like your own, I did a Alpacca rescue place once randomly, want bizar animals.
If that's not for you then patstay is great, they match you with a family locally and they do as little as 24 hours to as long as you like and they are the only pet in that matched family's home, at least then it's local and the one up here send you watsapp pictures for the whole stay .

Hope it helps

As for days out, Google insured dog walkers and sitters in your area and i have Jane she comes and walks Rana and feeds her and has a play in the garden etc if I'm going to be more than 3 hours she does an hourly rate x

Sarnia Thu 23-Sep-21 10:28:55

Whatever you decide on, make sure you do your research. Since the huge increase in dog owners during Covid some people have set themselves up as dog groomers, day care providers, dog walkers and boarding. I use a lady who was providing all aspects of dog care long before Covid. She does it because she adores dogs and is not just in it for the money. Go and visit any places you think might fit the bill for your dog.

PernillaVanilla Thu 23-Sep-21 10:36:32

Our dog is an elderly rescue, who didn't do well in kennels when she was awaiting re-homing. She wasn't too impressed with doggie daycare either, so she comes in to the office with me on my working days now. We tried her out for a long weekend at a low density boarding kennels near us called a "pet resort" She was greeted on arrival by an army of lovely ladies and trotted off with them without a backwards glance. She recently went for a second visit and charged in on arrival and wasn't that interested in me when I collected her. I think that due to the lovely reception she had both times and the fact she didn't recognise it as kennels she actually really enjoyed herself. All our previous dogs have been very happy going to kennels for their holidays, so perhaps give it a go for a short break? Dogs don't think in the same way as us and have little concept of time, so she will probably be fine.

Scones Thu 23-Sep-21 10:49:15

Years ago we left our cats at a cattery when we went to Greece for a fortnight. We chose the cattery on personal recommendation and having done some research (pre-internet).

After a few days on holiday we bought a copy of the Daily Mail who had a feature on catteries where cats escaped/were not treated properly. Our cattery was the main one featured!!! We phoned my mum who went and got the cats.

We have never left our dogs in a kennels as a result. We adjusted our lives when we committed to getting dogs...we choose dog friendly accommodation and do dog friendly activities.

Last week we were in a traffic jam and pulled into a layby which happened to be alongside a kennels. The pathetic crying and constant barking was so heartbreaking were unable to bear sitting there to eat our picnic lunch and drove on.

I think, in extremis, I would leave our dogs with a dog sitter. There is a lovely lady in our town who treats all the dogs who stay with her as her own.

Scones Thu 23-Sep-21 10:52:05


Do you know what, bytheway, I nearly set up a business in our seaside town this summer looking after holidaymakers' dogs while they went for meals out and on the beach (where dogs aren't allowed)! It is a real problem for them, I know exactly what you mean.

I think this is an excellent idea. I live in a seaside town which won't allow dogs on the beach in summer. I often see one member of a family sitting on the prom with the dog whilst the rest of the family are playing on the sand. On wet days people could do indoor activities knowing their dog is safe and happy with you. We have a NT castle nearby who won't let dogs in too. You would do well I'm sure.

Granmarderby10 Thu 23-Sep-21 11:04:24

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if large stately homes and such like places had a dog crèche.

The reality is they would be an insurance and liability nightmare but still 💭…..🤔

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 23-Sep-21 11:06:46

Having rescue dogs which have been ‘dumped’, and therefore fear kennels, I simply don’t take holidays. My dogs are part of the family - I wouldn’t leave a child with carers in order to go on holiday. One’s lifestyle is something to consider when getting a dog. On one occasion we had no option but to leave our dog in kennels for three days as our son was getting married too far away for it to be fair on the dog to take her. We shopped around for kennels and eventually found a decent place. Some were dire, empty water bowls, sad dogs. Although I know our dog was well looked after while we were away I would only do it again in an emergency. Definitely not to go and enjoy myself. I know there will be much brick throwing but my opinion is you don’t have a dog if you like to go on lots of holidays, or you only go to places that will welcome your dog too.

MayBeMaw Thu 23-Sep-21 11:08:57

We used to go to Burghley horse trials every year taking our Labrador, then greyhounds with us. They loved walking the Criss Country course with us but when it got too much or it was just too hot, there was just that- a dog crèche in a huge marquee with separated off sections for each dog a bit like you get at the big dog shows. DH said he could have used one for husbands when I wanted to do some retail therapy!

MayBeMaw Thu 23-Sep-21 11:10:20

“Cross Country!” - not criss-crossing all over the place!

Chardy Thu 23-Sep-21 11:14:56

When our cav was a pup, twice we needed to go away overnight. She had a large (collapsible) crate where she slept at home, and this was her domain. A couple of times we left her in the crate at the Airbnb for 2 or 3 hours while we went where we couldn't take her.

Witzend Thu 23-Sep-21 11:26:24

I asked our vet which kennel he used for his own dogs. We started from when she was quite young, since there was no way we weren’t going away and like you, there was nobody I could leave her with.

I dare say our dog would have preferred to be at home, but she was invariably fine when we picked her up - albeit a bit hoarse from being able to bark all day with nobody telling her to shut up!
Please stiffen your feelings and just do it. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be all round. How about for just a night or a weekend at first? I’m sure your dog will be fine.

It’s worth mentioning that around here at least, we had to book kennels well in advance for holidays at any more popular time, ditto the cattery - we had both of them for over 14 years.

bytheway Thu 23-Sep-21 12:43:29

Thanks for all your replies which have given me food for thought. I did look a one home boarder locally who has a fabulous reputation but, unfortunately, they were not taking on any new dogs, obviously due to their reputation.

We do leave Ruby for up to 2.5 hours on her own at home occasionally and she is fine, I know because I have a camera on her and can check her whilst I’m out though not sure how she would settle in an unfamiliar place.

I think next time we are away I may leave her for short periods and, all being well, build up from there.

Alternatively I may look at home boarders. Tbh I really don’t wish to leave her with anyone but know that if there were ever an emergency I may have too.

Witzend Thu 23-Sep-21 12:49:17

I know people who’ve used home boarders very successfully, but I’d never have been happy to use one for our dog. She was intensely attached to me, so I know that if I happened to be out, and anyone was not absolutely vigilant about opening front doors, she’d be out in a flash, looking for me.

This did happen once, at the (unfamiliar to her) house of some relatives - she was off like a black streak, but luckily it was a very quiet road, so no harm done, phew.

Hetty58 Thu 23-Sep-21 12:56:34

bytheway, a lady in our road does dog sitting in her home and is very attentive and caring.

If I had to leave my little dog, my first choice would be to get my friend or grandson to come and stay here. If that wasn't possible, I'd happily leave her with the dogsitter.

I know she just wouldn't cope in kennels. My colleague left her dog in kennels for a week. When she collected him, he'd completely lost his bark - from all the constant calling - poor thing.

Hetty58 Thu 23-Sep-21 13:09:36


'Most dogs, once they have outgrown puppyhood will happily sleep for most of the day'

Really? Try telling my elderly JRT - mostly trotting around or flying about all day, with just a couple of naps!

Aveline Thu 23-Sep-21 13:19:32

DD once had a very daft Labrador. She absolutely loved a kennels that they used. She used to be so excited as they drove up the drive and was off like a shot the moment the car door opened. She positively raced in! I don't know what the secret was but obviously the staff loved her and vice versa. She'd cry as they drove her home. Very dispiriting for DD.