Dear Preston,

I am going out of town on a vacation and have to find a place for my dog to stay while I am away. Do you think it’s better to leave my dog at a doggy hotel or at a friends house?

Best,

Marcus

Dear Marcus!

Where are you going?! Hope it’s somewhere fun!!

The decision of whether to send your best friend to a doggy hotel vs a trusted friend is not always easy.  For me, I have never gone to doggie daycare, and I much prefer the company of human friends and close canine pals.  If I were to be placed in a boarding situation, I would become extremely stressed, and confused, and likely depressed.  I’m not the kind of dog who plays at the dog park… and I don’t like being surrounded by a pack of dogs I’m not familiar with.  I am grateful that mom is surrounded by incredible, loving friends who enjoy my company while she is traveling.  I love remaining in a home environment, where my human friends can stick with my regular routine, and let me sleep in their bed at night!

You never know what the other dogs may be like at a boarding facility.  And I would feel grossed out to be surrounded by dogs who aren’t potty trained or constantly mark their territory.  Just as I would feel uncomfortable to be around dogs who may have behavioral issues.  I like to spend most of my day lounging on the couch watching tv, cuddling with people, and if my human sitters need to leave the house, I don’t mind being left alone for most of the day.  So if your dog is like me, then I would highly recommend your friend watch him or her.  Sorry for the ruff 2 cents ;) I know I can be opinionated!

That said, my sister Penelope and brother Winston are far more “normal”… they love being a dog, doing doggie things, and frolicking with other energetic dogs 24/7 for them, is like me coming home to mom barbecuing filet mignon.  My canine siblings have spent time at quality dog daycare facilities, and love having the freedom to run around all day like maniacs.  They don’t mind sleeping in a crate or kennel at night, because they have been raised to be less dependent on humans than I have.  They are potty trained, but cannot be left alone for long periods of time without finding something fun to destroy.  So the structure of doggie daycare makes more sense for my siblings, unless a very patient and attentive human is willing to watch them.

Here are a few questions to help you decide what’s best for your dog:

  • How old is your dog?
  • How is your dog’s health?
  • Is your dog current on its shots, or vaccination titors?
  • Is cost a factor?  Does the doggie hotel have any add-on training options available?
  • Would your dog prefer to spend most of their day sleeping, or playing with other dogs?
  • Has your dog already spent any time in daycare?
  • How does he or she like doggie boarding?
  • How well does your dog know your friend?
  • Does your friend have other dogs or children?
  • If so, how does your dog get along with your friend’s family?
  • Will your friend be home most of the time, and able to spend quality time with your dog?
  • Where do you think your dog will be happiest?

Ironically, I am writing this article as my mommy is packing for a business trip to Nashville :( and my siblings and I are about to split up for the next week, because it is too much for any of mom’s friends to watch all three of us at once!  Thank goodness I will be staying with my human Auntie Cori, and my gorgeous chihuahua girlfriends Sophie & Lexie.  Meanwhile, Penelope & Winston are heading off to spend the week with our husky friend, Luna at Auntie MarMar’s house.  As much as we will miss our mom, I know it will be a fun week for everyone :)

Remember, the decision of whether to board or dog or not is a personal one, and only you know what is best for your dog.  We all have different needs, and no situation is the same.  I hope my 2 cents helps you decide what is best for your dog!

Wag on,

Preston