Thinking about letting someone board your dog (or other pet) in their home? Great! That might be a good option but before you hire that person for boarding, we’ve given you some questions and scenarios to think about.
With all the ‘on demand’ pet sitting and boarding companies and hobby sitters on Craigslist and Facebook, the waters can be tricky to navigate. But don’t fret, there are great pet care providers that can board your dog (and other pet) – you can use these questions to find them!
Dogs (or pets) That Might Do Well In A Stranger’s Home
- Puppies and dogs that are well-socialized and friendly
- Pups and dogs that are laid back and chill
- Dogs that don’t have severe behavior issues (like incessant barking, growling at new people)
- Dogs that like to meet new people
- House-trained and potty trained dogs
- Pets won’t destroy furniture, drywall, beds and crates
- Dogs that don’t have a history of abuse
- Cats that are social butterflies and like other people
- Kitties that don’t spray, urinate or mark regularly
- Caged pets like rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets and pocket pets that can be easily transported to a different location – and that settles in well
Does your dog (or other pet) fit in these categories? If so, he might do really well in a home boarding situation. However, we suggest you go through the lists of questions below and really consider asking the potential boarder some, if not all, and write the answers down. Your diligence could save your pet’s life!
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Reasons Why You Might Want To Board Your Dog At A Facility, Not In A Person’s Home
Dogs (or other pets) that will probably do better in a reputable kennel, doggie daycare or veterinarian’s office can display these behaviors and actions:
- Separation anxiety
- Destructive chewing
- Habitual marking
- Excessive fecal habits or vomiting (from nervousness)
- Incessant barking
- Food and/or water gorging/restriction
- Medical issues
- Aggression or unpredictability with other pets (and people)
Also, it’s not just the pets that can do better with boarding or kenneling; sometimes it’s the humans!
We understand that some pet owners get nervous thinking about a stranger in their home. In that case, you can board your dog because that and kenneling at a vet or doggie daycare are the only other options.
However, if you find a reputable pet sitting professional, they should be able to help you get over your fear if you want to consider in-home pet sitting. Again, this isn’t the best option for dogs that display some of the behaviors above, but a thorough consultation should give you an idea if pet sitting can work or not.
Before you look at the list of questions we think you should consider, take a look at this video. In it, I highlight one question in particular because it’s a doozy; especially if you have a dog (or cat) that doesn’t like other animals. Also, I do mention a couple other questions pet parents should ask a potential boarder to really find someone that will be a good fit for you, and your pet.
Look At It From Your Pet’s Perspective
You might feel like you’re being nosy when you ask the questions below. But think about it. You wouldn’t just trust a new baby sitter with your child without seeing where your child will spend time and you’ll definitely want to meet the caregiver. We hope you put the same priority into finding the right person to watch your pet. Don’t just trust someone because you found them on DogVacay, Rover, Nextdoor, Facebook or other pet sitting or boarding app.
Look at it from your pet’s perspective. They’ll be dropped off at a stranger’s house, with be forced to stay with new people and maybe other pets. What if your dog doesn’t like kids and there’s a house full of them? What if your little Pomeranian was abused by a man before you adopted him and the boarder lives with two guys?
These are just two situations out of hundreds that could happen. You can prevent some of this from happening if you do a little legwork beforehand.
Scroll Down This List Of Questions. Can You Imagine Answers That Would Make You Second Guess The Person? Do You Automatically Get Uncomfortable Thinking About How The Person Could Answer The Questions?
- How did you get into this business?
- Why do you like boarding dogs?
- Do you have a cell phone and/or house phone?
- How long have you been boarding pets in your home?
- Do you have pets of your own?
- Do you have a fenced in yard?
- What veterinarian do you use?
- Do you have a car in case there’s an emergency and you have to take my pet to the vet?
- If it’s an apartment, ask if they have permission from the landlord to board pets and if so, what’s the limit?
- Many apartments prohibit Dobermans, Chows, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds. Ask if there apartment has any restrictions if you have one of these dogs.
- Are there any subdivision, municipality or homeowner association rules prohibiting boarding of pets or certain breeds of pets?
- Do you have your own insurance policy?
- Do I need to bring my own dog crate or do you have one? Is it the right size for my dog?
- Do you have an official pet care business or are you working under a company like Rover or DogVacay?
- Do you have a website or Facebook page?
- Can I call a couple of your past clients for references?
- Where will my dog will go outside to potty?
- If they’re boarding your cat, how often will the scoop the litter box and feel your kitty?
We’re Half-way Through, Don’t Forget To Ask These Important Questions Before You Board Your Dog!
- How often will my dog be allowed to go outside to potty?
- How will you handle it if my dog (or cat) has accidents in your home?
- What type of cleaning products do you use to clean up pet messes?
- Do I have to provide my own pet food or do you supply it?
- Do you have roommates, kids or other people frequenting your house?
- Will my pet be restricted to a room by himself or free in the house with you?
- Where will my pet be while you’re not at home?
- How long are you typically gone for at one time?
- What happens if something happens to you while you’re watching my pet? Do you have a back-up plan? Do you have people that can take care of my pet?
- Can I see where my pet will spend the majority of their time?
- Do you have a cancellation policy in case I come back early?
- What are your fees?
- If my pet escapes, will you do?
Asking someone to board your dog or watch your pet involves a lot of trust.
The boarder has huge liability and responsibility – please don’t take it lightly.
We want to help you and your pet have the best experience possible.
If you decide not to kennel or board your dog and want to try pet sitting, contact us. We offer overnight pet sitting for pets that require a little extra TLC while their parents are away, dog walking and pet sitting services.
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”
P.s. Book now for summer vacation! Our schedule is filling up fast!
P.p.s. Do you think your pet care provider should have a car? What would happen if your pet has an emergency? Read this article to see our take on it.