So you want to try dog boarding!
If you’re ready for dog boarding, you are in for a loads of fun, some hard work, a lot of email and/or text messages, and a whole bunch of fur.
The first thing you are need to do is assess your living arrangements to determine if it’s suited to boarding dogs other than your own. Some things to consider:
- Do you own your own home?
- Do you have a secure yard?
- Do you have areas that can be/need to be closed off?
- Do you have a lot of delicate possessions?
- Are you home enough?
- Are your doors/gates secure?
- Do you like a lot of different dogs?
- Does your dog(s) like a lot of different dogs?
Dog boarding considerations for renters and homeowners
You don’t have to own your own home, but it obviously helps. If you live in an apartment, you’ll have to ask permission from your landlord and consider all the things that could go wrong in a home you don’t own. Are you prepared to make repairs if a dog scratches up your hardwood floors or tears up a screen?
You’ll also need to consider neighbors who live in the same building. A barking dog may disturb neighbors. Small children or even grown adults also might be afraid of strange dogs. Talk to everyone who could be impacted by adding dogs to your residence.
Even if you own your own home, you’ll want to prepare for potential mishaps. Would it crush you if a guest dog peed on your Oriental rug? Do you have valuables that could be easily broken? Dogs may think that beautiful satin pillow you got in Turkey is a chew toy or that jumping on your front door is a good way to get your attention. Look around and consider all the ways a dog might impact your home and plan accordingly. Move valuables someplace safer, invest in doggie gates, remove temptation. If taking such measures breaks your heart, dog boarding might not be for you.
The great outdoors
A yard is not a requirement for dog boarding, but it is something that potential clients look for. How secure is your yard? Really take a look, getting down on dog level. You may notice a vulnerability you couldn’t see standing up. Consider the fact that many dogs like to dig. How easy would it be for a dog to dig out and get away? Are the latches on your gates tight? Could a dog nose one open?
Also look at the foliage. A lot of common plants are dangerous to dogs. You may not have to remove those plants, but be prepared to keep a close eye on your charges if you do have dangerous foliage in your yard. Like your home, do make sure there’s nothing in your yard you can’t stand to get damaged.
How often are you home? Some clients will be fine if you work nine to five since that will mirror their dog’s typical day. But other dogs are more used to having someone around. Are you prepared to accommodate a request to get a dog outside in the middle of the day?
If your day job often keeps you at the office late, you may want to reconsider dog boarding. Most dogs don’t do well beyond a typical work day and if you routinely don’t get home until nine o’clock at night, your guests will be more likely to be destructive. Beyond that, most pet parents are looking for more care than that.
Probably the best case scenario is if you work from home. I am not there quite yet, although I’m lucky that my husband’s schedule is often a lot different from mine, plus we have a teenager who is around quite often, so someone is home much of the time.
The reality of dog boarding
The bottom line is to consider how much you really like dogs. Some people love their own kids but really don’t do well with their kids’ friends. The same can be true with dogs. If you aren’t the kind of person who has to meet every dog you see, this might not be the best business for you. Clients often choose to board their dog in someone’s home because they know the dog will get more than care; they’ll be loved. If you don’t feel immediate warmth at the sight of new dogs, you won’t be as successful regularly bringing them into your home.
Think about your dog, too. Is she the life of the canine party? Or is she timid or aggressive? Obviously, she may not get along with every dog, but in general you want to know that your dog is friendly with most other dogs. If you truly have no idea, take a visit to a dog park to see how she does. Otherwise, boarding dogs could become a nightmare for you and your dog.
We are so fortunate. The people in the house really love dogs. I (Dee/Mama 2) have always said that my goal is to meet every dog on the planet. Dog boarding has helped me to get closer to that goal! Cassie, too, our canine hostess, really does enjoy meeting other dogs. We started this type of work when she was quite young so it’s second nature to her. On the rare occasion when she is the only dog in the house, I wonder what she thinks.
So, what do you think: Is dog boarding for you?
Dog boarding has been a huge pleasure for our family. All of us, Cassie included, love to get to know new dogs. Our home is very accessible to dogs, with almost no area off limits completely. We do shut some doors when we leave the dogs at home and we make sure that anything valuable is kept out of reach. We’ve made tremendous friends of both the four- and two-legged variety thanks to dog boarding and for those who love dogs like we do, we highly recommend opening your home up to this fun business.
What’s your dog boarding situation?