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Do Dogs Prefer to Board or Stay at Home?

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Golden retriever dog lays on couch wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a red robe. He appears to be holding a TV remote.

People often ask if dogs prefer to stay home or board when their people travel. In my opinion, it depends on the dog. If your dog is timid and dislikes the high-energy social environment of most boarding facilities, he or she will likely do better at home with a pet sitter. An aggressive dog should remain at home, too, for obvious reasons. A great sitter is usually more expensive than boarding, however, and finding and keeping a skilled and reliable sitter can be difficult in an industry of here today, gone tomorrow people. A quality pet sitter, a person who will charge a bit more for his or her service, provide top quality care, and be reliable and honest, is worth the money. Though some dogs prefer staying at home, in my experience most enjoy themselves more when boarding because of the social interaction, exercise, and fun. Who doesn't like to hang with friends old and new? This assumes, however, that the boarding facility lets the dogs play together all day. Most don't. These confinement-type kennels are little more than holding facilities that provide almost no exercise and mental stimulation. Sort of like spending time in jail. Most of our clients' dogs begin wagging and whining with excitement when realizing where they are coming to our place. They jump out of the car and without looking back run into the playroom or exercise yards checking to see which of their friends are around. They are happy and excited. Your dog's reaction says everything. So think about your dog. Does he or she love to run, socialize and play with other dogs? Or does he or she prefer relaxing at home? He or she will tell you which option is best.

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