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We are going to be away from our puppy overnight for the first time in Sept. :( She will just be turning 5 months. We'll be away for 3 or 4 nights. I'm struggling with whether to board her or have a petsitter come in. I understand this may be one of those things where a dogowner just has to go with their gut, but I'd appreciate any feedback. :)

Part of me wants to board her, so that she gets used to it and then we'd have a consistent place to take her when we are away overnight, which happens about 4-6 times a year. She's going to daycare at this place once in a while starting in Aug, and I'm pretty comfortable with that. My main concern is that she might be too young to board overnight there at just 5 mo. They take the dogs out at night for the last time at 9:30pm and return at 7 am. Currently, Gypsy goes out around midnight and again at 5 am, and sometimes once in between (not often). She wakes us up when she has to go. Would boarding her be a big setback in potty training?

I also worry about her being "alone" at the kennel overnight since she sleeps in her crate in our room where she can tell we're there and is very used to being with people. The boarding facility did remind me that she'll be playing all day every day with them and other dogs, so she may be more inclined to sleep through the night when she's there. What do you think?

Is it generally less stressful on the dog to have a petsitter come into the dog's home? We have a few people we trust who can stay with her, but not the same person each time we're gone due to everyone's busy schedules. Is having a different petsitter each time or every few times too inconsistent?

I'm sure I'm overthinking all of this, but I'm just feeling guilty and stressed about leaving her overnight. :( I want to stick to whichever plan will help her be most confident and well adjusted when we have to be away. What do you do when you have to be away?
 

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I board my dogs and they love it. It's one of the few, real opportunities they have to play as much as they want with other dogs. It's not a traditional boarding facility though. It's a friend of mine, a practicing vet who boards dogs in her home. Mine get the run of the house, along with her dogs so, it's a home away from home for them.
 

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I board my dogs and they love it. It's one of the few, real opportunities they have to play as much as they want with other dogs. It's not a traditional boarding facility though. It's a friend of mine, a practicing vet who boards dogs in her home. Mine get the run of the house, along with her dogs so, it's a home away from home for them.
Tooney That sounds great. How much does it cost you?
How common is this? I've wondered if this kind of care was avaliable and haven't found any around here. I suspect that I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway.

We boarded Rufus for two nights last year and I felt pretty guilty even though he was supposed to have two play sessions a day with other dogs. He's not crated and has run of house and two cats to harrase.

We used to board our Akita once a year for a week at the same place, and occasionally other times.

Mike

PS I'm going to hit the lottery this week and visit my daughter in Africa for a month then my son in Thiland so I need to know LOL
 

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If this is an interactive facility (which I'm assuming it is), and the dogs are playing all day, then yes, the dogs will be knocked out by the end of the day. I have worked for a couple different interactive facilities, and I have witnessed all of the dogs passing out the second they get into their runs at night. The only dogs that have really had problems sleeping are dogs who have that problem at home (ie, we had a husky who had anxiety issues and did the same thing at home all the time, he did get much better over time though, and we didnt really have to medicate him at all by the time i stopped working at that place). So if your dog is pretty good about sleeping, then he will more than likely be fine at a kennel. Especially since shes a puppy, all the stimulation all day will be a lot for her, she will be really tired bythe end of the day, not to mention she will probably sleep for 1 to 2 days when she gets home.

I wored in a place with a similar time frame, and if the dogs had to go, they could go in the runs (everything was sanitized everyday anyway). Most didnt, and held it, b/c most don't go where they sleep, but some just couldnt hold it. We however, never heard a single complaint about it affecting housebreaking at home, not even for puppies, who usually did have accidents. I think dogs can see theres a difference between the kennel and home.

I'm sure there are some great pet siters out there (one in the thread thracian gave to you). But I am always cautious of anyone who you give a key to your house to. With a kennel, you have to trust them with your dog, with a petsitter, you have to trust them with not only your dog, but your house and your possessions. i think people are sometimes too naive about petsitters. If you do use a petsitter, make sure they are legitimate and have insurance and references that check out. I also wouldnt suggest using the people who advertise like crazy (like the craigslist people). I would use someone who isnt really in it for the money, more as a side job. I'm sorry, I may sound really negative about it, but i hear horror stories from new customers all the time at the kennels (not to mention the story i told on the other thread).

And yes you may be overthinking it just a tad. I know its hard, but the less of a deal you make of this, the better your dog will adjust to yu leaving. I can tell you first hand what happens if yuo make a big deal. The people who cry before leaving their dog, tell them how much they will miss them, hug them, say good bye a million times, those are the dogs that need a few days to get used to us and the kennel. The people who say "bye fido, have a good time" and leave it at that, those dogs dont usually need much more than 5 minutes, if any time at all, to get yused to us. So I understand it may upset you, just dont let your dog know it. I know some pup parents who just dont take their dogs. Some places do pick ups, or you can have a friend do it. it really is best for the dog if you make it really simple. not that you are going to freak out or anything, im just letting you know.

and finally, 5 months isnt too young for boarding. Like i said in the other thread, we had a 15 week old over 4th of july board with us. At 5 months, she should be done or almost done with shots, so everything should be fine. you actually should start things like this (boarding, grooming, vet visits, etc), at a young age. If you do things from puppyhood, adult dogs are soooooo much easier to deal with. I can always tell when dogs are socialized and started at a young age, as oppossed to dogs that were kept more sheltered as puppies.
 

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Tooney That sounds great. How much does it cost you?
How common is this? I've wondered if this kind of care was avaliable and haven't found any around here. I suspect that I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway.
She charges $15 a day per dog. It's farily common especially among members of a dog club where the folks often exchange sitting services for each other. Members are often pet sitters, vets, vet techs, involved in rescue, work with service/therapy dogs, competition....typical hard core dog people.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! The other thread was very helpful as well. We decided that if we can get our friend to come and stay with Gypsy the first time we're gone overnight we will, just because I'm concerned 9 hours will be too long for her to go without a bathroom trip. But, if our friend is busy, we'll board her and I'm ok with it. If she does have an accident, it won't be the end of the world. I do think this place will take good care of her and if she does well there, it will be so awesome to have a place we feel comfortable leaving her for a few nights when necessary.
 
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