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Discussion Starter #1
So I have to find a place to board our dogs for a week while we go to TX. I have never had to board a dog before so I've been reading posts here. I am worried. The places that I really like we can't afford. There is a cheaper place and a couple say they like the place but on their website it says they have 75to acres for your dog to explore. So my fear is they would let our dogs run loose in an unfenced area and the dogs might run off. They also boast they "offer" pedigree food but you can bring food from home. I thought about having someone come by and keep the dogs here but that'd really expensive. I can't afford 40 + per day for dog boarding. Im so worried about what to do. Guess im venting any suggestions anyone?
 

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Deep breath. If you have toured the place, asked questions and thoroughly investigated and it meets your standard (not exceeds but meets) then relax. No the dogs won't be at a spa while you are gone but they will be safe and cared for. If you have not asked, probed, toured, etc. then run for the hills.
A few pointers/things about boarders (and stuff you probably already know)
- Most of them offer some kind of holistic, natural, etc diet for the dogs. This is the norm for the most part (at least where I have lived)
- Ask them if the dogs are allowed off leash. Mine does not allow them off leash outside of their individual boarding kennels. Even walking between the kennel and the yard with a 10 foot fence and it is an all indoor facility. They should willingly answer.
- A good boarder is not afraid to show off the (tour) the facility at any time. I do not mind waiting my turn for a few minutes in line but I drop by out of the blue for a kennel tour and I expect to see everywhere my dogs will go/be.
-There are "kennel free" boarders that are pretty much a group of dogs allowed to run about in a contained area without ever being separated. This may be one of those (maybe).
- If you live in a small town then you may have trouble finding a boarder. Another option may be your vet. Ours has boarded our dogs before.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips I have not toured the one place we actually can afford because of the statement of having acres for them to explore. Most of the higher priced places said I had to make an appointment to tour. My vet doesn't board its a small town here.
 

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Thanks for the tips I have not toured the one place we actually can afford because of the statement of having acres for them to explore. Most of the higher priced places said I had to make an appointment to tour. My vet doesn't board its a small town here.
Give them a call, ask some questions. It may be worth it to tour. Are you driving? Are there places to board, NOT in your home town, but other towns not too far away? We actually drive 60 miles out of our way to board because we like the lady in a neighboring town.
 

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Thanks for the tips I have not toured the one place we actually can afford because of the statement of having acres for them to explore. Most of the higher priced places said I had to make an appointment to tour. My vet doesn't board its a small town here.
I will not board anywhere that does not allow a drop in tour. I want to see the facility as it could be when my dogs are there without me not how it can be when they are expecting someone.
Some places offer multi-dog discounts, multi-day discounts, etc.
When I travel I occasionally will look into a boarder/daycare where we are going (our destination). You could always drive with them, drop them off and then pick them up before you leave, this may widen your choices. Fax your records ahead and this may be something that may work for you. Depending on where you are going and where you are staying you may be able to put them in daycare for the day and keep them with you at night. That may also be a cheaper option. I know of boarders (personally boarded my dogs there) in North Texas and West Texas - PM me if you want names of the places.
 

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I will not board anywhere that does not allow a drop in tour. I want to see the facility as it could be when my dogs are there without me not how it can be when they are expecting someone.
I understand the reasoning for this, but I wouldn't automatically dismiss facilities that require scheduling tours. It can sometimes be really hard for an organization to accommodate someone who wants a tour, especially if they are very busy. A lot of times there is a designated person that gives tours, and the group wants to make sure that that person will be available to give the tour. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are trying to hide something.

It is a possible red flag, though -- especially if they seem annoyed about having to give you a tour. I wouldn't dismiss them without asking about the 75 acres thing -- they may just mean that there's 75 acres for dog walkers to take dogs out in. Go look at the place, and above all, trust your instinct. If there's something about the staff or the facility that makes you nervous, there's probably a reason for it.
 

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I understand the reasoning for this, but I wouldn't automatically dismiss facilities that require scheduling tours. It can sometimes be really hard for an organization to accommodate someone who wants a tour, especially if they are very busy. A lot of times there is a designated person that gives tours, and the group wants to make sure that that person will be available to give the tour. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are trying to hide something.
That's how it is for the boarding facility I work at. We aren't trying to hide anything and the facility is kept in the same condition (clean, cool, etc.) regardless but we are busy. It isn't a simple thing to just drop everything because someone walks in and decides they want a tour.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys I'm starting to feel better about this. I found 2 different places I am going to call them both and see about doing tours. I do have some time,which is a nice thing. Taking them with us isn't an option we are going for AF Basic graduation and there will be 5 of us in a car (rental) so there is no room for 2 large dogs. Here are some questions I have come up with to ask the places. If you have any to add pleease post.

1. Do you allow free run? If so is it inside or outside. What type of fencing secures the area.
2. If you don't want your pet to have off leash time,what type of excerise will they get.
3. Will they be in a group dog setting?
4. In the event of an emergency what is your policy?
 

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As a board kennel owner I don't allow inspections anymore because of people not showing up or actually showing up after hours to inspect kennels. I tell them they will accompany me down into kennels when they bring their dog. I then explain at the very least if I have a pigpen of a kennel they are not gonna leave their dog and at the most I may get punched on my nose for making them drive to kennels.

# 1. The 75 acre stuff is a huge red flag as it sounds so cool to have your dog cruising around on 75 acres, answer me this if you as owner turn dog loose on 75 acres have 100% recall. For conversation sake let's just say yes you do, The kennel operator does not, how hard would it be for a stranger to catch possibly a scared dog on 75 acres.

# 2. I have an acre fenced and I tell people if they want exercise I will walk their dog on a 20 ft lead and I won't walk them if I don't have a good relationship (dog not scared of me) with the dog.

# 3. 3 enclosure setups, 1. dogs are in kennel runs, 2. dogs manage to get out of kennel run they are still in a bldg. 3. dog gets out of bldg the area outside bldg is fenced.

# 3. Choosing between safety and exercise, my opinion safety 1st dog will survive a stay in a clean well kept kennel run.

# 4. Pedigree is a fair food for a kennel to feed but bring your own if possible. This keeps dog's system operating better, there may be some system upset just from water change and not a big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
See that is a red flag for me as well. Its doesn't sound cool or safe or smart. I am calling there today and see what information I can find out. I would share the link here of the place for input if that is allowed. Maybe someone else may see something,maybe I'm just being a worry butt.
 

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Where I used to work, we did not allow drop in anything - you brought your dog at a set time and if you wanted a tour, you made an appointment. Reason for that was to minimize the times where people would be coming and going, to explain that it was not a petting zoo and their kids could not go on the tour or out with the groups of dogs to play, and to make sure someone was around to give a tour. The rest of the day was cleaning, grooming, or spending time with the dogs. Otherwise I'd be alone, out back with the dogs and have some yahoo drive up, come into the building and start yelling for assistance while I worked through the runs/gates to go deal with him and meanwhile all the dogs would be freaking out. Or if we were training dogs having people driving in and out sometimes wasn't safe either.

Ask how they supervise the dogs if they are in groups, if you can bring food from home, and their flea/worm policy too.

Lana
 

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to explain that it was not a petting zoo and their kids could not go on the tour or out with the groups of dogs to play
I do love the above, I gave up on appts after lady called said they would be out a at 9:00 and showed up at 6:30 in evening when wife and I were sitting down to dinner. They just said they got busy and evidently that meant to busy to pick up a phone or take one out of their pocket.
Otherwise I'd be alone, out back with the dogs and have some yahoo drive up, come into the building and start yelling for assistance while I worked through the runs/gates to go deal with him and meanwhile all the dogs would be freaking out.
Yes the freaking out also was great if a dog had pooped in between kennel checks and then cause all dogs are going crazy he just paints the kennel floor running back and forth excited etc. Don't ever think I would trade my life for others as I have been very fortunate to work with dogs but occasionally the people screw it up. It's a shame I needed them to pay for the bills.
 

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Where I used to work, we did not allow drop in anything - you brought your dog at a set time and if you wanted a tour, you made an appointment. Reason for that was to minimize the times where people would be coming and going, to explain that it was not a petting zoo and their kids could not go on the tour or out with the groups of dogs to play, and to make sure someone was around to give a tour. The rest of the day was cleaning, grooming, or spending time with the dogs. Otherwise I'd be alone, out back with the dogs and have some yahoo drive up, come into the building and start yelling for assistance while I worked through the runs/gates to go deal with him and meanwhile all the dogs would be freaking out. Or if we were training dogs having people driving in and out sometimes wasn't safe either.

Ask how they supervise the dogs if they are in groups, if you can bring food from home, and their flea/worm policy too.

Lana
I can understand bit wanting to drop everything to give a tour - it does disrupt whatever you were doing since it was unexpected. It is a personal thing of mine however I can see where it would inconvenience the business. I can compromise on a window of time however I have a difficult time leaving my dogs somewhere I have never seen.

For the place you are calling - if they do not offer tours they should willingly answer any and all questions about how they will care for your dog. Ask about what they will do if the dog has a bout of aggression (and about what they do for each type of aggression), their willingness to give any medications, use your food (I always use my own to avoid upset), walking, leash/no leash. Everything.
 

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A 75 acre run would scare the bejeezus out of me. No way is my dog going to get let loose in that amount of space. Finding her would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Looking at the website, though, it doesn't say the dogs run loose on 75 acres. It says there are 75 acres for the dogs to explore. Then it talks about the dogs getting taken out for walks 3 times a day. The rest of the time, the dogs seem to be in indoor/outdoor runs.
 

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It looks like a perfectly normal boarding kennel. They walk the dogs on leash (people sue if you lose their dogs; I can't see any kennel allowing free run), have indoor/outdoor runs, and hey, they feed Beneful! :p (bring your own food, for sure!). I don't see the food thing as a red flag. . .most people don't know much about dog food, and at least it's a brand name. The kennels I've used feed Science Diet or Purina Dog Chow. I would use them, after seeing the place, of course. Even if it's just when you drop the dogs off. I don't expect personal tours but I do always want to see where I'm leaving them. One place here has you drop the dog off at their grooming place in town, then they transport the dog to their farm for the duration, then you pick the dog up in town, so you never get to see the farm. I'm not so comfortable with that.
 

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Looks like a good place to me. It says they let the dogs explore on the 75 acres while being supervised. The pictures also show flexi leashes being used and it states 3 walks a day. From the information I would assume your dog is going to be in an enclosed area (the measurements they list are acceptable) unless he is being walked outside in a big field. No group dog play. The vaccination protocol is correct and they allow you to bring your own food.

Itd be best to try and take a tour after calling them up, but on paper the place sounds legit. (and not too pricey)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I called and the place sounds on the up and up. They do walk the dogs out on the property if the dog has leash manners,if not they have a smaller fenced in area where the dogs can run. They don't do groups only dogs that are brought together play together. They did have a fairly good price which is a plus. I can tour but only during the week with appt. so thats a plus. They did say they have business references and personal references that I can see. So I'm going to go check it out.
 
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