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So i'm going out of town next week for a couple of days don't want to take my 7 month old puppy for the 3 hour trip there, but i'm wary of kennels. Should i be? i have never put her in one and i don't know what to expect. You guys think dog boarding places aren't that bad for dogs. another reason i am hesitant is because she scared around new people, and hardly ever warms up to guys, except me. opinions?
 

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I gave up a fun trip over the Thanksgiving weekend because my youngest is 6 months, and I feel at a vulnerable time in his development. I can't really articulate a rational reason for the decision. There's a kennel I've used a few times, they have some oversize covered outside pens, and once-daily exercise yard privileges, for a reasonable cost. I'm just not comfortable with it at this time.

If the dog is welcome at your destination, and it's just the car trip your worried about, I say bring the pup along.
 

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A three hour drive is harmless with dogs. I regularly drive 6 hours with mine.

As for boarding - I've boarded mine numerous times.

What I use to pick out a boarding facility:

- Tour it. I want to see where my dog will be sleeping, playing and using the restroom. I want to know my dogs will never be outside of a closed fence/building
- On a tour do not expect total cleanliness - expect good cleanliness. They may have just mopped, turned around and the dog used the restroom.
- Ask what they do for medical emergencies (mine's vet of preference happens to be my actual vet as well)
- Some boarding facilities also run a daycare. Depending on the daycare this is either free to boarding dogs or available for a fee (usually reduced for boarding dogs) so the dogs are not "penned up" all day
- Most boarders also offer varying kennel options. I have two boarders I use. One has traditional kennels, rooms (they look like tiny living rooms) and deluxe suites that are larger and have raised beds. The other boarder is more expensive and has no traditional kennels - it only has varying size suites - all with human beds (from toddler size to king size), cameras watching the dogs 24/7, daycare, a yard and a pool that the dogs rotate between. They also offer extra services (that we don't use) that include watching TV with your dog and snuggling with your dog all night
- Some kennels are "Cage Free" - meaning the dogs are together/loose 24/7. I avoid these as my dogs will need a break from other dogs eventually. They are not long term "pack animals." They want to play and then rest
- Kennels do not (at least I have never seen or heard of one) board dogs together unless they belong to the same family and the owner specifies it. I board my together. I have them feed separately as they eat vastly different amounts and if they swap food someone will be hungry and someone will be underfed. No boarder has ever had a problem doing this.
- Depending on the boarder medications may be extra or not. One of my boarders charges - the other doesn't.
- As a general rule tours should be available at some point. You should be able to see where the dog is kept - if they refuse to tour at all - red flag - run!
- Boarders usually have a "house food" they will feed if you don't want to provide your own (or they run out of yours). Most suggest you provide your own food as it avoids gastric upset
- Vaccination requirements vary - most require the standard DHHLP, rabies and bordetella (usually within the last 6 months). One of my boarders requires the injectable bordetella every year but the nasal every 6 months. The other defaults to the individual dog's vet for requirements as they state "they are not veterinarians and therefore do not see themselves as qualified to determine the medical appropriateness of a vaccine regimen" (which I think is very smart). They just require a statement from the vet stating the given dates of vaccines and when they are due again. If the vet says a year - then it is a year.

My dogs love daycare and don't mind boarding. I've found my little dog hanging out up front with the staff before because she is so sweet and they love her.

Good luck!
 
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