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Old Jul 22, 2014, 09:05 AM   #1
maflynn
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Pet owners - anyone use a "doggy hotel" for their pet?

We have a fairly new puppy, and we're looking to be going away on vacation in November and of course we now need to deal with having someone take care of our puppy.

I'm leaning to using PetSmart's Pet Hotel

Has anyone used this, or experience with placing a pet in a kennel for a period of time? My wife's concerned it will be too traumatic and/or risking some sort of illness.

Any thoughts on this being a bad or good idea?

Ideally we should have waited until after our vacation to get the puppy, but we had an opportunity to get this puppy very inexpensively and so we opted for it now instead of Christmas (plus we figure house breaking in the summer is better then the dead of winter for us and the puppy).
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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PetSmart...OMG that's awful.

My former employee works there and finds the conditions and ethic atrocious. Run far from them for anything.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/petsmart.html

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Old Jul 22, 2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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My gut says a locally owned kennel is more likely to do better by your puppy, though I don't know anything about PerSmart's operation. Corporate operaitons are controlled by people looking at numbers on spreadsheets all day. So that's what they optimize for. Locally owned kennels are controlled by people who look at dogs all day. Of course, a local kennel isn't guarantted to be well-run. I think it increases the chances though.

I'd look for recommendations... your vet is probably a good place to ask.

There is an increased chance of catching a disease even in a really well run kennel. At the least, your puppy will come into contact with a lot of dogs and some of them may have something your puppy could catch.

Most dogs can handle the stress of being away from their families for a time. Not sure how long you've had your puppy, but he/she might not be totally bonded with you yet so maybe that will make it easier. And it's not all bad... to look on the bright side: your puppy will get a lot of stimulation (fun) just from being around all those other dogs. And he/she may get some good socialization as well.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'd look for recommendations... your vet is probably a good place to ask.
Good idea, I'll give them a call.

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but he/she might not be totally bonded with you yet so maybe that will make it easier.
Since the trip is 4 months away, the odds of her being bonded to us, are pretty high. She's my little shadow as it is, since I work from home most of the week, she's always with me.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 10:31 AM   #5
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I would strongly advise you to look into other options besides Petsmart. I see that you live in the Boston area - I'm sure there are plenty of family run places in your area that will provide a much better experience for your dog. I would recommend boarding your dog with a place that also does dog day care. A daycare place will have your dog out and about, playing with the other dogs all day. This means that during the night he'll probably be nice and tired and just go to sleep. As an example, we use a place is run by a family who has the kennel adjacent to their home, so there's always somebody around (I doubt anybody is at petsmart throughout the night). The dogs run around in a big fenced area all day and sleep in individual runs at night.


You say your dog is a puppy, and that could be an issue with boarding. Every kennel requires your dog to have vaccination for Rabies, Lepto, DHPP, and usually Bordatella (I'd highly recommend a Bordatella vaccine anyways). Some places won't take dogs under six months. Also, keep in mind that most reputable places will want to meet your dog ahead of time (maybe for 10 minutes, maybe for a whole day) to evaluate temperament and make sure he's a good fit.

Again, I'd strongly recommend avoiding a place like Petsmart - you'll be better off with a business whose entire reputation is based on taking care of dogs. If you can bring your wife to a nice place and show her where your dog will spend his whole day playing she'll have most of her concerns allayed.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 10:33 AM   #6
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Good idea, I'll give them a call.


Since the trip is 4 months away, the odds of her being bonded to us, are pretty high. She's my little shadow as it is, since I work from home most of the week, she's always with me.
Hey, give us a pic! You may reconsider your trip by then. I can't tell you how many times we shortened our time away or distance due to our once 2.7 pound Shih Tzu. We spoil him and now this typical 12 pound dog is 15 pounds and on a diet.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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We've had luck using Camp Bow Wow in the past-they're franchised but seem to take good care of the dogs. Our dog is not terribly social and is very shy, and when we've checked in they've been honest about whether he was being shy or not that visit.

Most of the time if we can't travel with our dog we see if family can watch him for a few days. We have a few friends and family with dogs, so we all rotate dog watching for each other.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 11:44 AM   #8
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We couldn't drop our dog off at a kennel. No way.

We've primarily used private dogsitters. Usually they're run by people who run dog-walking services and the like, and they can board a couple of dogs at a time at their home so they get both human attention and a little companionship with a fellow dog.

We've also had a dogsitter stay at our house overnight so our dog could stay in a familiar environment and have something approaching his normal routine. It's more expensive than taking him to a kennel, but it makes things less stressful for him.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 11:53 AM   #9
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Our 2 dogs always go in kennels when we go on vacation and we've never had a problem. We found a local kennels who was willing to let us have a look around and talking to the owners it was obvious they are animal lovers who would take care of them.

Whenever we take them, they get really excited as we get to it and go in without a backwards glance at us, so I'm confident they are well looked after.

It's probably less of a problem for them because they go in the same kennel which gives them some company but even when we only had one dog she went into the kennels without any issues and always came out looking very happy and well looked after
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 12:14 PM   #10
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We've had luck using Camp Bow Wow
This one looks encouraging as it appears the dogs aren't locked up all day.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 12:31 PM   #11
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The PetSmart stores that do boarding in this area have webcams so you can check in on your dog anytime. Unlike most vets that do boarding around here, PetSmarts here don't use kennels. The dogs sleep on doggy beds in a big area, unless you get a private room for them (which is just that).

My feeling towards them as a store is meh, but I've had several friends use them for boarding over the last year or so and felt good enough about the experience to highly recommend it.

Personally, I don't shop there a lot, but when I do, I really enjoy seeing the dogs there for extended stays (plus the dogs that get dropped off daily for doggie day care) all playing in the play area.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 02:21 PM   #12
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When we went out of country for my brothers wedding we had the same concern. We found this boarding place that had won many many awards and was rated number one in the county.

Needless to say, my dog absolutely hated it. He lost weight by the time we picked him up. He seemed just miserable.

Honestly I think it all depends on the dogs temperament. Our dog likes to just relax and be left alone with his thoughts. During the day he'll come down and ask for a treat but the majority of the day he likes to sit in his room and look out the window. I don't think he really liked being in a situation where they just put multiple dogs in a play pen for half the day and then crate them for the other half.

This was the first time we put Hiro in dog boarding and this is probably the last time. We usually leave him with friends and family (ones that we know can adhere to our directions) but in this situation we were forced to resort to boarding. We thought that with the high price they were charging us, Hiro would have a good time but alas, I was very wrong.
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Old Jul 22, 2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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"Doggy hotel" is a nice euphemism.

Effective for dog owners, but sometimes not so effective for dogs.


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Originally Posted by ipodlover77 View Post
When we went out of country for my brothers wedding we had the same concern. We found this boarding place that had won many many awards and was rated number one in the county.

Needless to say, my dog absolutely hated it. He lost weight by the time we picked him up. He seemed just miserable.
He probably hated being away from you. The operation and function of the kennel itself may have been outstanding, and perhaps the best you're going to do. If you go away again for a vacation, even a home-visit dog-sitting service isn't going to make it easier for the dog.

Your dog will probably get used to it after the 2nd or 3rd trip, when he realises that you're coming back, and you didn't abandon him forever.
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Old Yesterday, 08:35 AM   #14
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Here's the plan I think we're leaning towards.
Get a friend and/or family member to house sit, and that includes taking care of the dog, i.e., show up a couple of times a day to take it out and clean up any possible messes.

Failing that, we're probably going with camp bowwow, or something similar that is closer where we live.

That particular place seems to offer the most outdoor/play time then other kennels.

From my research yesterday, I don't think you can find any kennel that is "great" any reviews include some pet owners that have some complaints. PetSmart seems to have mostly complaints about its store operations though I did see a couple of negative ones regarding the pet hotel.

I'm not jazzed up about having my puppy sleep in a large room with other dogs. The cost for the private room isn't huge but I think we can do better regardless.

Thanks for everyone's opinions, this isn't an easy decision and I think the emotional make up of the dog plays a lot into whether the kennel stay will be successful or not. The quality of the kennel also plays a huge part as well (obviously).
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Old Yesterday, 09:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Abstract View Post
"Doggy hotel" is a nice euphemism.

Effective for dog owners, but sometimes not so effective for dogs.




He probably hated being away from you. The operation and function of the kennel itself may have been outstanding, and perhaps the best you're going to do. If you go away again for a vacation, even a home-visit dog-sitting service isn't going to make it easier for the dog.

Your dog will probably get used to it after the 2nd or 3rd trip, when he realises that you're coming back, and you didn't abandon him forever.
I agree. We didn't do so hot either!

At the same time, I just think that environment isn't right for my dog. We left him with friends before and while he sulked for the first day or so, he ended up having a reasonably good time. I just think it might be my dogs personality that makes him incompatible with dog boarding.

----------

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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Here's the plan I think we're leaning towards.
Get a friend and/or family member to house sit, and that includes taking care of the dog, i.e., show up a couple of times a day to take it out and clean up any possible messes.

Failing that, we're probably going with camp bowwow, or something similar that is closer where we live.

That particular place seems to offer the most outdoor/play time then other kennels.

From my research yesterday, I don't think you can find any kennel that is "great" any reviews include some pet owners that have some complaints. PetSmart seems to have mostly complaints about its store operations though I did see a couple of negative ones regarding the pet hotel.

I'm not jazzed up about having my puppy sleep in a large room with other dogs. The cost for the private room isn't huge but I think we can do better regardless.

Thanks for everyone's opinions, this isn't an easy decision and I think the emotional make up of the dog plays a lot into whether the kennel stay will be successful or not. The quality of the kennel also plays a huge part as well (obviously).
Still can't believe we're 15 posts in and we haven't see the little bugger yet!
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Old Yesterday, 09:30 AM   #16
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Still can't believe we're 15 posts in and we haven't see the little bugger yet!
Here's she is
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Old Yesterday, 09:53 AM   #17
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Here's she is
Attachment 481925
Very cute. Either get a dedicated pet sitter who comes to your house, or their house, or take your cute pet with you. It's an adjustment you have to get used to when you have a companion dog such as yours. We have a Shih Tzu and we have to plan life around never letting him alone for more than 5 hours as the AKC manual said. They actually have one of those!
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM   #18
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My dog went I Pet smart for 3 weeks. After that we decided just to take her with us and find the dog friendly hotels. We called pet smart a few times because we were told we could do that and check in on her. They said over the phone she was the best dog and didn't bark once. Then we went to get her. She was shaking when she came out and didn't have a voice for a few days.

Doesn't she just look so much happier on vacation?
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Old Today, 10:10 AM   #19
63dot
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My dog went I Pet smart for 3 weeks. After that we decided just to take her with us and find the dog friendly hotels. We called pet smart a few times because we were told we could do that and check in on her. They said over the phone she was the best dog and didn't bark once. Then we went to get her. She was shaking when she came out and didn't have a voice for a few days.

Doesn't she just look so much happier on vacation?
I hope the OP sees this one.

I can't even begin to tell you the ethic of this place. When I considered working there part time between jobs when I was a grad student, their weird indoctrination type interviews made me realize that something was very wrong, and very strange. I had to take this Scientology-like personality test they had borrowed from India and then I realized that it was very wrong. What is this about?? Later on when my best friend told me about how they treated animals, I saw what those tests were trying to weed out...people with a conscious who would question their authority! They have a profit centered model that is second to none, but this doesn't help the welfare of the animals. You can't mass produce this big and still have any animal welfare as a priority. The employees and pets there are just numbers. But some say there's no arguing with financial success:

http://www.statista.com/statistics/2...ber-of-stores/

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Old Today, 10:33 AM   #20
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I've never used a doggey hotel. I have always boarded my dog when I need to.
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