If you read Dogs Today magazine you may have seen the story of my own dog, Molly, and our experiences with an unlicenced dog boarder. We are far from the only dog owners whose pets have not had the expert care that we all expect. In 2020, Thurrock Council fined a couple who were running an unlicenced dog boarding service over £6000. But these people must come to the attention of the council for action to be taken. So, if you are going away and looking for a boarder what should you be looking for?
By listening to what you are told when you contact the Boarder and keeping your eyes open when you visit you can quickly build a picture of the Boarder and if they are the right one for your dog.
- If a home boarder doesn’t want to meet you and your dog before boarding, ask yourself: Why?
- All Boarders should arrange a settling in period with you. Being left in an unfamiliar place with strangers and other dogs is very stressful for your dog. They don’t understand why they are there, and you can’t explain it to them.
- You should be able to see an up-to-date licence clearly displayed.
- Record should be kept on your dog and vaccinations checked. So, if paperwork isn’t prepared with you there to answer question, alarm bells should sound.
- There should be a separate area for each dog, or family group to be kept in.
- Ask about cleaning materials. Are they DEFRA approved? If they are it will be clearly marked as safe to sue with animals.
As we said in our last blog when we looked at the difference between dog sitting and dog boarding, many of the standards are those applied to places for people to stay in. So, if you can tick all the boxes above, the last question should be: “Would I feel safe here?”
One of the best ways to choose a boarder is to look at the Association of Dog Boarders website. You’ll find Poochee Care there, of course. All the businesses listed in the directory have had their licences checked and verified by the Association of Dog Boarders. And the important word there is “businesses.” We make our living looking after your dogs. Because we love them and want to make sure they receive the care that you expect.
You can read Molly’s story, and how that led us to becoming Home Boarders ourselves, here. A final point to think about is that many unlicensed home boarders promise to care for dogs but then will cancel at the last moment. I had a call on the Wednesday before the last school half term who was booked in with a carer who was going to have his dogs for weekend. There is no come back when that happens, and of course there were no carers available as it was half term. Please take care to find the best carer for your dog. Cheapest is not always best. We would love to learn more about your dog and help to support them while you are away. Get in touch to discuss your plans and to tell us about your dog.