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Old 06-17-2009, 05:19 AM
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Good posts - I want to add that some kennels are better than others. Some are in cages w/ not much interaction - others even have puppy playtime where they can play together at certain times (supervised). We visited one where there was almost non-stop barking - maybe we hit it at the wrong time but another seemed less noisy and the runs were bigger. Some have staff who will stay o'nite. They're all a little different in different ways and the good ones fill up fast. Definitely check them out before you decide, same w/ petsitters.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:44 AM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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Unless your puppy is very well behaved when left alone I would opt for the kennel. Where I live there are some very good kennels that are more like a resort! When Jazz was young she stayed at such a place and she did great...be warned they can put on a huge show as you leave them but as soon as you are out of site most are fine. When I added Dash I switched to more of a traditional kennel out on a local ranch as Jazz was too protective of Dash and the guy that owned the kennel fell in love with Jazz and told me he would take her out and let her hang out as he did his yard work! The dogs have also boarded at my vets as he offers boarding and never have they come home sick.

Now that they are older I do use a pet sitter and I think they enjoy being in their own home. But they are old well behaved dogs now not young puppies that get easliy bored and take to interior decorating as relief from that boredeom. I do have a pet door so they do not have to rely on anyone letting them out to relieve themselves. If I were to go on a trip right now I would leave the older two at home but board 10 month old Dazzle as he needs people to be around more then the old ones do. Pet sitters are great but unless I had an overnight one I would not leave a puppy with a pet sitter.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:50 AM
Location: Texas
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We went through the same dilemma. Our older dog (8) is so easy. Out in the morning, out in the evening, feed once, and leave to her own devices. So someone could easily drop by and take care of her.

With the puppy, it got complicated...she needs to eat more often, pee more often...and cannot be left out unsupervised.

I think dogs do better in their own house...I prefer to let the dogs stay at home. In this instance, we took the puppy to stay at her trainer's house and she came home sick (to the tune of a $200 vet bill total after she got the older dog sick, too). It was the first time I have ever boarded a dog of mine, and it will be the last.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. I really appreciate all of the thoughts on this! I still haven't decided but am leaning towards the pet sitter. I was afraid people would tell me a 7 month old puppy was too young to be left alone. He really is pretty good at home about chewing up stuff and all that. He mostly sleeps when we are not there. Thanks again!
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:28 PM
Location: Greater Los Angeles area (unfortunately)
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We have a nine-month old puppy (along with an eleven-year-old dog) and we usually will alternate between having someone stay with him at our house and boarding.

I like to have someone there IF I know they will actually be there and spend lots of time interacting with him. We prefer that someone stays overnight, just because he is pretty mischievous. If you go this route, I'd probably have the sitter confine him to one area (when they aren't there) with nothing that could cause trouble. We use our large dining room; hard floors and a crappy hand-me-down table set. Not much to get into trouble with that!

But sometimes we'll take him to a boarding place we really like. They have LOTS of interaction with other dogs, and you can order special things to pamper them. Make sure to take a look at any boarding place you think about; any place that tells you "no" should automatically be disqualified! Reputable places will be happy to show you around.

Whatever you do, you'll probably want to check in once in awhile. And that's totally normal. Good luck on your trip!
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:35 PM
Location: Rural New Mexico
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Depends in part on the dog's temperament, but generally I'd say it's best for the dog to be at home. It's ideal to have a housesitter there full time, of course, if you know and trust this individual (or couple). My first lab did fine with either a drop in sitter or going to the kennel with long indoor/outdoor runs. Our second lab, who was a hyper Marley dog, did not do well at all at the same kennel as it could not tolerate being confined. Fortunately, there happened to be a very reliable college-bound girl in the neighborhood who loved dogs and came over several times a day. Lab #3 lucked out and my son and his wife moved in to house/dog sit while we were away. With Hobbs, the new guy, who panics when I'm gone, he'll have to be happy with a friend who drives from 6 hours away just to house and dog sit--I believe Hobbs would truly panic if he ever went back to the shelter for boarding! As Yukiko said, which do you trust more--the kennel or the sitter?
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:47 AM
Location: Southport, NC
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We've never boarded our pets. We have a fabulous pet sitter who visits 3 times a day when we travel. The dogs and cat get to remain in their own familiar environment. Our pet sitter walks our dogs 3 times daily, spends about 30 minutes with them, playing, cuddling etc. I agree about avoiding exposing them to any potential illnesses in a kennel. The negative - it can be expensive, over $50/day for 3 visits but we think it is worth it.
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