Dog boarding is a service offered by some veterinarians and pet boarding kennels, allowing owners to drop their dogs off for a set amount of time in exchange for a fee. While boarding, dogs are fed, walked, and cared for by kennel staff, who are responsible for keeping the dogs healthy and happy. Some boarding companies offer services such as pet day care for dog owners who need care for their pets while they are at work or otherwise engaged, while others specialize in long term boarding.
The idea of boarding dogs has been around for some time, although in the late part of the twentieth century, dog boarding began to take off as pet owners took longer trips and wanted better care for their animals. Some facilities include luxurious accommodations and personalized care, for a price. A basic kennel will offer an enclosed dog run, regular feeding and watering along with exercise, and monitoring for emergent medical problems. Veterinarians offer boarding for animals with special medical needs which may include administration of regular medications.
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Doggie day care and pet day care facilities are common in many major cities. Enterprising facilities locate themselves in downtown areas convenient to large companies which may have employees who could use their services. Some progressive companies actually integrate dog boarding kennels so that their employees can bring their pets to work with them. Pet day care facilities often offer behavioral training as well as routine care for the duration of the pet's stay.
As the number of pets owned around the world grows, the relationship of pets and their owners has begun to change. Most pet owners consider their dogs to be members of the family, and prefer to send them to a dog boarding location that works more like a dog camp, rather than a grim kennel facility. Some pet camps include lavish outdoor grounds and enthusiastic staff with a passion for animals.
Dog boarding no longer represents a way to ditch Fido for the family trip. Some boarding facilities are more elegantly appointed than human hotels, and dogs often enjoy the change of scenery. If you are boarding a dog for the first time, make sure to bring along an assortment of favorite toys and preferred foods, along with objects that smell like home such as sweaters. When dropping your dog off, make sure to remain calm and cheerful so that your pet is not agitated.