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Dog Boarding or a Dog Sitter?

Dog sitter or dog boarding facility? It may seem like a question worth little consideration, but when it comes right down to it, that’s just not the case. It is, in fact, a very tough question for the average dog mom or dad.

A dog sitter for Tucker

Here’s Tucker, lying on the bed at boarding after some play time with his new buddy Bode. Inevitably, he’s picked up the nickname “Friar Tucker” among the staff!

Let’s face it, most dog parents these days treat their four-legged children to as much love, affection, and time as human kids receive. So a trip to a dog boarding facility can be tough to swallow. After all, anything that takes your pup out of his home and away from his loving human parents is going to be stressful. Dogs will, of course, react differently to these unusual circumstances. Some are naturally resilient, and will adapt quickly to a changing environment that doesn’t feature their home and their people. Others, however, may not adapt so easily.

Some discerning dog parents have chosen to go the dog sitter route as a result. By having someone your dog knows and trusts – or comes to know and trust – stay with your dog at your home (or keep your dog at her home), you can make the process of getting accustomed to your absence easier for your pup.

Dog Sitter Cost

The popularity of more personalized attention has led to the popularity of services like Dog Vacay, which help match sitters with dog parents. The downside to employing the services of a pet sitter is typically cost, since a dedicated dog sitter is usually going to be more expensive than most boarding facilities. This isn’t always the case, of course, but on average it certainly is. Now…here’s where we tell you about our own dog boarding service, which is remarkably similar to taking your pup to a dog sitter!

Why Can’t You Do Both?

Dog boarding doesn’t have to be as stressful for your pup as it typically is. We’ve seen a variety of boarding services offer “extras” such as snuggle time before bed at night, a treat before going to bed or during the day, going for a walk, dedicated play time, and various others.

Really? That’s extra? If so, you can see why folks would be hesitant to take their dogs to a boarding facility. We do things differently

We have a dog boarding, daycare, and training facility that’s located “in the country” but close to pretty much everything in central Maryland. The facility is located on nine mostly-wooded acres and has a fence-in back yard area for play. We’re a short drive from Columbia, Ellicott City, Marriottsville, Catonsville, Eldersburg, Sykesville, Clarksburg, Glenelg, Towson, etc. If you work at Social Security Administration (SSA) or CMS and live in Howard County, chances are good we’re on your way to work.

Here are some of the things that dogs do and enjoy while they board with us:

  1. Dog daycare during the day (Monday – Friday): As long as your dog gets along with other dogs, he’ll play from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. with other pups. His play style will be matched to other dogs so that he’s in an appropriate play group for the day. This is included in our standard boarding service.

  2. Feeding, bathroom breaks, treats, medications, walks, snuggles (duh!): Everything your dog needs is, of course, included. And, yes, “snuggle time” is a need for dogs, so they get it…and lots of it!

  3. Safety: Everyone who works with Unleashed Joy is certified in pet CPR and First Aid. So, yeah, if something goes wrong with your dog while you’re away, we’ve got you covered. Of course, we also have a relationship with an emergency vet, so you’re covered 24/7 no matter what. Oh, and our facility has been carefully designed for the safety of dogs as well, so he won’t get into anything like he could at someone’s house (or even your house). We see a LOT of dogs. We know what they like to do, what they’ll get into…their proclivities, if you will. We also know how to avoid trouble before it even starts.

  4. Crate time: Time in the crate is limited to night time when your dog is sleeping and short breaks during daycare so he can get some rest (dogs get cranky just like little kids when they’re tired…but they won’t stop playing). However, if your dog sleeps nicely on the floor in his bed (please bring it when you bring your pup), he’ll likely just sleep next to the bed of one of our two boarding attendants, who sleep right in the house with the dogs. Oh, if there’s only one or two pups at the facility for the evening (and if your pup is allowed to do so), they sometimes just sleep in bed with us…because, you know…snuggle time.

  5. Training: What? Yes, our daycare and boarding facility is run by a certified, purely-positive dog trainer and she just can’t help herself. She trains dogs and doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, so your dog is going to get a refresher on his previous classes or may learn some new tricks while you’re away. No, really…you just go relax on your vacation…we’ve got work to do here.

  6. Love and Fun: We kind of already mentioned this, but it bears repeating – we love dogs, and we treat them like our own. They get love, cuddles, comfortable conditions, and a PURELY POSITIVE atmosphere. It’s also fun to watch the budding dog friendships that develop at our daycare and boarding facility. Some of our clients even tell us their dogs seem to be a bit “down” on days they don’t come to daycare, as though they miss their friends and us (we think they probably do!).

At the risk of sounding too”salesy” (too late), we feel great about the service we offer. We look at our days through the eyes of your dog. Is it time to play? Is it time to rest? Does he need some one-on-one time? We think about these things and react accordingly, all the while keeping your pup safe and remaining purely positive in our approach. So the next time you have to go away for a few days…give us a call!

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