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Hello all!

Looking for some input here...

We adopted a dog in December. He's a very social 2 year old labradoodle who suffers from separation anxiety. He is MUCH better than he was when we first got him. I would say he is about 90% better.

We are planning a Hawaiian vacation in October and want to acclimate him to a boarding kennel so that we can leave him without worrying too much when we go. Although people have offered, I do not want to leave him with friends or family because he tore our house up in his first weeks here and I am worried that it could happen to their houses too.

There are two boarding kennels in our town. Both are just out of city limits in the country. The first was very clean and well-maintained. There was no odor at all. Each dog had a kennel with heated floors and an elevated platform on which to lay. They had separate runs about 5 feet wide and about 15 feet long. The dogs did not have contact with each other other than through the fence between the runs. Contact with people seemed pretty limited. The kennel required current rabies and kennel cough vaccinations and checked out documents. When he stayed there he was at the worst of his anxiety problem so he had a rough time there.

The second kennel is a much smaller operation and we tried it for a day this weekend. The woman who operates it also does grooming, so she is around all day and interacts with the dogs frequently. (A big plus for a dog with separation anxiety) She required current rabies vaccination and suggested kennel cough. She did not check out documentation on either. The exterior kennel spaces all each held about three dogs and they all seemed to get along well. There was feces on the floor of all the kennels. The interior area was accessed through a series of gates and we did not see the inside area. It is heated and air conditioned. Our dog is an escape artist and when we picked him up, she commented that he did really well once she found an inside kennel that could hold him. She commented that she has several kennels that need to be repaired and he was able to find the weak spots in all of them and got out into the common area. She also has a large fenced area where she lets the dogs run together if they are social and come when called. Our dog loves to run with others, so this was a nice feature. When we went in the home/office to pay the urine smell was overwhelming and we noticed that our dog smelled pretty bad when we put him in the car to bring him home.

OK... so here is where I am looking for advice. From a sanitation and security standpoint it is an easy decision. The first was much cleaner and more secure. From a human contact standpoint, the second was much better. The second also allowed him to have more contact with other dogs.

As I wrote this all out, it became clearer that the second place is probably not a good situation, even though she was very good to the dog and he was in very good spirits when we picked him up.

Is there anything else I should look for in a boarding kennel? Any suggestions for how to make the experience better for the dog in the first kennel? There is still a lot of time between now and October, so maybe we can make enough progress to leave him with my brother or something too.

Thanks!
-Mike-
 

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I leave my Sheltie at home and have someone come into my home 3 x per day while we're gone. The pet sitter spends about an hour with him each time she comes. He adores her and while he pitches a fit when we go out the door, he is happy as a clam with her.
 

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Yeah, i'd have to agree/ for your peace of mind and the dogs find someone to care for your dog at home, sometimes its a cheaper option also. introduce someone well before you leave. Sometimes the change for the dog can be great and the seperation from you and also the minder throuhout the day helps the dog realise that we do return eventually.I just suggest that the person you find is a true animal person who truly understands what is at stake . Best of luck
 

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I myself don't trust any kennels. Lately there have been so many boarding kennels that have been in the news for animal cruelty. Several kennels had dogs starved to death or the dogs died from beating. And for having someone come in, I have heard the same for abuse where the dogs died. I would trust family members more. I had a friend that boarded her dogs when she went to Germany, she usually went every year. When she got the dogs back they were scared of everybody and one of them , an intact male was having trouble with urinating. she took him to her vet. The vet said he had probably been kicked or hit in his private area of his body. She had urinating problems with him from then on until he died. She tried other kennels and had problems with them too. She finally found one that turned out to be a good one. One out of quite a few she tried. Some were dirty, some didn't feed the dogs good, some physically abused the dogs. She tried once to have someone come in to her house, She found out the person only came once a day to let her dogs out. Go to For The Love Of Dog web site. You will see a lot of blogs about abuse to dogs. A lot of them are about puppy mills. boarding kennels, dog trainers.
 
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