Choosing a Doggie Hotel for the Holidays
My name is Charlie and I am a two-year-old husky from Connecticut. My family is going to Hawaii for the Holidays and they’re looking for a doggy hotel that I can stay at, but they’re not sure how to pick a good one. They want me to be safe and have fun. Do you have any suggestions about how to pick a good boarding place for the holidays?
Looks like you’re in for your own mini vacation – if your parents choose wisely, that is. It’s good they realize that there are some important things to look for when choosing a dog hotel, a boarding place, or as people used to call them, a “kennel.” Yes, you pay more to get the best (and in my experience, Los Angeles, Connecticut, New York and other major metropolitan areas will be more expensive, around $50 a night,) but it’s worth it!
The first thing my owner looks out for is what they do before they let you in the door: good places make you have an interview so they can check you out. First they will ask your owner about you, like have you ever been aggressive, do you try to jump over fences, do you get scared around other dogs. Then they will actually put you in with all the other dogs for a minute and watch what you do. This sounds silly but it’s important, because then you know that all the dogs in there can play nicely together. You don’t want to stay somewhere that aggressive, badly behaved dogs are allowed to play with the rest of us.
Another thing you want to watch out for at doggie hotels is potential mistreatment by the staff. I think of this the same way as how you would double check someone taking care of your child: you want to be sure they are not going to be too rough with them when you aren’t there. An easy way to be reassured about this is to pick a place with doggie cams that allow you to watch how the staff behaves. And there’s an added bonus: my owner loves to watch me playing with the other dogs when she is on vacation.
Now your dog might not feel the same way I do, but another thing I look for is a place where I get my own “room” at night. Usually these are basically like little closets with a bed, where they keep your toys and a bowl of water. Most places have you “nap” in the afternoon and then put you in there after dinner. I really like to be able to rest by myself, because I’m used to having it quiet when I’m sleeping. Fancier places have things like TVs or classical music playing in these “suites,” but in my experience dogs don’t really care about that.
Now we get to the most important part – playtime! This is what makes doggie hotels so much fun. I look for ones where dogs play all day. Often they break you up into playgroups by size and age, which is good. They do this at the national chain Camp Bow Wow. My cousin Ollie goes to one in Stamford, CT and he loves it. And some places even have special play areas – like a jungle gym type thing for dogs or, my personal favorite – a swimming pool! I Dig My Dog, near me in Pasadena, CA even has a bone shaped pool! It is the coolest thing ever. When I go there I get to swim all day long, it is my absolute favorite. In fact, if anyone ever wants to get me a birthday or Christmas gift, they even do daycare there – for a discounted price you can swim for 3 or 6 hours. Perfect!
Have fun on your vacation Charlie!
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