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How to find a home boarder for your dog

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This article has been written in partnership with Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT, Professional home boarder from Ringwood Dogs.


How to find a home boarder for your dog.

You have booked your holiday, researched the things you will do at your destination and planned your holiday wardrobe. Now it is time to find a holiday home for your furry friend!  It is always a difficult decision when choosing a responsible home boarder for your dog and there are always so many to choose from when you start researching. So, to help you make this important decision, below are some important points to consider when you book your dog’s holiday.

 

Is the home boarder licensed and insured?

In the UK, it is now illegal to operate a home boarding business without a licence. Insurance claims can be invalidated if a home boarder is not seen to be operating within the law. Being licensed means that the local authority visits the premises of the home border to make sure all license requirements, policies and procedures are in place as set out in the home boarding legislation by DEFRA:  The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018.  The home boarder will also be spot-checked by the local authority to make sure standards are continued.   All local authorities will have a list of home boarders that are licensed, so when you are choosing, be sure to check with your local authority to make sure the home boarder is licensed and insured.  It is also a requirement for a home boarder to state their home boarding license number on their website and Facebook page for owners to easily see whether they are licensed – if you cannot see their license number, be sure to ask whether they are….

 

Policies and procedures.

All licensed home boarders will have policies and procedures in place to manage their business safely.  They will have a procedure in place to introduce new dogs into the boarding environment. They will have a procedure for transporting dogs safely in crates.  They will also have procedures in place for feeding, playing and sleeping arrangements, including their policies on vaccinations, in-season dogs and how they accommodate young puppies, elderly or ill and disabled dogs.  Most importantly, they will have a policy in place to invite you and your dog to their home so that you can see the environment your dog will be staying in so that you and they are happy before any booking takes place. Never use a boarder who doesn’t allow you to meet them or see the boarding environment before your dog stays.

 

Registration forms.

A good home boarder will have extensive paperwork and registration forms for owners to complete when booking their dog in for a holiday.  They will need to know when and what to feed your dog, where they sleep, how they walk on and off the leash, do they have any phobias, unusual behaviours or bad habits.  They will need to know their daily routine and any other information about your dog that will help them settle into the home boarding environment. They also need to know what veterinary surgery your dog is registered to in the unlikely event your dog needs to visit the vets whilst you are away.  A good dog boarder will want to know all about your dog - be sure they have registration forms in place to complete to enable them to achieve this.

 

Experience and qualifications.

A good home boarder will be qualified and experienced to look after your dog.  They will be up to date with the latest laws including the most recent Dog Law (www.gov.uk/control-dog-public), they will ensure all dogs are under control when on walks in public places by using their experience, knowledge of each dog, knowledge of canine behaviour and common sense.  They will also fit your dog with a dog tag with their details on when walking your dog in public places.

 

Important questions to ask a dog boarder.

Here are some really important questions to ask your home boarder before you book your dog in for their holiday:

  1. Are they licensed and insured?

  2. Can you arrange a meet and greet beforehand?

  3. How many dogs do they board at once?

  4. How is your dog transported – do they have secure crates in place.

  5. Is their garden safe and secure?

  6. What is their policy in accepting dogs?

  7. How long do they leave your dogs alone for?

So next time you go on holiday – plan well ahead of time, leaving plenty of time to research your local home boarders, arrange a meet and greet and perhaps a trial day before you decide to book your dog in for their holiday as well.  Once you find a great home boarder – your dog will love their holidays with them just as much as you love yours! We hope this guide to dog home boarding help to make your holiday prep that little bit easier and helps you find a great professional home boarder for your furry family. Happy Holidays!

 
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Blog Author.

A big thanks go out to Isabelle Adams-Papé (IMDT) from Ringwood Dogs for her expert advice on how to find a home boarder for your dog. If you would like to contact Isabelle you can do so at www.ringwood-dogs.com, or via Ringwood Dogs Facebook. View more articles by Isabelle in the links below.