What is "home-style" boarding?

Home-style boarding is a concept we came up with several years ago. It started simply enough: a friend would ask us to “babysit” their dog when they went out of town, because their dog became too stressed in a kennel environment. We developed this babysitting idea into a boarding concept that allows your dog to stay in surroundings that are as similar to his home life as possible. The dog is not “kenneled” in the traditional fashion. Rather, he is kept in our home, allowed access to the house, and is allowed indoors and outdoors as he asks. The whole point is for the dog’s visit to be fun, exciting, and stress-free.

Where do the dogs sleep at night?

It depends on what the dog is used to at home. Most dogs are given a crate for sleeping and mealtimes.  Some dogs sleep in the master bedroom with us. Others crash on the sofa. It all depends on the dog and his/her behavior in the house.

A crate! You mean my dog is going to be stuck in a crate all day?

Absolutely NOT! We have crates in a variety of sizes for our boarding guests. In order to maintain order and prevent sharing of food, all guests are fed their meals in the crates. By doing this, we know that each dog is eating his own food; plus we are able to monitor whether or not a dog is eating his meals. The crates are also used when the dogs are unsupervised – i.e., we are both temporarily out of the house. This is a safety measure that is used to ensure each dog’s well being.

How many dogs do you keep?

Generally speaking, we limit our boarding numbers to about 10 dogs.

If you only board a small number of dogs, why do I see so many at your home?

Call us crazy, but we have 13 of our own. (FYI, they are NOT cheaper by the dozen!) We are a childless couple and our dogs are our “children.” Plus, we work with dog rescue, so there are often a couple of dogs here that need permanent homes.

I  noticed a whole PACK of dogs in the play-yard. Are you just going to stick my dog outside with them?

Again, absolutely NOT! What you perceived as a whole pack of dogs was probably only 4 or 5 – they just move around a lot. Our dogs are split into “playgroups”, with each group having at least one of our own trustworthy dogs as an "anchor". Each dog is evaluated for compatibility before being assigned to a group. He is then carefully introduced to each member of the group individually to ensure there are no personality conflicts. Generally speaking, first-time boarders do not go into the play-yard with a group until they have had time to socialize one-on-one with each member of that group.

What if my dog has a problem getting along?

This is rarely the case, but when it does happen, we simply keep your dog separated from the others. If it is one particular dog that he doesn’t like, we will often simply reassign that dog to a different group. If your dog has trouble with other dogs in general, then we will keep him separated and inform you when you arrive to pick him up. In situations such as this, you may want to consider boarding your dog at a traditional kennel, as the whole point of home-style boarding is socialization and fun.

I like the idea of play groups, but my dog is elderly/very tiny and I'm worried that being in a play group may be unsafe for him/her.

That is a valid concern. Dogs will be dogs, and that sometimes involves roughhousing during play. As a safety measure, we do not assign elderly, infirm, or toy breeds to a playgroup. Instead, they have time in the play yard with one compatible dog.

What will my dog eat while he is staying with you?

We feed a premium dry dog food. However, abrupt changes in diet can lead to upset tummies, which we want to avoid. It is best if you bring your dog’s own food for his stay with us.  While we encourage you to bring your dog’s own food, we don’t require it. We do ask that you bring only as much food as you think your dog will need - 50 pound bags get very bulky!

How often will my dog get to eat?

Our dogs are fed twice a day (morning and evening) and have water available all day. We also hand out treats (dog biscuits, chew bones, etc.) on a regular basis.   If your dog is used to eating on a different schedule, we will gladly accommodate it.

My dog is on a special diet, plus she needs medication twice a day.  Will this be a problem? Is there an extra charge if my dog needs medication?

No problem at all, and no extra charge. Some of our own dogs are "high maintenance" or get daily or twice-daily meds, so we are used to the routine of giving medications. If your dog is on a restrictive diet that excludes treats, please let us know. If there are special treats your dog is allowed to have, we would appreciate your providing some so your dog does not get left out during treat times.

Should I bring toys, food bowls, beds, and chew bones for my dog?

You are welcome to bring whatever you think will make your dog comfortable. However, we will provide treats and toys for your dog during his stay. We don’t need your dog’s bowl (we used stainless steel bowls that are easy to sanitize) unless your dog refuses to eat out of an unfamiliar dish. If you bring toys, we will try very hard to ensure that the toy is returned to you in the same condition, but we can’t guarantee it. We recommend you simply bring food and a blanket or bed (something that smells like “home” will give your dog comfort if he is homesick).

Should I bring my dog's shot records?

Please do! We require that all of our boarders provide proof of current vaccinations (DHLPP, Rabies, and Kennel Cough). Your veterinarian will be able to print out a record of this for you.

How much is all this going to cost me?

We charge $16 per night, per dog, which is comparable to the basic rate at any traditional kennel.  We do not charge extra for playtime, giving medication, treats, etc.

What are your hours?

Because this is our home, ALL drop off and pick up times are by appointment only. Basically, if we are home, we are open. We are usually available to you on Sundays, evenings, and holidays.   We prefer to schedule drop-offs/pick-ups between 9 AM and 8 PM Eastern time.  **VERY Important** - If you are unable to keep your appointment or are running late, please call us to reschedule.

This all sounds nice, but I'd like to see it in person before I leave my dog with you.

You are welcome to visit our home by appointment; please call to schedule a time.  Just remember - this is our home...we don't pretend not to live here.   Depending on when you visit, the house may be tidy, messy or somewhere in between!  Because this is home-style boarding, there are no "facilities" or "kennels" to inspect. However, you will be able to see the general layout of the play-yards and get an idea of how we are set up.

You are rather far from town, is it really worth the drive?


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