Helen is a distraught reader who sent me a harrowing account of her experience as a DogVacay dog minder. Here is an exert:
“…On the way home from the lady who “couldn’t” watch the dog anymore, Sunday the dog puked in my Mustang. Then the fun begins, this dog HAS BALLS so he can’t go to dog parks, which we WERE NOT TOLD, he also doesn’t like other dogs, so every time you walked him past another house he would FLIP out or pass a dog on the sidewalk, GEEZ better hold your breath and your ears. First time we go out without him, for 2 hours we come home and everything is torn up, BCBG shoes, art supplies, remotes, bike lights, sunglasses, all kinds of stuff.
So we decide, yea this dog needs a cage, but cannot go in the car because he pukes. so on CHRISTMAS EVE I had to go out to 3 differnt stores and use my own money and get this dog a metal cage. Fine, cage done, but lo and behold, on New Years Day we go on a brunch with some visiting friends and come home to find that the dog bent and tore through the industrial metal cage, and also tore up the carpet in the entire room! His eyes were blood shot and his bloody nails had scraped the bottom of the door frame. Imagine if he got out of that room what he would have done!…”
What an incredible story!
I strongly feel that home-stay dog sitting arrangements like this pose enormous risks both for the visiting dog and for the host. It takes a lot of effort, skill and capital investment to run a kennel. You, it may be cheaper to have your dog placed with a well-meaning family but what happens if the dog is injured or does damage? Who pays for damaged property, the vet bills, doctor’s bills. An established boarding facility has proper procedures and equipment. Moreover, unlike a well-meaning family down the street – a kennel has a business reputation to protect.
So to all those considering entering into this kind of arrangement I say – approach with caution and consider the risks.