If you’re the proud owner of a four-legged friend, it’s safe to say there will be at least one occasion when you need a dog minder. Whether you’re going on holiday, have a family emergency or even go away on business, we know that it’s not always practical to take your pet pooch away with you. And as dogs are like members of the family, it’s only natural to feel a little hesitant about where your furry friend stays, and of course, who with.
Here at Barking Mad Ireland, we get lots of questions from people like you, who are all looking for the perfect dog sitting service in Ireland. So, to help alleviate your dog minding worries, we’ve put your questions to our resident dog expert team, to help you decide what’s best for you and your canine chum.
What is dog minding?
Also known as dog sitting, dog minding is where your pooch is cared for by someone else while you are unable to look after them yourself. Whether that’s because you’re going on the trip of a lifetime, or have a family occasion booked in, there are many situations where you might need a helping hand. Think of it as a child care, but for canines!
As with childcare, there are many different options on the market, and what suits you might not suit another doggy family. But ultimately, only you can decide what is best for you and Fido.
Dog boarding kennels
If you’re looking for a convenient and practical dog minding solution, you may be considering boarding kennels. Often boasting high availability and a cheap rate card, this option may seem like a winner. But as with most things, price isn’t everything – and when it comes to your beloved pet, there are more important things than a price tag.
While dog boarding kennels have some great things going for them, most will not be able to follow your dog’s individual routine. Feeding times and exercise regimes are likely to be set by the dog boarding kennel rather than your pup’s requirements. Some dogs will also not enjoy a kennel environment, preferring the comforts of home. For such dogs, a home boarding business or doggy day care business may be more appropriate. You will feel able to relax and enjoy the time away from your dog, when you know that your dog’s welfare needs are being met, and that they are enriched and happy while not with you.
If you do go down the boarding kennels route, ensure you do thorough research on the boarding establishment first. Best of all, see if you can find some recommendations based on personal experience. Ultimately, the more information you are armed with, the more likely you will make the right choice for you and your pup.
Dog sitting at home
Home dog sitting is where a dog sitter comes into your home at various points in the day to feed your dog or take it for a walk. Whether they come in once, twice or five times is completely up to you! While this option might seem attractive thanks to the fact that your four-legged friend can stay in his or her own home, it also comes with drawbacks.
Because your dog is probably used to you being in the house, if you’re not around it’s easy for them to feel confused and anxious. It goes without saying that the last thing we want is for our dogs to feel anxious and upset. What’s more, this anxiety could lead to destructive behaviour, and you could end up paying the price and having to replace furniture and home accessories. In summary, the more company your dog has while you’re away, the better. And a couple of hours a day is often not enough to keep your dog content.
Friends and family
While some of us can rely on trusty family and friends to take good care of our dog, it can be a big ask. What’s more, if they’re going out to work all day, your pet pooch may feel lonely and out of sorts. Before you ask your friends and family for help, it’s important to consider the type of lifestyle they have, and whether that will suit your dog. Do they like to go on long walks twice a day? Do they have the home setup to accommodate your fluffy friend? And do they actually want to help look after your dog, or are they secretly dreading it?
Although asking friends and family to look after your animal can be a cost-free, handy dog minding solution, there are other, perhaps better options out there that will ensure your dog is happy and all their needs are met. And that brings us onto perhaps the best dog minding solution out there…
…Home dog boarding!
Home dog boarding is when your furry friend gets a holiday all of their own and goes to stay in someone else’s home, known as a host family. For the duration of your canine’s trip, they’ll get treated as a doggie VIP (or VID!) and get all the care and attention they deserve and crave.
At Barking Mad Ireland and Barking Mad UK, we understand your pet pooch is a beloved member of your family, and so offer a complete peace of mind that they are safe, happy and well cared for while you’re away. Our dog home boarding offers a real home-from-home experience, and our multi-award-wins and 20 years in business are a testament to our continued success.
All of our franchise owners aren’t just dog lovers, they’ve also been carefully selected and expertly trained to ensure your dog is safe and happy. We have host families all across Ireland, all of whom have gone through a rigorous selection and inspection process so you can rest easy.
How much does dog home boarding cost?
If you’re sold on the idea of dog home boarding, you might also be wondering how much it costs. Well, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that it’s not as expensive as you might think! You can find Barking Mad Ireland’s prices here by finding your local branch.
How can I be sure my dog will be happy?
While there is no guarantee that your dog will be completely happy at the thought of you going away, you can be safe in the knowledge that our hosts do everything they can to make your pooch as relaxed, satisfied and happy as possible. Not only do our hosts follow your dog’s usual routine as much as they can, they come up with fun games and treats all of their own that offer a varied and exciting timetable.
Whether you’re lazing on the beach or having fun on a thrill-seeking adventure, you can enjoy the photo updates we send, feeling relaxed that your dog is in good hands and upbeat.
Is there a minimum stay time?
At Barking Mad Ireland, our minimum stay time is usually just one night. Whichever dog sitting service you choose, we would always advise establishing a good relationship with the provider. This will enable you to gain a good understanding of how they operate. Booking your dog’s holiday well in advance also means you can sit back and relax, knowing that you’ve got your dog’s care needs covered.
How can I make the dog home boarding process as smooth as possible?
The first step in creating a successful dog boarding experience is your dog care provider really getting to know you and your dog. From what they like to eat, to the amount of fuss and attention they normally like, your Barking Mad pet sitting professional will really get to know your pet’s personality before they come to stay. This creates a seamless experience, and lessens the anxiety your furry friend may feel.
We also recommend packing your pooch’s suitcase with a few home comforts included. Whether you pack a special blanket, a prized toy, or even some tasty treats, it’s often the little things that make a dog feel more at home.
Why is Barking Mad Ireland the perfect dog minding solution?
Barking Mad Ireland pips other dog minding solutions to the post for a number of reasons. Here’s just a few of them:
- Every Barking Mad franchisee has been vetted and trained by Barking Mad headquarters, and know all the tricks to give your dog the trip of their dreams
- It’s our policy to ensure that every dog we look after is up to date with vaccinations and treatments
- Your dog will get the care and attention they deserve on top of a completely personalised experience. This is because we only have a limited number of dogs staying with a host at any one time, and make sure that each one has all the attention they need
- Every Barking Mad Ireland experience is as seamless as possible. Our professional dog sitters will talk to you to get to know your dog’s routine, and replicate that as closely as possible
- Every Barking Mad dog holiday home has the space and facilities your pooch will need, enabling them to feel calm and happy
- Your dog will be matched to a host family with an appropriate lifestyle. Perhaps you have an elderly dog who likes to laze around in the grass outside? Or a springer spaniel that’s full of beans and likes to go on long evening walks? We can accommodate dogs with many different needs
- We’re not a nine to five business. We’re on call 24/7 to ensure your dog has 360 care, for the duration of their stay
I’m sold on Barking Mad Ireland’s dog home boarding! Where can I find out
If you think that home boarding is the perfect dog minding solution for you, you can find your local Barking Mad service here, and read more about it here. Finally, whatever dog sitting choice you make, we’d suggest weighing up the pros and cons of each option, and sniffing out the best solution for you and your pup. After all, you’d be barking mad not to!
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