Not sure if you should go for a home boarding service or a pet hotel in Singapore? In a nutshell, if both are well run, the difference will come down to price and convenience (check in/out flexibility, proximity etc.). Yet, everypawdy's needs and preferences are different, so here's 10 important ones to consider.
1. Attention and Care.
Home boarding : A dog loving family will definitely make your dog feel right at home throughout the day and night. It is not likely that you can see this with surveillance footage but you can tell from the photos and videos they update you with. A good home boarder treat your dog as their own and provide attentive daily pet care.
Pet Hotel : Good hotel staff will certainly watch over your doggo during the day. Make sure someone's around to attend to your doggo in the night when everypawdy is asleep. The good hotels will let you view their surveillance footages anytime you want.
2. Professional training and handling
Home boarding : Depending on the experience and qualification of the home boarder, you are more likely to find a fellow dog owner lover helping you look after your dog. Hence if you doggo has behavioural issues like aggression and biting history, you should not choose a home boarder.
Pet Hotel: Some hotels would have their staff trained to handle and even train dogs. So if your doggo needs training or behaviour correction, pet hotels would be a better option; but expect to pay additional fees for the training. Do make sure they are trained and certified.
3. Separation Anxiety
Home boarding : In a home setting, it is very likely that someone will be home throughout the day and night. If your doggo has separation anxiety, this will give your doggo great comfort.
Pet Hotel: With adequate staffing, there should be a hooman looking out for your doggo during the day. You should be more concerned about the night when your doggo is likely going to be sleeping alone in a cubicle or room.
Home boarding : You can expect fewer doggos around but the more popular boarders with a bigger space should have enough dogs keep yours company. On the other hand if your doggo is not very doggo friendly(yes there are such doggos), then a home environment would be pawfect.
Pet Hotel: Your doggo will certainly not get to feel lonely here. There's great for social types, but can be very stressful for the not so social types.
5. Health, Safety, Hygiene
Home boarding : Visit the home boarder to ensure they have measures in place to ensure your doggo's health, safety and hygiene is in good hands. To help you along, we cover these points in more detail here
Pet Hotel: Whilst hotels are designed for dogs and are likely to have operating procedures, it is still recommended that you visit the hotel to assess it.
6. Indoor and Outdoor Space
Home boarding : Most apartments would be small and hence don't expect a lot of indoor or outdoor space. There are exceptions like landed homes and apartments with big patio or terraces.
Pet Hotel : More likely than not, a hotel would offer more space indoor and outdoor. If you like to give your dog a lot of space to roam and run around in, this would be a good choice.
Home boarding : If price is your single most important factor, home boarding would certainly not empty your pawkets. That doesn't mean their service offering is poorer...it just means they expect less profits. You are likely to find affordable pet boarding with homes than with pet hotels.
Pet Hotel : If you have deep pawkets, you can treat your doggo to more luxurious hotels with suites and human size beds too! Again, a high price doesn't guarantee you better service that suit your preferences.
Home boarding : The boarder is not likely to have insurance cover for your doggos. Do everypawdy a favor...get one for your doggo if you can, regardless of whether you are sending your doggo for boarding.
Pet Hotel : The full fledged hotel businesses should have some level of insurance coverage for your doggo but don't expect that to free you from your responsibility for your doggo's actions and behaviour.
9. Service Agreement
Home boarding : Arrangements with home boarders are typically informal over messaging apps or booking platforms. These messages before and during the boarding service period can all be referenced as agreed terms during a dispute settlement. It becomes complicated when you need to claim against another pawrent who rejects your claim. Hence having a service agreement signed amongst all parties ensures everypawdy agrees to the terms and conditions.
Pet Hotel : If they do not have service agreement, you should be worried about their professionalism.
Home boarding : You can pawbably get the flexibility to check in and check out anytime (no graveyard timings please!). But of course, if you overstay the total duration (e.g. 24 hours boarding), expect to pay for extended hours.
Pet Hotel : Most hotels require you to check in only in the afternoon and check out by noon; similar to a hotel for hoomans. That may not work so well for you if you are going on a one day staycation as that would mean you end up checking in to your hooman hotel only after you have checked in your doggo at the pet hotel and check out earlier so you can fetch your doggo!
Hope you are now clearer about your choice! Do leave a comment to share your feedback or other factors that we have yet to consider!
P/S: If you are boarding your dog for a long period, location shouldn't matter as much and hence you shouldn't restrict you and your pawkid to only boarding services or hotels nearby. If however you are looking for daycare options on a regular basis, a home boarder or hotel near you could save you alot of transport costs.