Boarding Kennel vs Puppy Sitter?

Dear Dixie, I need your wise advice about whether to board or not to board my dogs.  I have a friend who we pay to house and puppy sit.  She is very reliable and takes great care of Emma and Sully.  She stays here with them at night.  The only problem is that she works full time.  When we are gone she comes home once during the day to let them out.  They stay in my master bathroom which is a very large room (still with their litter box).  They are very content there and have lots of chew toys, kongs with peanut butter etc.  When they are alone we keep a toddler gate over the door which they could step over with no problem..  I just don't think it has occurred to them to try.  She tries not to leave them for more than 4 hours at a time.  On the other hand, we do have a great place to board them which has large rooms they can stay together in instead of kennels.  They also have a puppy play room where they play all day (supervised) with other dogs.  It is a very nice place and I trust the people who own the kennel.  It is owned and run by a veterinarian whose clinic is also in the buidling.So here is the question....when we leave for a long time (5 days) and it is during the week while my friend is working, do you think it is better to leave them in their home environment or board them in a place where they get lots of attention.  We don't leave often for more than 2 or 3 days, but I worry about them when it is 4 or 5 nights.  What is your take on this?  I appreciate your insight!!!  All is well here......hope you are doing great too!  Thanks for your advice!!!

This is an interesting dilemma! Would a dog be more comfortable in his home that he knows, that smells like his owners, where things are familiar? Or would he be better off in a more social setting while the family is away? I think we all too often project our own feelings onto our dogs. We think, "He looks sad", or "He must be lonely". Honestly I don't think dogs feel exactly the way we do, and in many cases we are mistaken when we make assumptions about their feelings. I have often heard that dogs don't really have a sense of time. It could be a day or a week, and they don't really realize the amount of time that has transpired.

That being said, dogs are social beings. Isn't that why we love them? I think for most dogs, particularly those that are used to an active lifestyle and are well-socialized, they would probably be happier for an extended time period in a boarding kennel that has doggie day care. Some of them have web cams, and you can watch your dog to see how he is doing in this setting.

An active environment would most likely be a better choice in this situation...worth a try at least. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog!