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The Singapore Dog Lifestyle Blog

Dog boarding Donna at Paw Planet

Update May 14, 2014 – Paw Planet has currently stopped offering dog boarding services, but daycare is still available. 

The thing about having dependents – children, elderly parents – is that it makes travel difficult. In our case, we had Donna. She needed dog boarding.

Arranging for dog boarding when we travel

Our previous boarder seemed to have other plans the last we spoke. So we started arranging to meet with different dog boarders ahead of time. It was not easy to find somebody that made us comfortable and confident of in terms of their reliability.

One made me uncomfortable, another one only wanted to take in customers by referral, yet another was out of the country. We had a verbal agreement with a dog boarder that she could likely take Donna, but were told two weeks ahead of our travel plans that she was no longer available.

With the more established dog boarding services already booked and not taking in any more dogs and this last minute cancellation, we were lucky to finally get a slot for Donna with Paw Planet.

Paw Planet

It’s newly opened and so gives the dogs indoor and outdoor play areas that look very new and nicely renovated, with synthetic grass and tiled floor. It was also rather amusing to see the owner Melissa whip out a pee pad every time a dog did it on the floor in the outdoors area. I guess the efficiency will be very much appreciated by dog owners whose dogs like to eat poop. :P


Pic #1, Unverified, but I think the dog in the middle is Donna. Pic #2, Donna brought a toy to Melissa perhaps.

Familiarising the dog to the new dog boarding service

Paw Planet offers a one day trial day care for new dogs looking at dog boarding with them. And I think that was perfect since it helps get the dogs in before they are being boarded and can have some time to acclimatise to the place.

Donna certainly needs that and even if Melissa did not throw the freebie in our way, we would have scheduled Donna to go in for an overnight stay perhaps, since we really wanted her to become comfortable with the place we are leaving her in before we left her there.

And if you have been reading this blog, you may remember that Donna was fairly fearful and resistant to entering the day care compounds on her first day of day care there. It was the second time she visited and I guess the first time we were there to check out the place, it did not leave her with that great an impression, even though she seemed to have adjusted to it after a while on that day.

Web cam access lets you observe your dog when at dog boarding

Unlike some childcare centres in our country which have no web cams for parents to see that their children are not mistreated in anyway, Paw Planet does have web cam access available at fixed hours of the day. The bit rate is not fast so all I could see were jerky movements on the screen. But speaking from the perspective of having a friend rush to her child’s daycare because his arm got fractured and the teacher does not know why even though she was in charge, slow jerky movements win over having no webcam at all. Seriously, do we treat our dogs better than our children??? *Of course, I’m ranting about the state of childcare in my country. :P*

Since we were going to be travelling, the web cam was not so useful to us. But it was helpful when we used it on Donna’s first day of day care, it was great just to be able to observe how she was reacting to the new environment and the dogs around her.

Variables I had not considered until observed on web cam

She appeared to be unperturbed, lying in the middle of the room like she was the queen. But of course, she wasn’t and playing dogs were not going to give her a wide berth just because she decided to park herself in the middle of the room. She appeared equally unperturbed when the room was being vacuumed.

I did not observe the dogs peeing indoors but I did observe the bed covers being changed so I thought it wise to check with Melissa if the other dogs would pee on Donna’s bed if we were to bring it along with her.

What we took with our dog to dog boarding

The third time we were there was to deposit Donna for boarding already, sans bed but with her food and ThunderShirt. While she was still frightened, she was thankfully not as resistant as the second time she visited. Melissa appeared amused how Donna could switch so fast from being frightened to playbowing other dogs. What can I say, I guess, our dog is timid but 4 years is not old, so she is playful.

 
Pic #3 Melissa made new bed covers and reported that Donna loved the bed and slept on it every night. There was also a couple of other pictures of Donna looking unhappy because of the rain or just standing around in general. Lost when I lost my phone.

Truthfully, there is nothing perfect in the world so one of the concerns we had voiced to Melissa was the fact that the room the dogs would spend time in when indoors was floor to ceiling glass on three sides of it. Not ideal for a dog with thunder phobia perhaps.

But Donna is back and appeared fairly lively the first two days she was back, none the worse for having to share close quarters with other dogs for more than a week.

The socialisation probably did her a world of good. Melissa reported that Donna was pretty calm and did observe and respond to social cues from the other dogs.


Pic #5 and #6, Melissa said Donna made a best friend called Ashley.

The main thing is, we’re pretty glad that Donna had a good vacation back at home, while we had our getaway out of the country.

Pictures used provided by Paw Planet during Donna’s dog boarding stay there. Since we were travelling and would not have access to web cam, we asked for a daily photo update instead. This is not a paid review or advertorial. We paid for Donna’s stay at Paw Planet and did not receive any special benefits or compensation from the dog boarding service.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve never had this experience. When They go away, we go too.

    • You must be happy to go along when they go away :) The island is small over here, so when we go away we literally have to fly out to somewhere and across immigration so it’s not possible to take Donna, and she’s not exactly small either :P

  2. We live in an extended family, so when we go away, the kids care for all the dogs … as we care for theirs when they aren’t here. Really, all the dogs live with all of us all the time. It’s more a matter of where each spends the most time, but they all eat upstairs and go from abode to abode freely and share the same doggy door and yard.

    Even so — the older dogs gets freaky when we are away for more than a day and sometimes won’t eat. Dogs are so routine-senstive. The older they get, the more entrenched they are. I always worry about them when we aren’t nearby. Especially about the oldest ones.

    • We don’t really have family that we can leave Donna with, so dog boarding is very necessary for us. We are not that good with routines actually, so hopefully Donna gets used to a life that is … not so routine. But certainly it makes sense to hope the dog boarding service remains consistent so that we can stay with one that Donna is comfortable with permanently rather than having to keep stressing her with new grounds so to speak.

      It is part and parcel of life to worry about those we care about, humans and dogs alike, but I hope DOnna wouldn’t get more freaky as she age. Although I can imagine she could get grumpier with age :P, haha!!

  3. Sorry to hear that you lost your phone! But sounds like a great report on the dog boarding service.

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