Firstly, I would ask around to see what others recommend. Then, the first decision would be in-home care or boarding facilities/kennel? In making this decision, I would consider my dogs' personality (would they do well in this setting? how social are they?). I would also think about the age of my dogs and any health or diet concerns.
There are quite a number of kennels/boarding facilities available now. Some have onsite grooming, swimming pools, fenced in fields and probably a whole lot more. If I were to go this route, I would definitely go to visit the facility and meet the people so that I am comfortable. I think for the most part, our dogs are much more resilient than we think they are. Of course, a reputable facility would want to meet your dog to ensure that it is well socialized and will fit into the structure of the facility. Don't forget your breeder in this ... many of them will take back their pups for boarding while you're away.
In home boarding:
This type of boarding can be where you take your dog to someone else's home or where someone "moves" into your home while you're away. Let's start with sending the dog to a "caregiver". I would want to know how many dogs at one time would this person be boarding. I might want to know if they have restrictions on the size of dog they accept. Afterall, housing 6 small dogs is different than 6 large breeds. I would check to ensure that the yard was fenced - actually, I would probably do a walk around to see if there were any nooks and crannies that my pup could escape through. I would also ask:
- is someone home all day? If not, where would the dogs be when left alone?
- how many walks a day and how far?
- how do they manage feeding? If my dog was on a restricted diet, how would they handle this?
- some dogs are on a raw diet so do they have storage facilities for this?
- are they comfortable with giving pills or injections (assuming this applied to my dog)
- are they certified in Pet First Aid?
- where would they take my dog if there was a medical emergency? This would be a my vet vs. their vet question.
So where would you find someone who moves into your home? I've always thought that a vet tech would be a perfect for this. You've already established a relationship with them during your regular vet visits, you know they love animals, are skilled at giving medication/shots and they've dealt with pet emergencies. What more could you ask for???
Is there anything you'd add to this? I'd love to hear your suggestions!