I am considering leaving my dog in a kennel for the holiday. I have never done this before. The place seems nice and they get lots of outdoor play during the day, but the kennels are outside and it seems like he could get cold and lonely out there. He's used to sleeping right next to us in a warm bedroom.
Please share your boarding/kennel experiences
All the kennels are outside? What's the weather like where you are? I can't imagine leaving all the dogs outside overnight. I've been working at kennels/daycares/shelters for over seven years now and none of the places where I've worked have had ONLY outside kennels. Most places have an indoor/outdoor run.
Have you been for a tour? Also it wouldn't hurt to call and ask about the outside kennels, the weather, the bedding offered, etc.
Try Rover.com. They connect you with people in your area who will watch your dog in their home, or yours depending on what you are comfortable with. The sitters are insured and I've had nothing but great experiences with the service. My sitter sent me picture updates and my dog came back happy and tired from all the fun he had.
They are in a big building and they are radiant heated. This is N. CA so not too cold, but he's used to being warm and inside, cuddling up with others, and his fur is pretty short. We just did the tour. The actual kennels have nice little cots. It has a couple of dog playgrounds and covered dog runs in case in it raining. It seems pretty nice. He's doing a free trial day and, as far as I can tell from the webcam, he is doing well. The dogs are all really nice (and the people). :)
A lot of it depends on the personality of your dog. My dog is an Australian Shepherd. I've tried to have him stay at a kennel twice and it has gone horribly both times--even when it has been at great, clean, friendly, large kennels. I think he has panic attacks at them. He does great at home, but he gets freaked out at kennels. He seems fine for the first day or so, but then gets listless, anxious, etc. Both vacations were cut short. Now (even though it is much less convenient), he stays home and I pay someone to watch him in the home. It works so much better for him. Many dogs do just fine in kennel environments--but some don't fare as well. Testing it out for a day of doggie daycare seems like a good start to try. Good luck!