Everything You Need To Know About Pet Boarding

Everything You Need To Know About Pet Boarding

If you're a pet parent, there's a good chance you've been in a situation where you had to leave town and couldn't take your furry friend with you. Don't worry, though—pet boarding is here to help!

In this post, we'll discuss what pet boarding is, how it works, and the pros and cons of using this service. We'll also provide some tips for finding the right pet boarding facility for your needs. So read on to learn more about this great option for keeping your pet happy and safe while you're away!

What Is Pet Boarding?

A woman holding her pets

Pet boarding is a service that provides temporary pet care for your dog or cat in a facility that is staffed and equipped to handle all of their needs. This can be an ideal solution for times when you need to travel and cannot take your pet with you. Dog and cat boarding facilities offer a safe, comfortable place for your pet, whether you need to board your pet for an overnight stay or for a long holiday.

Is Pet Boarding The Same As Pet Sitting?

Two caretakers watching after some dogs during playtime


No, pet boarding and pet sitting are not the same thing. Pet sitting usually refers to a service where a pet sitter comes to your house to take care of your pet while you're away. Pet boarding, on the other hand, takes place at a facility that is specifically designed for pets. This can be a better option for some pets, as it can provide them with more socialization and exercise.

Different Types Of Pet Boarding

Two dogs playing at the beach


There are several different types of pet boarding available, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs. The most common type of boarding is kennel boarding, which is when your pet stays in a designated area at the facility. This area is typically a cage or pen, and it will have everything your pet needs to be comfortable, including bedding and toys. Some facilities also offer group playtime for pets who enjoy socializing with others.

Another option is home boarding, which is when you drop your pet off at the home of a qualified caregiver. This can be a great solution if you're uncomfortable with the idea of your pet staying in a kennel. Home boarders will provide individualized attention to your pet, and they will make sure that your pet has everything they need while you're away.

How To Choose the Right Boarding Facility: 6 Things To Consider

Two dog barking at each other

Not all pet boarding facilities are created equal. When you're looking for a boarding facility for your pet, it's important to choose one that will meet your pet's needs and provide them with the best possible care. To help you find the right boarding facility, here are five things to consider:

1. Size And Staffing

A dog and a cat sitting on an ironing board

The more people there are on site, the safer the facility is likely to be. Consider a play yard with 20 dogs and just two guards overseeing them. Assume a fight breaks out between two dogs, and all of the other dogs join in. This isn't beyond belief; if it happens, someone's pet will be injured, and hopefully not yours. Ask the following questions when you visit the kennel and meet with the director:

  • How many pets are there at the facility on an average day, including boarding and daycare?

  • On an average day, how many kennels are filled?

  • Is there a trainer on staff? If so, how often is this person onsite?

  • If there is no trainer on staff or site, is one available if needed?

  • What training and background do staff have in terms of handling different types of pets (e.g., rough play versus fighting)?

2. Safety And Security

A dog holding some toys

The last thing you want to worry about when you're on vacation is whether or not your pet is safe and secure. When you visit a boarding facility, make sure to check for the following safety and security features:

Fences: Is the property fenced in? If so, what kind of fence is it? A chain-link fence is not as secure as a solid fence because pets can easily slip their heads through the links and escape.

Locks: Are the gates and doors locked? If so, what kind of locks are they? Again, you don't want your pet slipping out of an unlocked gate or door.

Surveillance: Is the property under surveillance? If so, how? Cameras can deter would-be thieves and also help staff keep an eye on the pets in their care.

3. Cleanliness

A dog and a cat sitting on a couch

A clean facility is a happy facility, and you want your pet to be happy when you're away from them. When you visit a boarding facility, make sure to check for the following signs of cleanliness:

Smell: Does the facility have a strong odor? If so, that's a red flag.

Floors: Are the floors clean? If not, that's another red flag.

Crates: Are the crates clean? If not, that may be an indication that the facility does not clean as often as it should.

Outdoor Areas: Are the outdoor areas clean? If not, that could be an indication that the facility is not keeping up with its cleaning schedule.

4. Exercise

A dog posing for a photo at the beach

Dogs need exercise, and when you're away from your dog, you want to know that they're getting the exercise they need. When you visit a boarding facility, make sure to ask about the following:

  • How often do pets get exercised?

  • What type of exercise do they get?

  • Do they have access to an open play environment?

  • Do staff members take them on walks?

  • Do they have any other opportunities for exercise?

5. Feeding And Medication Schedules

Two dogs playing in the field

When you leave your dog in the care of others, you want to make sure that they are being fed and given their medication according to your schedule. When you visit a boarding facility, make sure to ask about the following:

  • How often are pets fed?

  • What type of food do they eat?

  • Can you bring your own food?

  • How often are medications given?

  • Can you bring your own medications?

6. Services And Activities

Two dogs in jackets playing with each other

Boarding facilities offer a variety of services and activities for your pet, and you want to make sure that the facility you choose offers the services and activities that your pet needs. When you visit a boarding facility, make sure to ask about the following:

  • Do they offer a cat or dog daycare?

  • Do they offer grooming?

  • Do they offer overnight dog boarding facilities?

  • Do they offer pick-up and drop-off services?

  • Do they offer any other services or activities?

By considering these six factors, you can be sure to choose a boarding facility that will provide your pet with the best possible care.

How To Help Your Pet Adjust To Pet Boarding

If you're like most pet owners, the thought of leaving your furry friend behind while you go on vacation is enough to make you queasy. But don't worry; there are things you can do to help your pet adjust to pet boarding and make the experience as stress-free as possible for both of you.

1. Get Your Pet Used To Being Away From You

If your pet is used to being by your side 24/7, it's going to be a big adjustment for them to be away from you for an extended period of time.

To help them get used to the idea of being away from you, start by leaving them alone for short periods of time, gradually increasing the amount of time they're on their own.

You should also consider your pup's personality. Some pups are more prone to separation anxiety than others.

If your pet is the type that gets stressed easily, you might want to consider a home boarding option where they can stay in a sitter's home while you're away. This will ensure your pet's stay is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

2. Choose A Boarding Facility That Offers Daycare Services

If your pet is going to be spending a lot of time at the boarding facility, you'll want to choose one that offers daycare services. This way, they'll have the opportunity to socialize with other animals and get some exercise during the day.

3. Bring Their Favorite Toys

If your pet has a favorite toy or blanket, bring it with them to the boarding facility. This will help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings and give them something familiar to cuddle with when they're missing you.

4. Make Sure They're Up-To-Date On Their Vaccinations

Before you drop your pet off at the boarding facility, make sure they're up-to-date on all their vaccinations. This will help protect them from any illnesses they may come in contact with while they're staying at the facility.

5. Give The Boarding Facility A Call

If you're really worried about how your pet is going to do while you're away, give the boarding facility a call. Most facilities are more than happy to provide updates on how your pet is doing and put your mind at ease.

Pros And Cons Of A Pet Boarding Facility

Dogs running on short grass

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether or not to board your pet. Here's a look at some of the pros and cons of using a pet boarding facility:


1. Your pet will be well taken care of while you're away.

2. You don't have to worry about finding someone to watch your pet.

3. Your pet will have the opportunity to socialize with other pets.

4. Most boarding facilities offer a variety of services, such as grooming and daycare.


1. It can be expensive.

2. Your pet may not get the same one-on-one attention they would if they were staying with a friend or family member.

3. Your pet may be exposed to illness if they're not up-to-date on their vaccinations.

4. There's always the possibility that something could go wrong, no matter how well the facility is run.


Whether or not you decide to board your pet is a personal decision. There are a lot of things to consider, such as cost, the level of care your pet will receive, and whether or not your pet will be exposed to illness. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to make the best decision for you and your pet.

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