Everything You Need to Know about Dog Boarding

Whether you’re traveling, have a busy schedule, or circumstances in life just get in the way, there will be times when you need to rely on a boarding facility for your dog.
So read on to see what dog boarding entails and which facility might suit you.

What Does Boarding a Dog Mean?

Dog Boarding

Dog boarding is a service that allows you to leave your dog in a safe place overnight.

The need for such facilities is apparent in the fact that the United States is home to over 8,500 dog-boarding establishments.

There are numerous dog boarding facilities ranging from kennels with enclosures and open spaces for play to luxury hotels with spa services and activities for leisure. Doggy daycare is another type of pet boarding that allows your dog to enjoy and relax.

Let’s look at the different types of dog boarding facilities available.

Types of Dog Boarding Facilities

Dog Boarding

There are a lot of aspects one should consider when selecting a boring facility, such as:

  • The number of days you will be boarding your pet
  • Your pet’s physical and emotional needs
  • Its medical requirements
  • Your budget
  • Availability within the boarding facility

Once you’ve determined your needs and budget, you can choose a standard boarding kennel, doggy daycare, pet hotel, veterinary boarding, or dog sitter.

Let’s study each in detail.


A traditional boarding kennel is the safest option. Such facilities offer an individual enclosure for each dog so they can have their own space without encountering aggression or infections from other pets.
Kennels also provide their resident’s exclusive outdoor playtime so your pet doesn’t feel lonely or confined.
The Kennel will be responsible for caring for your dog and providing it with necessities such as food, shelter, and medical attention when required.

Doggy Daycare

Dog Boarding

Doggy daycare is a great option for working dog parents or those that want their dogs to develop social skills.

At doggy daycare, your pet can mingle with other dogs and strangers under the supervision of trained staff. This ensures healthy playtime as well as safety for your dog.
However, a daycare might not be the most satisfactory for you if you are more concerned about your dog catching infections from other pets.

Pet Hotel

Dog Boarding

If you want to treat your pup to the best time of their lives and have the budget to go overboard, a pet hotel can be a truly wholesome experience! These are high-end arrangements for pets, with comfortable beds, grooming spas, open play areas, and diligent staff to keep your dog relaxed while away from home.

Veterinary Boarding

Some veterinary clinics now offer overnight boarding services for pets. This can be a great option if your dog requires extra medical attention or if you’re worried about your dog’s health in your absence.
By putting your dog in a veterinary boarding, you can be at ease regarding your dog’s medical and dietary needs.

Dog Sitters

Dog Boarding

If you are looking for more affordable dog boarding options, dog-sitting or in-home boarding might be the right choice for you! A trustworthy sitter who can look after your pet’s basic needs and keep them company is a blessing in disguise, especially if you have long work hours.
There are two types of dog-sitting arrangements; sitting at your home and sitting at the dog-sitter’s place.
Make sure that whoever you entrust your pet to is experienced with dogs and that your pet feels comfortable in their presence.

  • Dog-Sitting at Your HomeYour dog’s comfort and safety are your priority. If your dog is more relaxed in familiar environments, you can hire pet sitters to come and care for your dog while you are away. Some scenarios include the sitter checking up on your dog multiple times, especially if the said individual lives near your home.
  • Dog-Sitting at the Sitter’s HouseThis setting works great where you and your dog know the sitter well, and your dog has a more friendly temperament with no fear of new and strange places.
    This can be a great option as your dog will always have company, and the dog sitter will naturally be more present and attentive.

Should You Opt for Boarding or Dog-Sitting?

Dog Boarding

As a dog owner, you know your pet best. Choosing to opt for pet boarding or leaving your dog at home with a sitter will require you to consider various factors, such as your dog’s temperament, dietary needs, and medical condition.

If your dog feels more relaxed and comfortable at home, then hiring a sitter is definitely a better option, plus it’s more economical!

Being at a boarding center also involves interaction with other pets, making it more likely for your dog to catch an infection.

If budget is not a constraint or you will be away for a longer period, then a professional pet-boarding facility is better suited. It frees you from constantly fretting about your dog’s well-being, especially if you cannot contact the sitter.

Also, if your pet gets nervous without you or tends to run away in your absence, the 24-hour supervision offered by a boarding facility is the best way to keep your dog safe and your mental peace intact.

Dogs who require constant attention and are more sociable would also benefit from being in the company of other animals.

Dog Boarding

Other factors that can help you choose between dog boarding and in-home sitting are the proximity of the facility and the sitter from your home, the weather forecast, how convenient it would be for your chosen candidate to reach your dog during emergencies, etc.

Regardless of your choice, ensuring that the person or facility you go with is highly qualified and well-recommended is important.

If you decide to put your dog in a boarding facility, determine the cost and see if it aligns with your budget. This brings us to another vital question – what’s the cost?

How Much Does Dog Boarding Cost?

Dog Boarding

You can’t put a price tag on your dog’s safety, but that being said, it is wiser to weigh all the pros and cons and take a look at your budget before making a decision.

Several aspects can influence the cost you could incur when you choose to send your dog to a boarding set-up. While the average cost is $18-$120 per day, it may vary depending on the type of facility you choose and its location.

Let’s break it down:

Kennel: $18 – $60 / night

Hotel:$50 – $120 / night

Daycare:$15 – $70 / night

Dog Sitter:$45 – $75 / night

Depending on the facility, additional charges might include:

  • Taxes
  • Maintenance
  • Food
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Transportation
  • Medical Care
  • Extra Surveillance (if your dog is aggressive)

Get quotes from multiple sources and choose the one which seems the safest and most suitable for your dog.

How to Choose the Best Option?

While choosing a boarding facility, it is best to visit beforehand with your dog to make them familiar and comfortable with the surroundings.

You should expect your boarding facility or sitter to have proper licenses, secure crates, a clean environment, and temperature control features for an adequately safe and comfortable environment.

Additionally, you can ask someone you trust to check up on your dog while you are away.

Preparing your dog in advance would be wise to make this transition from home to boarding easier.

How to Prepare Your Dog?

How you approach this change can greatly influence your pet’s time away from you.

If you’re going ahead with the option of a dog sitter, you won’t need to prepare your dog as much since they will be in their own environment and following a routine they are familiar with.

You still have to ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are updated, their favorite food is restocked, and your sitter knows where you keep your pet’s favorite toys and the vet’s contact details.

Introducing your sitter to PetMyPal for virtual non-emergency medical consultation and questions regarding your dog is advisable.

If you decide to go ahead with a dog boarding facility, pack a bag for your dog’s stay, which includes their favorite food, treats, toys, a leash, and bedding!

Lastly, nothing might ever be enough to prepare you both for parting! If you’re still worried about whether your dog will be lonely without you, a good precaution would be to ask someone you trust to visit your dog and choose a facility that allows them ample social interaction, like a daycare.

In conclusion, professional boarding facilities are a great way to care for your dog while you’re away and a far better alternative to leaving your pet with someone inexperienced for the challenge.

Boarding facilities employ trained professionals who keenly understand various factors, like the kind of food and environment your pet requires and the ability to monitor any need for medical assistance.

Overnight dog boarding is a safe choice as some facilities offer crate-free spaces for your dog, assisting in better social interactions and quality playtime. No need to fret, though, if your dog gets anxious and prefers little to zero company, as these facilities still have enclosures available.

Just do your research and make an informed decision.

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