What Is Dog Boarding?

What Is Dog Boarding?

What Is Dog Boarding?

Are you wondering what dog boarding is and how it can help you? If so, we have the answers you're looking for. Check out this guide.

Keyword(s): what is dog boarding

The time has finally come; you've found a few free days in your busy schedule and can contemplate a vacation. It's an exciting time filled with planning your itinerary, choosing hotels, and booking flights, but it can also be a time of dread for dog parents.

Unless you can find a pet-friendly destination, you must leave your pets behind. The thought of them pining away while you have a wonderful time is too much to bear.

What if we told you that dog boarding is one way they can enjoy a pampered vacation, too? What is dog boarding, though, and is it a good fit for your pet?

Read on to find out more.

What Is Dog Boarding?

Most of us consider our pets a part of the family, so it's unthinkable to leave them at home during a fun vacation. Yet, it's not always easy to find accommodations that welcome pets.

Traveling with pets can also be challenging, especially if you own a large breed, and they can't always tag along to the beach or the movies while you're on vacation.

Dog boarding is a type of dog care where someone else steps in to care for your pet when you can't. Whether you must travel for work commitments, an emergency, or your much-needed vacation, someone has to fill in for you when it comes to your dogs.

Types of Temporary Pet Care

If you're on great terms with your neighbors and they know your pets well, you could ask them to keep an eye on things while you're away and pop in to feed your pets daily.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of knowledgeable, friendly, dog-loving neighbors to fall back on. Entrusting your pets to friends, family, or neighbors can ensure they're safe and cared for, but it can also seem like an imposition.

Luckily, there are alternatives:

Hiring a Pet Sitter

Dogs are creatures of habit who experience anxiety and fear when separated from their owners. Removing them from their familiar environment at the same time can compound this.

Hiring someone to visit your home to feed your pet and spend time with them helps alleviate one of these difficulties. You can ask a pet sitter to remain in your house full-time, stay there overnight, or pop in for food and playtime.

The best part about this is that you don't need to change much about your pet's environment. It's the most suitable option for anxious dogs or those who are wary of other dogs.

Hiring a pet sitter can get expensive, so they're only suited for short stays.

You must spend as much time interviewing pet sitters as you would if you were hiring a childminder. Allow them to meet the dog or dogs first and pay attention to how they interact with them.

It's vital to ask a pet sitter for references and speak to each one. Before you leave, be sure they know your dog's routine and where to find everything they need during their stay.

Boarding a Dog at Kennels

Kennels are a low-key, no-frills experience for your dog. They'll receive ongoing basic care with few luxuries.

In most cases, the dogs are fenced in a small concrete area with a shelter or a small room with a tile floor. If your dog has never been away from the luxuries of home, this can be distressing.

Kennels are the most affordable option if you're away from home for a long time. They provide for all your dog's needs but don't give them much personalized attention.

Always research your options thoroughly and visit the kennels before you send your dog there. Check that the dog containment areas are clean and safe and that the establishment is orderly and well-run.

Many highly reputable kennel services across the U.S. are managed by knowledgeable and dedicated people. You can rest assured that your pet will be kept safe and secure during their stay when you book them into kennels.

Some boarding kennels accept many types of animals, like birds and reptiles.

In-Home Dog Boarding

If your pets can't stay at home and you're reluctant to confine them to a kennel, you can hire in-home dog sitters who will take care of your pets in their homes.

Although your pets won't feel completely at home in someone else's house, they may experience less anxiety than when confined to a kennel.

You must arrange for a 'meet and greet' with your dog present before you decide on this option, especially if the sitter has pets of their own. During this visit, ask to see where the dog will sleep and eat, and make sure the pet sitter's home is secure enough to keep your pet contained during the stay.

Always compare several options, read reviews, and get in touch with the sitter's references before you commit. If you own a dog breed with specific needs, such as a working dog, you must choose a pet sitter with experience managing its needs.

Dog Boarding Hotels

Knowing that your dog is experiencing a luxury stay akin to your own can do much to ease your guilt about leaving them behind. Exclusive dog boarding hotels offer a range of home-away-from-home services for dogs.

Each pet has private accommodation with a plush dog bed or can share with their familiar companions if preferred. They have healthy meals served to them in their accommodations, room-service style.

Experienced and dedicated pet minders attend to their every need. Supervised playtime takes place in an age-appropriate environment with plenty of toys and games to ensure an enjoyable time.

Walks and games are part of their daily routine, you can arrange for grooming services, and there's a veterinarian on call in case of emergencies.

There's no better way for your pet to stay engaged and happy while you're away. The only drawback to these services is the cost involved.

Most pet families find these fees a small price to pay for their peace of mind and their pets' happiness.

Choosing the Best Fit for Your Dog

The best choice for your pet depends on several factors. It's proven that dogs have different personalities based on more than their breed or our anthropomorphic ideas.

Your dog's unique likes, dislikes, and temperament should be the first thing you consider when choosing a temporary boarding facility.

For instance, if your dog loves to be outdoors, you should search for a place that offers outdoor space to roam. If your dog prefers a more solitary environment, kennels might be a good option.

When you've narrowed your search based on your dog's personality, other factors you should take into account include:


Most states require dog boarding facilities to acquire a business license. This is the first thing to check when researching a suitable boarding establishment or pet sitter.

The facility should carry third-party liability insurance and, preferably, additional specialized business insurance.

Ask the owner or manager to provide references and call these pet owners to get their opinions about their experience with the establishment. Online reviews can also be a source of useful information.

Make an appointment to visit the facility and meet as many staff members as possible. Find out more about their qualifications and experience.

General Impression

First impressions count. Does the boarding facility look clean and orderly? Do the staff members seem professional and competent?

Do you feel comfortable and at ease in the environment? If you don't feel good about it, your pet probably won't either.

Indoor Facilities

Ask to see the dogs' sleeping quarters. They should be clean and comfortable, with no signs of fleas or other insects.

Check that the pet accommodation looks the same as advertised in brochures and online. Ask as many questions as you want regarding how many hours your dog will spend inside and how often they clean the rooms.

If there are indoor play areas, ask if you can see them.

Outdoor Amenities

If the boarding facility offers outdoor play areas, pay attention to how secure they are. Are the gates sturdy, and are the fences solid enough to stop pets from wandering astray?

Inquire about how many dogs use the play area at one time, and how many hours of play they enjoy daily. Are the dogs allowed to interact, and if so, are they grouped according to age and size?

Does the indoor and outdoor equipment look clean and well-maintained? Finally, inquire about supervision during playtime and how many pet attendants are present during these interactions.

Health Precautions and Safety

Find out if there is someone on-site 24/7 and what the ratio is between pets and attendants. At least one staff member should have a pet first-aid certification.

When it comes to veterinary services, will the facility call your regular vet for assistance, or do they have a vet on call for these occasions?

Check whether pets have regular tick and flea screenings and whether the personnel offer other basic veterinary services, like daily temperature checks.

Ask which vaccinations are required for admission to the boarding establishment.

Additional Support

Does the facility accommodate dogs with special needs and provide the specialized care they need? You should check this out, even if your dog doesn't need special treatment.

Unsupervised dogs with social or anxiety problems could interact negatively with your dog. Are the handlers prepared to accommodate your dog's preferences, such as frequent exercise or special meals?

Can you bring familiar toys or a favorite blanket to help your pet feel more at home? Most importantly, find out if you can bring your dog for a visit to see how they react in this new environment.

Does the Facility Pass a Pet Inspection?

If your pet meets all the health requirements for admission, you will likely be allowed to take them to the facility for a trial visit. Booking a couple of days of doggy daycare is a good way to test how well they adapt and help them realize you will return after dropping them off.

Pay attention to how the personnel interact with your pet and how your pet responds to them. Signs of anxiety are red flags, so look out for the following:

  • Excessive panting
  • Hyperactivity or lethargy
  • Biting or growling
  • Attempts to hide
  • Stress-induced diarrhea

If you can see any other dogs at the facility, pay attention to whether they show signs of anxiety or stress.

Preparing Your Dog for a Pet Boarding Experience

Preparing your dog for boarding begins long before you start planning your vacation. A well-trained, socialized dog can adjust to any situation.

So, if you want to enjoy worry-free vacations in the future, you should participate in professional dog training sessions with your dog as soon as possible. This will help them cope with change better and ensure they interact positively with other dogs and people.

Once you've got these basics in place, there are still a few things you should do before you book them in for their stay.

  • Make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Make copies of their health records
  • Pack any medications they need
  • Pack food and treats for their stay (if necessary)
  • Pack comfort items like familiar bedding and toys
  • Print out contact details for your vet
  • Provide details for an emergency in-town contact

Finally, ask what your dog's daily routine will be like during their stay and if you'll be kept updated during their stay. A few pictures of your dog playing and having fun with new friends can give you peace of mind while you're apart.

Send Your Dog on Vacation With Us

Don't worry about your dog feeling abandoned while you're away. If you've done your homework correctly, your dog will cope well with this experience.

Once you've enjoyed the convenience of having somewhere safe for your pet to stay, you'll wonder why you didn't ask, 'What is dog boarding?' a long time ago.

Doggies Gone Wild offers premium doggie daycare and boarding facilities in Doral and Miami Gardens, Florida. We are dedicated to giving your pets a five-star home-away-from-home experience.

Book a spot for your dog today and start planning your next vacation.

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