5 Best Boarding Options for Your Dog

Your dog’s level of comfort while you’re away may depend on how much you’re willing to spend.

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If exercise is a priority for your pup, make sure you find a facility that honors his needs. By: pattispetperfection

Traveling can be stressful, even when you’re going on vacation.

Leaving your dog behind just adds to that stress, especially if you’re going to be boarding him for the first time.

When choosing a facility to watch Rex and the type of boarding that will suit his needs best, it helps to do your research. Here are a few options that are available to you and Rex.

1. Private Boarding Facility

Most cities have at least 1 business that specializes in pet boarding, with a few staff members responsible for feeding, exercising and monitoring the pets. Kennels often have indoor and outdoor areas, so the dogs can choose when to take a potty break without waiting for a walk.

The pet containment areas and services offered at private boarding facilities can vary:

  • Housing may be a simple concrete-floored kennel or a luxury “suite” with furniture and a TV.
  • Exercise may mean a few brief walks daily — or a full day of socializing with other dogs in a monitored playroom.
  • Food and toy policies may be very strict, or the facility may rotate toys and provide special treats for good behavior.

Along with the services offered, the price for boarding at these facilities can also vary greatly, especially when upgrades are available for purchase.

Before dropping off your pup, though, make sure to visit and get a tour.

2. Animal Shelter

Did you know that some animal shelters offer pet boarding? Check out your local shelters to see if they have trained staff and volunteers to help make your dog’s stay as comfortable as possible.

Boarding at a shelter may be slightly less expensive than other nearby options, and your money can benefit the homeless animals your shelter cares for every day. Some shelters also have veterinarians and certified trainers available to provide additional care.

Keep in mind, though, that shelters may also accept stray animals and pets without clean bills of health. Check with your shelter before booking to verify their cleaning methods and measures taken to contain any potentially sick animals.

Some shelters may even go overboard in their cleaning methods, as Petful manager Kristine Lacoste found out. After boarding her 2 dogs at a local shelter for a last-minute weekend trip, she returned to find “they were covered in red sores and burn marks, similar to brush burns. It turned out that the shelter workers rinsed the concrete kennels with bleach every day.” Lacoste made other arrangements for her dogs after that experience.

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Is your dog more comfortable at home? Consider asking a pet sitter to stay with Roxy when you go on vacation. By: pnelson

3. Veterinary Clinic

This is an ideal choice for someone whose pet has special needs or requires medicine. And if the clinic is also where your pet’s veterinarian works, then there’s a level of comforting familiarity.

Be sure to ask what precautions the staff takes to prevent the spread of disease, especially if the boarding kennels are located near the sick animal kennels.

4. Sitter’s Private Home

For those uncomfortable with leaving their dogs in cages and kennels — where they’ll be left alone at night — there are other options.

With a little research, you’ll probably find a number of private pet care professionals who offer everything from dog walking to pet taxi services and overnight boarding in their private homes.

The benefits of boarding your pet at his sitter’s home include:

  • A quieter stay than at a kennel
  • A more familiar surrounding
  • More one-on-one attention
  • Less alone time

Sounds like a dream, right? Before you go for it, though, keep in mind that this option is probably more expensive than kennel boarding.

Check out this veterinary clinic that moonlights as a pet boarding facility:

5. Your Home

Don’t want to take your dog anywhere even remotely unfamiliar while you’re away? Well, if you find the right pet sitter, you can hire that person to stay in your home with your pup during your vacation.

Expensive? Yes, but this is probably the most comfortable option for your dog.

Whatever you choose, check these options out beforehand and be certain that you’re leaving your dog in the best hands.

Allison Gray

View posts by Allison Gray
Allison Gray gained a wealth of knowledge about animal welfare issues and responsible pet care during her nearly 5 years of work for an animal shelter. She is a writer, photographer, artist, runner and tattooed remedial knitter. Allison also has been researching, testing out and perfecting nutritious pet treat recipes in her kitchen for Petful since spring 2017.

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