Dos and Don’ts of Boarding Your Dog – Plan Your Pet’s Vacation

If you’re a pet owner that’s thinking about boarding your dog for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions… Will your dog be safe? Are they ready to be boarded? What constitutes a good boarding facility?

About 40% of US households own dogs. Given that volume of K9s, the domestic pet boarding industry is booming to the tune of about 9 billion dollars in revenue annually.

Before arriving at your local boarding location, our recommendation is to get all of those questions answered by reading our list of boarding dos and don’ts. They will help enlighten you and create a more positive experience for your pet.

Most boarding kennels require proof of the following vaccinations:

  1. Rabies vaccine
  2. Canine distemper vaccine
  3. Bordetella vaccine

You can leave a written authorization for emergency veterinary care with the boarding kennel, along with extra information of your primary veterinarian.

The Do’s of Dog Boarding

Both you and your family member will enjoy the extended stay at the kennel

There are several things that you can do to ensure that your dog has a pleasant experience. Here are proactive measures to keep in mind:

Do Your Homework

Not all boarding facilities are created equally. Some won’t let your dogs out to stretch their legs during their stays. Others aren’t meticulous about picking up animal droppings which means that your best friend could end up sitting next to their feces for prolonged periods.

The best way to avoid bad boarding locations is to do your homework. Take to the internet and read reviews. Ask your pet-owning friends for information on this dog resort that they booked last summer or that pet hotel that they used in the fall.

With a little bit of effort, dog owners should be able to narrow your boarding choices down to a handful of reputable businesses.

Tour Where Your Pet Will Be Staying

By touring a boarding facility, you’ll be able to see the conditions that animals are kept in behind the scenes. That insight will let you know whether or not an establishment is a fit for your pet.

Read Your Boarding Contract Carefully

Every boarding kennel that you do business with will give you a boarding contract. Read it carefully before signing. Contracts outline a lot of details regarding the treatment of your pet. You don’t want to hastily agree to something that you’re uncomfortable with.

Require That Somebody Be On-Site 24/7

The reason why you’re paying to board your dog and are not just leaving them at home with an automatic food dispenser is that you want a human to be present while you’re away. To that end, ask if somebody will be on-site at your boarding kennel 24/7.

If a facility lets you know that staff leaves for the evening, continue your search. As a dog owner,  you don’t want your dog to have an emergency without anybody being there to assist.

The Don’ts of Dog Boarding

Most dogs require extra food to avoid behavior quirks and separation anxiety

Now that you know things that you should do before boarding your dog, let’s touch on things that are best avoided. The following are based on common boarding mistakes that we see pet parents make:

Only Shop Based on Price

How cheap or expensive a facility is doesn’t paint you a picture of the quality of services that an establishment offers. Because of that, you don’t let price be the most important factor in your boarding decision.

Let your decision be predicated on how well your dog is likely to be taken care of which you can surmise after researching a location thoroughly.

Freak Out When Dropping Off Your Pet

Dogs can sense emotions. If you have anxiety when leaving your canine companion at a facility, they’ll pick up on the tension and their anxiety will skyrocket.

A high energy dog requires extra individual attention and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming restless or destructive in a daycare facility. Providing them with interactive toys or engaging activities can help alleviate their anxiety and keep them occupied during their stay.

Emergency measures are placed in daycare facilities to ensure the safety and well-being of all pets. Trained staff members are available to handle any unexpected situations or medical emergencies that may arise, giving pet owners peace of mind while they are away.

As a pet parent, you need to keep calm and trust that the boarding kennel is equipped to handle any situation that may arise. It is important to communicate any specific needs or concerns about your active dog to the staff so they can provide the best care possible during their stay.

Ask the kennel staff if you can bring any familiar items from home, such as toys or bedding, to help your dog feel more comfortable in the new environment. Additionally, inquire about the daily routine and exercise schedule for your dog to ensure they will receive adequate physical activity during their stay.

Neglect to Talk to Your Veterinarian

Diseases can quickly spread through many boarding facilities. Issues like “kennel cough”, for example, are relatively common and can severely impact dogs that aren’t vaccinated.

To ensure that your dog is not at a heightened risk of getting ill while boarding, talk to your veterinarian in advance of your dog’s boarding date.

You may find that your dog needs certain medications or shots to help them get through their boarding experience. You may even be advised to not board your dog at all due to their age or unique medical issues they harbor.

Forget to Pack Something Familiar

In moments of anxiety, people turn to what’s familiar to find comfort. Dogs do the same thing. That’s why we love recommending that pet parents leave their dogs at some facilities with a few familiar items.

These items might include your dog’s favorite toys and/or a shirt that you wear from time to time. Little things like packing your dog items that make them feel at home can have a huge impact on their ability to tolerate their time away from you.

Now That You’re a Boarding Pro, Drop Your Best Friend Off With Confidence

Every doggie daycare has a pet sitter who is trained and experienced in handling different breeds and temperaments. They understand the importance of providing a safe and comfortable environment for your furry friend while you’re away.

Other dogs tend to enjoy the company of their fellow furry friends, which can provide a sense of companionship and alleviate any feelings of loneliness or boredom. This social interaction can also help improve their social skills and overall well-being.

To make things positive, follow our tips and make sure that you allow yourself that time that you need to find, tour and select a quality boarding location. Dogs are resilient animals so with a little bit of care, they’ll coast through today’s boarding experience and any other experiences that come up in the future.

Dog sitters can help you take care of your furry friend while you are away on vacation or at work. You can always use a dog walker or a pet sitter if you do not want to take your pet to a boarding kennel for overnight care.

This way, the dog stays home and not in a strange place where it might get scared or lost. If you’re craving more information on all things related to owning a happy pet, keep browsing the newest content on our blog.

Last Updated on 19/02/2024 by Karen Snow