Dog boarding is when pet parents leave their dogs at a kennel or a home-based facility to be fed and walked, typically in exchange for a fee. This is a great option for people who travel frequently or have busy lifestyles that make it difficult to care for their own pets at home.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of dog boarding before you decide if it’s right for your pet. Some dogs do well in boarding situations, but others can be extremely stressed and may become destructive or act inappropriately. It’s essential that you find a facility that is experienced with caring for your particular breed of dog and can provide a safe environment.
If you’re considering boarding your dog, start by asking veterinarians, groomers, and pet-owning friends for recommendations. Then, scan pet organization websites and Yelp reviews to find a few facilities that seem appealing. When you tour them, look for clean, sanitary conditions and ask the staff questions about their experience, education, and certifications.
Some boarding facilities use home-style sleeping areas with open-plan sleep quarters, while others have private suites for dogs who prefer a more intimate setting. Some offer group play time while others separate them based on age and temperament. Regardless of the arrangement, they should all offer adequate space and regular outdoor walks in protected areas.
Most kennels will require that your dog be vaccinated and up-to-date on heartworm and flea preventatives, and that they’re socialized around humans and other pets to prevent aggressive behaviors and resource guarding. Some may have additional requirements like proof of rabies vaccination or a microchip.
The perks of Dog boarding include peace of mind that your pet is being cared for round-the-clock by experienced and loving caretakers, especially if the kennel provides playtime. It’s also a better option for dogs who need to go outside more often than a house sitter can manage, or those with separation anxiety that could be exacerbated by being left alone at home.
Some dog boarding facilities offer modern amenities such as webcams that pet owners can access to check in on their pups while they’re away. Others, such as Paoli Vetcare in Rochester, are Fear Free certified and use methods to minimize stress for all boarders, including those with special needs. This helps to keep them calm and happy during their stay.