What Is Dog Boarding and Is It Right for Your Pet?

Published September 22, 2021
A Pet Sitter Holding a Shiba Inu

Your dog may go along with you on most occasions, but there may come a time where you need to leave them behind whether it's for an emergency, day-long trip or longer, or for work. In these cases, dog boarding could be a good option to provide your dog with the accommodations they need to remain happy and comfortable.

The Difference Between a Kennel and Dog Boarding

Kennels are often businesses that keep dogs for various lengths of time, whether for the day, a month, or longer. These may include local, individually owned locations or veterinarians. At a kennel, dogs are fed and housed until the pet parent returns.

When you are considering a kennel, it's important to conduct research regarding the kennels in question and ask around to see if anyone else has had experience with them. Some kennels are fantastic, providing opportunities for play and interaction, whereas others may be more limited in the time they are able to spend with the dog.

Time for walking at doggie daycare

Different Types of Dog Boarding

Dogs who are boarded are generally known to receive more interaction than those placed in a kennel. When your dog is boarded, professionals often play with your dog, shower them with affection, and care for them as if they were their own. Rather than a kennel where your dog gets the basics, pet boarding ensures your dog is happy and well-adjusted while you are away.

Pet Hotels or Resorts

Another type of dog boarding facility is known as a pet hotel, pet spa, or resort. These facilities offer more lavish options than a kennel, including individual rooms with beds, activities with other dogs, and in-room cameras.

In-Home Dog Boarding

There is one primary, major benefit to having a pet sitter come to your home, whether for a drop-in or overnight stay, or even for a week. You don't need to change anything about your dog's environment and their routine can stay mostly the same in many cases. This is a great option for dogs who experience anxiety or who need a constant, predictable routine.

It's important to meet a few candidates, and conduct a few meet-and-greets with your dog, to determine the most suitable fit for you and your dog. Be sure to walk the candidates through your dog's routine, ask for experience and references, and show where your dog's favorite items and food are located. You will also need to let them know of any health issues or behavioral issues your dog has and ensure they are comfortable with the arrangement, as well.

Dog Boarding in their Home

Some pet sitters prefer to board dogs in their own home. They may prefer this route if they have other obligations, whether they board several dogs at a time, have children, or are simply more comfortable staying in their own home rather than someone else's. If you are comfortable with this, it's another option that's available to you.

Even so, dogs are often still more comfortable in another's home than in a kennel or other boarding service. There is room to roam. They are often showered with love and affection (sometimes by the whole family), and have plenty of opportunity for play, interaction, and exercise.

Dog walker enjoying outdoors in park with group of dogs

The Process of Dog Boarding

Most pet boarding directories are free to browse. Most organizations, such as Rover, also perform background checks on pet sitters to ensure they are qualified. They also provide a bit of background into the pet sitter so you know the experience and education (if applicable) the pet sitter has. When a pet parent finds a sitter they may like, the service offers a meet-and-greet to allow them to meet one another and ensure a good match. Payment is also often taken care of by the service to protect both the sitter and the pet parent.

As far as cost, pet sitters with more experience may charge more than those who are just beginning. This is a factor to consider, as well. If you are looking for a pet sitter with more professional experience, they are likely to be more expensive due to their qualifications. You can save money by taking a chance on a beginning pet sitter, but regardless of who you choose, be certain to meet the prospective sitter to determine who would be a better fit for your dog.

Consider What is Best for Your Individual Dog

Each dog has their own preferences. If your dog doesn't like interaction with other dogs, consider asking the pet sitter if there will be other dogs in the home. If there are, you can consider another sitter or request a sitter to come to your home. If your dog is one who prefers to be in their own environment or experiences anxiety, ensuring they stay at your home may be best for them. A kennel or pet spa is another option with experienced professionals, but you should take into consideration that your dog may not have as much play or interaction time as they would with boarding.

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What Is Dog Boarding and Is It Right for Your Pet?