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Dog behind a cage in a boarding facility for pets.

5 Tips On Finding the Best Pet Boarding Facility

Choosing the right boarding services for your pet is an important part of your vacation planning. Deciding to go with boarding instead of a pet sitter can be a good choice if your dog or cat gets lonely when you’re away, or your pet needs extra attention due to special health or dietary needs.

How do you find the best dog or cat boarding place with the right boarding services for your furry friend? Here are some tips to help you pick the right one:

1. Take A Tour Of The Pet Boarding Facility

Before you book your pet’s stay, make an in-person visit and take a tour of the cat or dog boarding place, including the type of room where your pet would reside.

The owners should welcome a visit, show you what you’d like to see, and answer any questions. Take a close look at the pets there during your visit and the general conditions of the facility. Please pay attention to smells and sounds as well as how they look.

2. Learn How The Pet Care Facility Will Update You

Find out how the cat or dog boarding facilities will update you on your pet’s well-being while you are away. Do they have webcams, send daily update emails with pictures, or take phone calls whenever you want to check in on your pet? If not - it may be helpful to look elsewhere.

A good pet care facility should be able to provide a good service for you and your pet. It must be regular through texts, emails, phone calls, or all three. This ensures that any changes in the pet's behavior are carefully recorded, and also serves as pet disaster preparedness.

To that end, the updates should also be sufficiently detailed. It needs to contain their feeding schedule, the activities they've done for the day, their exercise routine, and other special care that's needed for them.

Your pet's health and well-being should be the priority with these updates. If there's a clear line of communication between the customer and the facility, it's a green flag that the establishment is probably worthy of your trust.

3. Learn About Activities Your Pet Can Get

Dogs running in a boarding facility for dogs.

Ask about what types of play and exercise your dog or cat will get while boarding. For cats, are there cat trees and other things to climb on? Is there a window so your cat can look outside?

Do they have toys, or can you bring your cat’s toys? Check the fee for how many play/exercise times are included for dogs. Having interactive toys is a good sign, as the management cares enough about the pet's cognition.

You should also check for enough space for them to run and move around. Animals need sufficient space and accommodation to stay active, and going for a facility that offers one can go a long way in making them comfortable when separated from their owners.

Other questions to include are: how will your dog interact with the other dogs there? Do they separate the dogs by size or personality? Will they walk your dog individually if you ask for that?

4. Ensure They Understand Your Pet's Special Care Requirements

Ensure the kennel staff understands your pet’s special care requirements, such as following prescription diets and administering medications properly. Ask them how they handle medical emergencies. Give them your vet’s contact information and ensure they have an established relationship with an emergency veterinary practice.

Many pets, such as senior dogs, have specific needs to keep themselves healthy. The staff should be willing to handle any of these and include them with their updates. Not being able to do so could result in complications for your pet and maltreatment.

Review the contract carefully to know how they will notify you in an emergency.

5. Research Your State’s Certification And Inspection Requirements For The Boarding Facility

Dogs in cages inside a boarding facility.

Ask to see the documentation if your state conducts inspections to ensure the facility meets standards. Is the facility a member of the American Boarding Kennels Association? Member kennels pledge to abide by a code of ethics and participate in a voluntary accreditation program.

Aside from this, you can also look up online registries and see if the candidate facility is included among the approved establishments. A simple business permit is not enough, and you must also ensure they comply with pet boarding requirements in your area.

In some cases, especially in places with lax animal laws, you can even go as far as to look for certifications from third-party organizations like the International Boarding & Pet Services Association. Having these means the owner is committed to providing the best care for your pets.

Final Thoughts

Leaving your pet in a strange place is difficult but sometimes necessary. The good thing is that you can do the tips above to make it easier for you and your pet. With the proper research and preparation, you can ensure a smooth sailing stay in a pet boarding facility.

If you have pets and plan to move to a new home soon, check out our 5 Tips to Make Moving with Pets Easier. Additionally, you can come to check out our dog lover apparel to show your love for your pups even when you're away from them! 


What is dog boarding?

Dog boarding means a facility or place where dog owners can let their dog stay overnight while away from home.

What is dog daycare?

Dog daycare is a boarding and daycare for short-term daytime care for dogs.

Where can I find a dog boarding facility near me?

You can search in Google Maps for facilities near you. You can also check out their Google Reviews and see if they provide a good service.

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