None of us want to leave our dogs when we go out of town. It’s hard on us and it’s hard on them. But we can’t always take our dog with us on a trip.

So, what are our options? The first thing most people do is ask friends and family if they would be willing to watch our furry family member while we’re gone.

However, this can be a lot to ask for most people. Our dogs may not handle the separation well and frankly, everyone has very busy lives. They may not be able to provide the attention and stimulation that our dog needs to have a healthy stay.

A boarding facility can provide a safe, professional environment for our dog. Not only will they be assured to get the attention they need but they will also get an opportunity to play with other dogs in a safe, controlled environment. They may end up having just as much fun as you during vacation time. Maybe more!

How do we prepare for a stay at a dog boarding location? Let’s look at some way to make sure your dog’s stay is a safe and happy one. 

Find a professional and reputable boarding service

The most effective way to do this is to first reach out to friends and family who have dogs. Who have they used in the past? Who would they recommend? What was their experience like?

Also, check online and see what people are saying about these boarding facilities. What do they like or dislike? What kind of rating does the boarding facility have? Google and Facebook are great places to start when reviewing companies that offer dog boarding.

Call and ask questions

dog boarding

Start by calling the facilities you are interested in and ask questions. This is a great way to narrow your choices and find that perfect boarding facility.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What does a boarding stay cost?
  • Is there a discount based on the number of days of the stay?
  • What vaccinations are required to stay?
  • What kind of exercise will your dog receive?
  • How many dogs do each of the dog handlers watch at a given time?
  • How much play time will they get with a person and with other dogs?
  • How does the boarding facility deal with medical emergencies?

Visit the boarding facility before committing to a stay

After you’ve identified a potential kennel, it’s time to take a closer look for yourself. Most boarding facilities will offer tours for owners. Be sure that facility is kept clean and regularly sanitized.

Kennel cough, canine distemper, canine influenza, canine parvovirus, ticks, fleas and scabies can all be a result of poor hygiene in these facilities.

Also, you can see what the individual kennels look like for the dogs as well as the organization and space for the play areas.

Schedule a daycare visit to acclimate your dog to the facility

dog daycare appointment

The best way to see if a boarding facility is a fit for your dog is to have them test it out. If the facility offers a daycare option, you may be able to schedule a half day visit to make sure that you dog doesn’t have any significant issues with the facility.

This will also let your dog get to know the handlers and the spaces where they would be playing and staying. If they don’t offer a daycare option, you may want to try just one night before going on a week long or longer trip without your dog.

Bring your dog’s favorites

dog toys

Bring your dog’s favorites.

Just like our kids (and many times us adults), your dogs will have their favorite things.

Here’s a list of things you may want to bring for a boarding stay:

  • A leash
  • Collar with an identification tag.
  • Favorite toy, blanket or bed.
  • Your dog’s food and medications.
  • Multiple methods to contact you or other family members.
  • Detailed instructions on feeding or any other care needs.

Ask about how the stay went for your dog

boarding stay for your dog

Be sure to call ahead so your pet is ready to go. You can also ask how the stay went, what their mood is like, and if there were any issues during their time at the boarding facility.

When you get back from your trip you are likely to have a very emotional experience being reunited with your dog. I’m sure your dog will be super excited to see you just as your going to be excited to see them.

Boarding your pet can be scary. However, if you prepare yourself, your pet and the boarding facility properly, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

Remember a great boarding facility can create a great get-away for you and for your dog.