Dog Boarding Facility FAQs

  • Introduction

    Dog boarding, sometimes referred to as doggie day care, offers pet-sitting services for dogs of varying breeds and ages. Services provided include overnight housing in temperature- and light-controlled kennels, medication administration, bathing, and feeding with veterinarian-approved food or food brought from home.

    Dog boarding and doggie day care facilities provide owners with peace of mind in knowing that their pets are being cared for by licensed and trained professionals. Boarding options range from one to 30 days or longer, and many companies offer additional services, such as spa treatments and obedience training.
  • What is dog boarding? 

    Dog boarding facilities provide housing and care for dogs for short- and long-term stays. Services include kenneling, daily exercise, feeding, and grooming. While at-home pet sitting providers offer similar services, the main difference between the two is that professional facilities are licensed, and they must follow state regulations to ensure the safety of animals in their care.

  • What is included with dog boarding?

    Services included with dog boarding can vary based on specific facility offerings, but most boarding centers offer daily exercise programs, clean, sanitized bedding, temperature-controlled housing, fresh water, and veterinarian-approved dog food. Boarding technicians also administer required medications and supplements, and many facilities offer grooming and bathing services.

  • Should I board my dog at the vet?

    Certain veterinary offices provide boarding services, as overnight staff are readily available, and animals have immediate access to medical care. While boarding a dog at the vet is perfectly safe, some dogs are uneasy about going to the doctor, leading to anxiety and resistance at drop-off.

  • What is board and training for dogs?

    Board and training programs for dogs combine overnight boarding with obedience training. Dogs stay at boarding facilities throughout their training programs, which typically last between one and four weeks. During their stay, dogs are trained to hinder behavior, such as jumping and pulling on leashes, and they learn basic commands, such as heel and stay.

  • Do dog board and train programs work?

    Board and train programs have proven to be effective for many dogs, as they learn everything from basic commands to new behaviors that result in positive reinforcement. However, not all dogs respond to board and train programs, so alternative training and behavior modification courses may be necessary in some cases.

  • Are there any regulation requirements for dog boarding facilities?

    Specific regulation requirements for dog boarding facilities can vary from state to state, but all kennel owners must obtain the appropriate licensing, and property must be zoned for kenneling. Additionally, all facilities must be designed to remain structurally sound and maintain fresh-air ventilation systems, and hot and cold running water is required.

  • How can I prepare my dog for boarding in a kennel or pet hotel?

    Dog owners may wish to visit the facility with their pets before boarding to help them acclimate to the environment. A visit to the veterinarian is also a good idea to ensure the dog is in good health before spending time away from home. If a dog is used to sleeping with other dogs or people, owners should encourage them to sleep alone for a few nights before the stay.

  • What should I bring with my dog for long-term boarding?

    When dropping off a dog for long-term boarding, owners should bring the following:

    • Food to last the duration of the pet's stay
    • Medication and supplements, if needed
    • One or two favorite toys for comfort and familiarity
    • Vaccination documentation
    • One or two dog leashes, if required by the facility

  • How do I board my dog for the first time? 

    Before boarding a dog for the first time, it's a good idea for owners and their pets to visit the establishment to get a feel for the environment and learn about the boarding process. It's also important for dogs to be vaccinated for kennel cough, canine distemper, and rabies prior to boarding. Dog owners can also "try out" boarding facilities by placing their pets for a one-night stay to gauge their comfort levels and familiarize them with the environment.

  • Do dogs like boarding kennels?

    Dogs are highly adaptable; however, whether they are comfortable in a boarding kennel depends on various factors. Anxiety due to missing their owners and being in an unfamiliar space may cause a dog to feel stressed. Reputable providers work hard to ensure dogs are comfortable and content during their stays.

  • How much is dog boarding per day?

    On average, dog boarding costs between $25 and $85 per day/night. Factors that can lead to higher or lower costs include the state, additional services needed, special diets, included grooming, and included training. Weekly dog boarding costs average $150, and monthly costs are approximately $500.

  • How much is dog board and training per day?

    Rates for dog board and training per day can vary based on specific company prices and services offered. In general, two-week programs start at around $900, but they can go significantly higher. Dog owners should confirm with dog boarding centers if single-day sessions are offered, as professional training often requires more than one session.

  • Do you tip for dog boarding?

    It's not customary or required to tip for dog boarding or kenneling, but customers can offer tips if so inclined. It's always a good idea to check with the boarding center before providing a tip to ensure it's not against company policy.

  • How long can you board a dog?

    Specific lengths of boarding time can vary per facility, but in general, it's recommended to board a dog for no longer than 30 days at a time. While many dogs adapt to new environments, they may also form attachments to their caregivers, leading to resistance when it is time to leave the facility.

  • Is it safe to board a puppy?

    It's safe to board puppies that are four months of age or older. Depending on the boarding facility, dog owners may be required to bring proof of age and documentation of all puppy shots. Puppy owners should consult with their veterinarians before boarding to ensure their pets are healthy enough to be placed in a new environment.

  • Do dogs get sad when boarded?

    Yes, it's common for some dogs to become emotional when boarded. They may miss their owners and the overall change of environment, including dietary changes, which can be jarring. However, dogs are adaptable, and quality kennels and boarding centers work hard to ensure that their needs are met through socialization and attention.

  • What vaccines do dogs need to be boarded?

    The vaccines required for dogs to enter boarding facilities or doggy day care centers are upper respiratory or kennel cough, rabies, and canine distemper. Dogs should also be current with all other vaccines and take preventative tablets for fleas and heartworm.

  • Can dogs get sick from boarding?

    Several factors can cause a dog to become ill during boarding. While transmittable viruses that lead to kennel cough are quite common, dogs can also get sick due to the stress of a new environment and dietary changes that lead to stomach upset. Vaccinations help prevent dogs from picking up certain viruses and bacterial infections, so owners need to ensure that all shots are up-to-date before boarding.

  • How long does kennel cough last after being boarded?

    When a dog is exposed to kennel cough, the incubation period is approximately two to 14 days following exposure. Symptoms, such as a mild cough and nasal discharge, can last a few weeks. In most cases, kennel cough is not serious, but pet owners should schedule a veterinarian visit to rule out secondary infections.

  • How do I start a doggy daycare?

    You should have experience with and knowledge of dog care before launching a dog daycare. Your business must comply with all state and local laws. You also need to choose what type of business formation you want. Visit the Small Business Administration website and the site for your Secretary of State’s office for guidelines, tips, advice, and resources.

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