7 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Pet Boarding Facility

Published on January 24, 2019 by

Female veterinary technician at pet boarding facility with dogOur pets are members of our families, and we want to ensure that they always have the best possible care. Pet parents occasionally face situations in which they must travel and aren’t able to take their pets along. A boarding facility allows pet owners to keep their pet in good hands when they go on vacation.

Finding a Trusted Boarding Facility

It can be stressful for pet owners when they must entrust their pet to someone they don’t know. A question a lot of pet owners have when they’re planning a trip is which pet boarding facility in their area will provide their pet with compassionate care while they’re away.

Leaving pets at a boarding facility can be difficult, especially if your dog or cat has never been separated from you. Searching for the boarding facility that best suits your needs can be a dilemma. You want to be sure to make the right decision. If your veterinarian has a boarding facility at their animal hospital, the choice can be easy. You and your pet are familiar with the staff, and you’re more comfortable about leaving your dog or cat in the care of people you know.

Boarding Facilities and Veterinary Clinics

If boarding at your veterinary clinic isn’t an option, it can take some time to find a place to board your pet that has an excellent reputation and great reviews from clients. You’ll be able to relax on your trip when you know your cat or dog is in the care of a responsible staff that loves animals. Your veterinarian or one of the technicians at the animal hospital may be able to make recommendations about the best facility for your pet while you’re away. Here are some questions you’ll want answers to before you choose the facility to board your pet.

Question #1 – What Is A Pet Boarding Facility?

A kennel that boards pets may be in an animal hospital or a separate facility that offers services to pet parents and their pets by veterinarians and kennels that board dog and cats. The pet boarding facilities allow owners to drop off their cats or dogs for a specific period. The pet boarding facilities charge fees depending on the length of time for which your pet will be boarded. The staff at the boarding facility is responsible for ensuring that each pet is cared for with love and compassion and kept happy during their stay.

Question #2 – What Services Are Available?

The services offered by a kennel or boarding facility can be diverse, depending on the facility’s size and hours of operation. Some of the pet boarding facilities are in animal hospitals or clinics, where pets are kept in kennels and dogs have time for exercise and play in dog runs.

Some facilities offer long-term boarding for owners who will be away for extended trips and can’t take their pets with them. Although there have been facilities for pet owners to board their dogs and cats for decades, pet parents wanted more comfortable accommodations with more amenities for their pets when they had to board them. Veterinarians and pet care facilities responded to the needs of owners.

Veterinarian hospitals that offer boarding for dogs and cats with medical problems include administering medications as needed. Boarding kennels provide regular food and water schedules, enclosed runs so dogs can get daily exercise, and overnight monitoring. However, some facilities offer pets luxury accommodations and personalized services.

Another question many people have is whether boarding facilities for pets offer transportation service. You should check before making plans for boarding, but many kennels, veterinary clinics that offer boarding, and other facilities will arrange to pick up pets to suit the owner’s schedule. Most facilities provide this service seven days a week.

Question #3 – What Types of Facilities Are Available?

The relationships between dog and cat owners and their pets are changing as the number of people worldwide include pets in their families. Most owners want their pets boarded at a location that’s the equivalent of daycare for pets, rather than a kennel where they’re housed in enclosures most of the time. Many of the daycare facilities are more comparable to a hotel than a kennel, with expansive grounds and staff who are enthusiastic and love caring for pets.

Daycare facilities for pets are becoming the norm, especially in major cities. Many pet care centers have locations in downtown neighborhoods. Some companies have seen the benefit to offer pet care so owners can bring their dogs to work with them. Besides providing care for pets while owners are at work, some companies offer behavioral training for puppies and dogs that may have separation anxiety or get overly excited.

When a dog owner is considering moving into a new condo or high-rise, one question they have is whether pets are welcome. A lot of property owners are more receptive to pets living in their buildings and offer daycare facilities for pets on their property. Many of the new condo complexes have dog parks.

Question #4 – What Should Owners Expect When They Drop Off Their Pets?

One question that dog owners may have when their boarding their dog for the first time is “what should I bring with my dog?” When your dog is being boarded, it’s not the time to experiment with a new brand of food. Dogs may initially be upset over staying with people they don’t know and might not eat. It takes a little time for some dogs to settle in. Other dogs may be curious about their new surroundings and settle in easily.

Owners should bring their dog’s favorite toys, and a favorite blanket for comfort. Whether you’re dropping your dog off at a daycare for the first time or boarding for an extended stay, make sure you’re calm, so your dog doesn’t sense this stress.

Question #5 – How Do the Staff Treat the Pets?

A lot of owners think boarding facilities for pets are dreary, with metal kennels where the dogs sit all day. Some people think at-home sitters are the best option, but your pets are still alone for hours on end. The staff who run retreats feel that they deserve a vacation with a lot of personal attention.

One of the best things about a vacation retreat for pets is that the caregivers love animals and pamper them as if they were their own. These facilities have relationships with veterinarians who are prepared to handle any medical problems that arise while pets are in the care of the day care or retreat.

One of the best reasons to leave pets in the care of professional caregivers is that they get plenty of time for play, exercise, and a lot of social interaction with other pets. The top-notch facilities have both indoor and outdoor play areas for pets. They can be outdoors when the weather is pleasant, the facilities are air-conditioned and heated for the comfort of pets, no matter what the weather conditions are.

Luxury facilities offer special services for pets including spa treatments and grooming services. Many of the spa-style facilities even provide private suites for pets so they can relax in comfort whenever it’s naptime.

Question #6 – What Are the Responsibilities of The Boarding Facility?

A lot of people plan their vacations around where they can travel with their pets. Dog parents who feel this way have good intentions, but sometimes it can be more stressful for them and their pets. Your travel plans may not always be pet-friendly, so it is good to have boarding options.

Pets deserve to be pampered and get a lot of personalized attention when their owners are away. You want to be sure that they are safe, comfortable, and cared for. Here’s what to look for in a responsibly run facility that boards pets.


The building should smell fresh, as well look clean and neat. Visitors may not be allowed in areas where pets are currently staying. Don’t be afraid to ask any question you feel is essential. For example, do they have indoor and outdoor runs? Where are the areas for pets to exercise and play? Facilities should be clean of dirt and pet’s feces. Strict cleaning measures should be in place.


Pets bond with their owners and often get upset by their absence. It’s essential that facilities fence in pets with sturdy dividers on runs. Gates should not be easily opened by pets, and there should be barriers for jumping pets. Cats should not be allowed in outside areas that aren’t enclosed.

Health Care

Pets should always have access to clean water to drink and regular feeding schedules. Most facilities request that owners bring their own food to prevent digestive issues due to dietary changes. Facilities should have access to veterinary care in the event of an emergency. Some facilities have a vet on the premises during business hours. Pets should all be up-to-date on shots. Facilities should be able to give pets regular medications that they require.

Pet Supervision

Pet owners know that they can develop sickness unexpectedly. The staff should recognize unusual symptoms or tell if pets in their care isn’t feeling well.

Pet’s Safety

Facilities should have sturdy dividers between pet’s enclosures. No strong chemicals should be used for cleaning, and there shouldn’t be anything dangerous or sharp that could injure pets.

Comfort Level

Pet’s comfort should be the top priority. Facilities should be adequately heated or air-conditioned, depending on the season. Outdoor play areas should have enough protection from the elements, including shelter from sun, rain, snow, and wind. The lighting should be enough to see during the day and at night, but not be too bright. Low light is more relaxing for animals. The air should circulate properly but not cause drafts that could make pets cold. Bedding for pets should always be raised from the floor, so they don’t get cold.

Is It Professional?

Facilities should have an agreement that outlines the responsibilities of the staff and the owner’s rights. The team should be clean and neat and have an evident love for pets.

Question #7 – How Much It Should Cost to Board A Pet

The prices may vary, depending on whether it’s a basic facility, which may run between $10 and $30 daily. A high-end resort or retreat for pets may cost $45 to $65 per day.

Did learning about questions to ask before choosing a pet boarding facility interest you? Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.

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