How to Choose the Best Boarding Facility for Your Pet

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

I’ll admit it – my dog has it made. Ravi isn’t spoiled, but he lives better than anyone else in the house. He’s been a part of the family for over a year now and in that time we’ve never been away for more than a couple of days. Next year, we’re planning a week-long vacation to northern California and although Ravi will likely be able to stay with his “grandparents,” there’s a small chance he could wind up at a boarding facility, a pet vacation home rental if you will.

If you’re like me and have never boarded a pet, you probably have a few questions. To help you be prepared and to put your mind at ease, I’ve pulled together the following list of tips for boarding your pet.

Get Referrals: Ask your veterinarian, friends and family, or other pet owners in your neighborhood for recommendations.

Schedule a Visit: Visit each potential boarding facility to meet with staff, check for cleanliness, and ask questions (ex. Is there a veterinarian on call 24/7? What are the hours?).

Know the Rules: Most boarding facilities will require pets to be up-to-date on immunizations and be vaccinated for kennel cough. Check with your vet about the vaccination and be sure to bring a copy of your pet’s health record with you when you visit each facility.

Take a Tour: Walk the facility’s entire property making sure the yard is free of dog waste, securely fenced in, and safe (and fun) for your pet.

Request a Single Room: Opt for a facility that doesn’t double up by putting two dogs in a single kennel.

Ask for an Agenda: Ask to see a schedule of normal daily activities including feeding and play times. Also, can you check in on your little guy or gal via webcam?

Healthy and Happy: Make sure the facility can accommodate your pet’s dietary or health needs and if so, be sure to bring along your own food and any medications. You might also want to ask if the facility will bathe the dog while it is being boarded.

Consider a Dry Run: If you plan on going away for more than a week, consider boarding your pet at the facility for a weekend. If all goes well, go ahead and book your next stay early. If it doesn’t, look for another location.

Bring I.D.: Make sure your pet has a microchip, identification tags, or both. Just in case.

So you’ve got Fido settled in his rental, but how about you? Check out Rent It Today’s list of vacation home rentals to find your perfect accommodation, and hopefully you won’t need a copy of your immunizations to reserve!

James Lisbon
James Lisbon

I liked the part of the article that mentioned planning a visit to the facility.   If someone is going to leave their pet in a boarding house, I would think that they might want to get a look at it beforehand.  That being said, it is probably something that should be researched so that you can make the right decision for you and your pet. 


I think that it is very important to ask for an agenda, like you said in the article. You want your dog to be active while you are away. It is good for the dog's health and emotional state.