What You Need to Know About Puppy Boarding and Dog Sitters 

Pet boarding—also known as dog kenneling—is a lot like sending your kids off to daycare, only for the whole time you’re on vacation. 

What Is Pet Boarding?

Pet boarding is an arrangement whereby a pet is left with a professional caretaker while the owner is away. It can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (several weeks). In some cases, your pet may stay at its regular vet’s office; this is known as “vet boarding” and can be preferable for certain pets who are not used to being away from home. Other animals may stay in the home of a dog sitter or at an animal shelter/pet hotel.

For some people, deciding which type of pet care will work best for their dog is easy—they know that their pup loves being around other canines and would be happiest in a kennel environment where he has lots of playmates to keep him occupied during the day. For others, deciding what kind of temporary accommodations are right for their furry friend isn’t quite so clear-cut; sometimes it’s simply easier to leave them with someone they already know well instead.

Why Might Dogs Need to Be Boarded?

  • Dogs can be boarded if they have a medical issue. If your dog is sick or injured, it will be better off in the care of professionals than home alone with you.
  • Dogs can be boarded if they are too aggressive or destructive. A dog who has been known to bite people—or even other dogs—may need to stay at a kennel while you’re out of town until he or she is fully trained and ready for public interaction.
  • Dogs can be boarded if they are too old or too young. Some facilities cater specifically to older dogs that need help getting around, while others keep puppies separate from adult animals for safety reasons until your pups are bigger and stronger than their potential opponents!
  • Dogs can be boarded if they are too loud or too quiet. Many kennels will offer outdoor space where you can leave your pooch off-leash so long as there’s no one else around; this gives them space for exercise without disturbing anyone else’s peace and quiet!

What Are Some Signs Your Dog Needs a Break From Family?

  • He’s stressed. Dogs are social creatures, and they need attention just like humans do—just in different ways. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time, he’ll start to feel anxious and lonely. When this happens, he may develop destructive behaviors such as chewing things up or barking at other dogs. As a rule of thumb: if your dog is upset about something that isn’t physical pain or hunger (i.e., not feeling well), try giving him more affection instead of trying to train him out of it!
  • She’s bored. A bored dog will find something else to occupy herself with when she has nothing better to do: usually that means chewing on furniture or shoes (or tearing apart stuffed animals). To combat boredom, try signing up for an agility class together so you can both get some exercise in while learning new tricks!

Vetting the Facility: What Questions Should You Ask About Pet Boarding?

When you are looking into a boarding facility, it is important to ask the right questions. There are many things to consider before making a decision. You want your pet to be comfortable and happy while they are away from home. Here are some questions that every pet owner should ask when thinking about boarding their dog:

  • What is the staff’s experience with dogs?
  • Do they have any experience with special needs dogs?
  • How do they handle puppies and senior citizens (over 7 years old)?

If your dog has any special needs or age requirements, make sure that these will be met by the facility where you plan on leaving him or her for several days at a time.

How to Find Out if the Dog Kennel Is Safe and Clean

As you begin your search for a boarding facility, here are some tips on how to make sure you find one that’s safe and clean:

  • Check the kennel’s website. If it doesn’t have one, then it probably isn’t as organized as they should be.
  • Ask for references. A good kennel will have plenty of happy customers who can share their positive experiences with you.
  • See the facility in person. Make sure everything looks clean and well-kept before leaving your pet there—and don’t be afraid to ask questions if anything feels off!
  • Ask about accidents and emergencies. If something goes wrong while your dog is at daycare or boarding, how will he/she be taken care of? Does the facility have protocols for these situations? Do they have emergency contacts available 24 hours a day in case of an accident or injury? And last but not least…
  • Ask how aggressive dogs are handled at this establishment so that every animal gets along peacefully with one another during their stay! This is especially important if your dog tends towards being territorial (i.e., resource guarding) because there could potentially be other dogs with similar tendencies around him/her when staying at this location.”

Special Needs or Illness

If your puppy is ill or has special needs, such as a condition that requires medication or extra care, you may need to find a facility that caters to these specific needs. There are many facilities that offer specialized services for pets with certain conditions—such as senior dog boarding, where the staff knows how to handle elderly dogs who require more care than others.

In some cases, you might also consider hiring someone to come into your home and help take care of your dog while you’re away. While this route isn’t always necessary if your pup is healthy and not likely to get sick while you’re gone (say, if he’s just going on vacation), it can be helpful if he’s prone to illness or injury.

What Else Do You Need to Ask About Pet Boarding?

  • You want to know how the animals are treated. If your dog is used to having a certain type of food, or if they have a favorite toy that will make them feel better when they’re stressed, you should ask about those things.
  • It’s also important to ask whether the staff has high turnover rates. If you’re leaving your pet in someone else’s care for several days at a time, you definitely want to make sure that person will still be there when you get back—and that he or she isn’t just going through another internship and will only be working for two weeks before moving on somewhere else.
  • Find out if there’s an on-site vet and if there’s one nearby who can come over quickly in case of emergency (like if your dog gets sick). And ask about their protocols for handling behavioral issues like aggression and anxiety; many kennels offer training classes specifically designed for these types of problems so dogs will be more comfortable during their stay from day one onward!

How Is Pet Sitting Different From Dog Boarding?

The first thing you need to know is that dog boarding and pet sitting are not interchangeable terms.

To put it simply, dog boarding refers to the care of your pet by a kennel operator in an enclosed space with other animals. In contrast, pet sitters offer personalized service at your home or office while you’re away.

The second thing you should know is that there are also differences between professional kennels and professional pet sitters:

  • Dog boarders are more convenient than home-based services because they allow pets access to playmates and outdoor space through large enclosures or indoor rooms with access to large windows. However, they may be less flexible than home-based services if your schedule doesn’t match those of other clients (who might have opposite schedules).
  • Kennel rates can be more affordable than individualized care from a private individual or family member (especially if there’s a discount for multiple dogs) but every situation is different so compare both options before making any decisions about where your pup will stay during your travels!

How Do I Make Sure a Pet Sitter Is Trustworthy?

In addition to checking references and asking for a list of services they can provide, it’s important to check the pet sitter’s insurance. Ask about the specific coverage they have, including any breed restrictions or conditions that may affect your dog’s care.

It’s also a good idea to ask about licensing and accreditation. Ask if they are certified through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) or another organization you trust.

If you need to board your dog, make sure you choose a safe and clean place.

When you’re choosing a facility to board your dog, it’s important to make sure that the place is safe and clean. Ask for references from other dog owners. If possible, visit the facility and ask questions about their boarding policies. What do they do with the dogs when it rains? How often do they clean the kennels? Do they provide training during their stay? What is included in the price of boarding (such as food and water)?


We hope you’ve found this article helpful, and that it answers many questions you may have about boarding your dog or hiring a pet sitter. The most important thing is to make sure the place you choose, whether it’s a kennel or a pet sitter, has the qualifications to match what works best for your pup.