Dog Boarding Near Me 101: A Guide to Doggy Day Care

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pup in cage at a doggy day care/pooch hotelSo, you’ve got your dream vacation planned: the flights are booked, the hotel is reserved… but what about your furry family members? That’s where dog boarding comes in! Learn all about the different kinds of dog boarding available, what you can expect to pay, and how to find the best dog boarding options near you.

Going on Vacation? What is Dog Boarding?

Dog boarding is basically a vacation for your dog! When you go away, whether on holiday, to visit relatives, or for work, finding the right dog care option means finding peace of mind knowing that your pup is properly looked after, and hopefully having just as much fun as you are while you are away.

Types of Dog Boarding Facilities Near Me!

Let’s start by looking at some of the many dog overnight boarding options. When choosing between these different types, think about what environment your dog is likely to do best in. Does your pet prefer peace and quiet, or does it love to run around and make new friends? Does your dog tend to bark a lot, or destroy stuff if it gets bored? Asking yourself questions like this will help you to choose the right option.

How to Find the Best Dog Kennels Near Me?

When most people think of dog boarding, they probably picture boarding kennels. Kennel-style dog boarding typically involves custom-built private enclosures for one or two dogs at a time, with a sheltered bed area and an open area for food and outdoor play.

Dogs will usually be taken out of the kennel by dedicated staff members for potty breaks and exercise around four times a day. Dogs that are not socialized around other dogs usually do best in kennels, as they are kept separately. Dog kennels were once the most common style of dog boarding, and while they are still popular, many owners now opt for comfier, more “personalized” dog boarding options.

Free-Range Doggie Kennels

An increasingly popular option for socialized and friendly dogs, free-range kennels have a large, open doggie daycare area where the dogs play all day. Once the group playtime is over, the dogs sleep in larger rooms, usually with up to five doggy friends they have made during the day. In free-range kennels, dogs are usually separated by age, size, and temperament, and most kennels of this kind will require all dogs to stop by in advance to assess their temperament.

dog boarding kennels outside at dog care

In-Home Pooch Stay? Dog Day Care!

Many owners prefer not to put their pups in kennels, preferring to have them stay at a dog sitter’s home instead. Usually, this will be a registered sitter, who will have a small number of dogs (usually up to around five) staying in their home at any one time.

There are many reasons why owners may prefer this option. For example, it can be less stressful for dogs, especially those of a nervous temperament who don’t do well in the hustle and bustle of kennels. Additionally, some owners, in particular, those with young, old, or otherwise delicate dogs, prefer to have them in a smaller dog boarding facility to reduce the risk of their pets picking up germs or getting sick. Others just prefer the idea of their dog being able to enjoy some home comforts while they are away.

Fancy Dog Hotels: Doggy Day Care Just Got an Upgrade!

Pet hotels are exactly what they sound like—hotels for animals! Just as with humans, dog hotels range from the “functional-yet-boring” to “5-star luxury” that would be sure to wow even the pickiest pets. Read on for some examples of the fanciest pet hotels in the United States.

pups in a fancy dog hotel

Boarding Dogs in a Dog Hotel!

The chain of D-Pet Hotels, with locations in Los Angeles, Chelsea, Scottsdale, Hollywood, and Austin, boasts luxury suites, an a la carte menu, flat-screen TVs, and even a collection service in your choice of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini.

Or how about the Santa Monica Fitdog Sports Club, where dogs can run to their hearts’ content on SoCal’s pristine beaches, before returning to cooling pet beds, puzzle challenges, and full grooming services?

For the health-conscious, Henderson Pet Resort in Henderson, Nevada, offers dog boarding and day care services with hospital-grade disinfection and air purification and systems, commercial-grade laundry and dishwashing systems that sanitize each load, on-site staff 24/7, and webcam access so concerned owners can keep an eye on their pets.

pug with a checklist for dog boarding near me

So, How Do I Find a Good Place for Boarding Dogs?

Once you’ve found the perfect dog boarding place, you’ll probably keep going back, which will only make things easier on you and your pet. But how should you go about choosing that perfect spot? Here are some things to look out for:

Experience of the Pooch Boarder!

It is important to ask about the dog boarding location’s experience before you commit. That’s not to say that a newer center is necessarily worse than a more established one, but you want to make sure that your pup is in safe hands. Even if a dog boarding center is new, the person in charge should have plenty of experience working with dogs, and there should be trained staff on-hand.

Are they Certified in Pet CPR?

No one wants to think of their pet getting seriously sick while they’re away, but it can happen. Should the worst happen and your dog lose consciousness, knowing pet CPR can make the difference between life and death? Other pet care and first-aid certificates are also desirable.


While the legal documentation necessary for dog boarding differs from state to state, and between different types of dog boarding, you should always check that the dog boarder you choose has all of the necessary certifications to operate in your state. This may include a valid business license, a kennel license, and certificates in pet behavior, health, and safety.

lady dog sitting and place of pet boarding for dogs

Price! Price! Price!

The average price of dog boarding in the USA ranges from $25 to $40 for kennels and upwards of $50 a night for the fancier “pet hotels”. In-home boarding can start from as little as $15 a night, while pet sitters that stay in your home can cost as much as $100 a night.

All that being said, bear in mind that the price of dog boarding depends mostly on the type of boarding that you opt for. It can also differ greatly by location, and by the time of year. In peak times, expect prices to go up, whereas discounts may be available during quieter months. Some kennels will offer discounts on the nightly rate for longer stays or may charge a premium for one-night stays. Remember to fully research dog boarding options before you book your trip, to make sure you can afford to keep your pooch well cared for.

Above All: Dog Boarders Need to Love Dogs!

While dog boarding options vary greatly, there’s one thing they should all have in common: a love for dogs. After all, if you’re going to spend your days looking after other people’s furry friends, you have to love them!

Dog Care at a Pooch Hotel! Here’s What You Need to Know!

Anywhere with a lot of dogs coming and going will need to take certain precautions to make sure that all the dogs stay safe, happy and healthy. For example, most reputable dog boarding services—from dog hotels to kennels—will ask for the dog’s vaccinations certificate ahead of time, to make sure that the most serious diseases will not be spread. However, some responsibility falls on the dogs’ owners, too.

Owners should make sure to be very clear about their pet’s individual needs before the dog enters the kennels, including any dietary requirements, medications, and temperament. It’s usually best to put this in writing so that there is a paper trail of your requests.

frenchie looking for animal boarding near me

While any reputable pet boarding facility will have high standards of cleanliness, many owners opt to give their dog a thorough bath after picking it up from the boarder, along with pest treatments for fleas, ticks, and worms.

Dog Boarding Near Me: 4 Tips for Selecting the Best Long Term Dog Boarding Kennels!

  1. First, think about what you—and your dog—are looking for in a dog boarding facility. Is pet sitting in your house most suitable, or kennels? Maybe your dog gets lonely easily, and would appreciate being able to run around with new friends at a free-range kennel? Alternatively, if your dog is used to space and luxury, opt for a dog hotel.
  2. Ask other dog owners for recommendations. Although all dogs are different, knowing that a dog boarding facility comes recommended by a neutral party goes a long way.
  3. Go and visit prospective dog boarding facilities before you book. Ask to see the kennels where the dogs sleep, ask about the exercise routine, mention any special requirements your pet has—and don’t forget to check the boarder’s credentials.
  4. Once you have found the right dog boarding facility, make sure you book well in advance, especially if you are traveling at a busy time. Spots in the best kennels fill up fast, and even more so during the summer vacation and the holiday period. If you want the best, book ahead.

Common Questions on Dog Boarding

What is a Dog Boarding Kennel?

How do I select a good place to board my dog?

Can I leave my dogs at a dog hotel?

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