Is Boarding Stressful For Your Pets?

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Boarding can be stressful both for pets and their owners, and worrying about how they will feel alone without you in a strange environment is completely normal. Our schedules compel us to seek help in caring for our fur babies, and there are things you can do to make their stay more comfortable. Relaxing when they’re away will be much easier once you know what to look for in a boarding kennel.

What to Look for in a Boarding Facility

Now that you’ve narrowed your options down to a few facilities, visit them before booking your pet. There are certain things you need to check for. The first is licensing and certification. Each state has different rules and regulations for this. There are also differences in what kennels need to do to maintain their licenses and how they keep their occupants.

When you visit a kennel, ask to see its license. They should be able to provide this official document readily. The kennel must have access to a local veterinary clinic around the clock. If they’re not working with your vet, ask for contact information. For extra peace of mind, you can call their vet to have them confirm the partnership with the boarding kennel of your choice.

Ask friends and loved ones for recommendations or visit a site like to find the facilities available in your area on the dates you plan to travel.

Ask about insurance

Again, this is a matter of documents, but it’s no less significant than the license. The kennel or pet hotel you are considering must be insured to look after their charges.


Before committing to a provider, check their vaccination policy by all means. A reliable facility will ask for proof of vaccination when you book your pet. They will insist that dogs have all the necessary vaccinations for illnesses like rabies, canine distemper, and parvovirus.

Clean and Fresh

The kennel should be clean. It shouldn’t smell bad. A foul odor might mean bacterial problems, which make disease and sickness easier to spread.

Kind and Courteous Staff

The staff should not only be licensed and certified but also welcoming and friendly. This might not mean much at first, but it can be telling in terms of how your pet will be treated after you leave them there. One good sign is if the pet reacts well to the employees.

Comply with Recommendations

Now that we’ve established what to look for in a kennel, here’s what you can do to make sure they stay healthy while boarded. Stay on top of wellness screening, necessary blood tests, and physical exams, and make sure their vaccine card is up to date before boarding. Don’t wait until the last minute. This way, your vet will be alert to any issues that may need monitoring or special attention during the time your pet is boarded.

A sudden change of diet might upset your pet’s digestion, so it’s a good idea to provide their usual food. Let the staff know about medical conditions like heart murmurs, allergies, or arthritis. Mark any medication clearly with the name or names, doses, and type. Replace smeared or damaged labels. Let the staff know when you usually give them their medication and the specific reason for it.

Final Tips

When the time comes to board a dog, keeping them socialized will help reduce stress. Before the stay, take them to a dog park a few times. By letting them get used to a new situation, it becomes less stressful for them. In fact, you can even make it rewarding. Cats, on the other hand, appreciate solitude. They should not have contact with other cats at the boarding facility.

Dogs that are being boarded will appreciate getting a blanket, toy, or something else that smells like home. You may have heard this. It makes sense, but keep in mind the staff will move these items when they are cleaning the kennel. When blankets are being washed, they can get mixed up. Boarding facilities don’t recommend leaving leashes or blankets with them for this reason. Likewise, don’t leave special or sentimental items or ones that can be torn, shredded, or swallowed easily. This can cause intestinal obstruction or other issues.