A Complete Guide for Boarding Your Pets at a Facility

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Are you planning a vacation? Going on a medical trip? Then this guide is for you and your pets! Boarding your animals is something you should be thinking about long before you plan your vacation.

Where will they stay? A boarding facility, a friend’s house, or a kennel. There are many options when it comes to boarding your pets.

Making sure your pets have a place to stay while you are gone is crucial. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of housing your pets at a facility when on vacation.


• Your pets are safe

• They are out of the cold/heat

• You know where they are

• You are always free to call and check up on them


• They may not get taken out often enough

• You are unsure about the cleanliness

As you can see the pros out weigh the cons by a vast majority. Boarding at a kennel or facility is sometimes the best option. Here is a list of things to look for at the facility before you book your pets stay.

  1. Check to see how often the pets are taken out for walks
  2. Make sure the rooms or kennels they stay in are clean
  3. Examine the facility for any parasites such as fleas or mites
  4. If your pet has special medications or needs make sure the staff can fulfill the tasks

When you arrive at the facility for inspection you want to keep an eye on the above things. If anything feels off about the place you are thinking of, choose a different one. Your pets deserve the best!

Boarding your pets requires you to bring certain items along. Take a look below, at the end of this post there will be a free printable checklist!

Checklist for boarding pets

  1. Vaccination Records, all boarding pets are required to have Bordatella, Rabies, and Boosters when they arrive
  2. Bed from home
  3. Your pet’s own food
  4. Leash and collar for walks
  5. Dishes for food and water
  6. Toys for play time
  7. Bones to pass boredom
  8. Enrichment toys like kongs (not required but recommended)
  9. Any items from home that your pet has an attatchment to
  10. Medication (if your pet has any)
  11. A written or typed instructions if your pets have special needs or feeding requirements
  12. Treats for snack time
  13. Litter box (if you have a cat)
  14. Hay (if you have a rabbit)

Leaving your pet at an unknown facility can be stressful and worry some. Check up on your pet a day after he settles in and every other day to see how he is doing.

A lot of pets will not go potty or eat for the first day, this is nothing to worry about unless it’s ongoing for more than 24 hours.

Make sure to call ahead when you are planning to board your pets. Sometimes facilities will have upgrades to choose from and you want to make sure you get the best choice!

Ready for your free printable checklist? Look Below!


By | 2017-11-12T04:48:16+00:00 November 12th, 2017|Archives, Dogs, Housing, Printables, Tips + Tricks, Travel|14 Comments

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  1. Debbie November 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    This is a great checklist! We try to plan all of our trips so that our dogs can come with us, but it’s not always possible. We’re actually leaving on a 2.5 week road trip with 2 of our 4 dogs tomorrow morning. The other two are boarding with a friend and we’re sending along pretty much everything on our list!

  2. Hindy Pearson November 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Great tips and a very helpful checklist. I’m always amazed at how little research some people do before they choose a place to board their pets, especially with some upsetting experiences you read about. Personally I would never do it, I prefer to have someone stay in my place if I can’t or don’t want to take my dogs with me.

  3. Lori Hilliard November 15, 2017 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I love the printable checklist. So easy to print out and use, saving me time and stress. I would add a contact number for emergencies. If your dog becomes sick or is injured, it can be helpful to have the name and phone number of a trusted friend or family member who is close by in case of an emergency.

  4. Heather Wallace November 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Great advice! I start daycare and boarding for my dogs as soon as they turn 6 months old. They love it. No fear, only fun. I just returned from an 8 day trip and that’s the longest we’ve left the boys. Day 2 and I received a dreaded phone call that Beau was injured. By the time I’d spoken to him he was already whisked away to the vet and they had a full report for me as well as medication. They handled everything wonderfully and I came back to a happy boy. Just a freak accident that could’ve happened anytime.

  5. Beth November 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Many years ago we used to board our dogs when we went to my inlaws. We found a great kennel that had 24-hour care which gave me peace of mind. I was disappointed later when I found out this isn’t always the norm.

  6. Joely Smith November 15, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    This is an awesome printable checklist for boarding pets! Personally, I can’t do it. Even though I know that our vet boards and we do LOVE our vet I just know that no matter what MAMA won’t be there. My pets need daily contact with me since I work from home, and rarely go out, they are used to me always being there. Truth be told, mama can’t go long without them either. I do really love your list and can’t find a thing you left off! If I were to travel, if I HAD to and sometimes that happens, I would use your checklist!

  7. Amelia Johnson November 15, 2017 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    So far I have been able to have my puppy stay at a private house but now that he is bigger, I am going to have to have a more secure place with a fenced in area for him to run and play. I have to go easy on the vaccines though so that limits my options a bit.

  8. Cathi November 16, 2017 at 1:32 am - Reply

    Great checklist! I’m printing it out and posting on my fridge. I don’t always board my dog but when I take him with me this list will be a great packing list for him. Thanks!

  9. Kamira Gayle November 16, 2017 at 2:54 am - Reply

    This is a nice checklist. Yep I’m a stickler for cleanliness too. Also when I am looking a boarding I also do my research and check customer reviews too. Also visiting the facility first is a must for me.

  10. Sandy Kubillus November 16, 2017 at 4:08 am - Reply

    I like the checklist. I have never boarded my dogs, but have had friends visit my house and take care of my dogs while I am away. I’m a bit scared that my dogs could get exposed to something at a kennel.

  11. Sweet Purrfections November 16, 2017 at 5:30 am - Reply

    I don’t board the girls when I’m out of town; I hire a pet sitter. My mom used to board her dog when they traveled and couldn’t take him, but he would get so sick that they those not to do it anymore. I usually go to their house and stay with him while they are gone.

  12. Jana Rade November 16, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Good checklist. It’s important to find a good place for this. When we needed to board Jasmine for our trip to Europe, I found a place which sounded fantastic but was put off by the staff attitude. We ended up boarding her at her vet’s because at least then we knew she was going to be safe.

  13. Kara November 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Great article! I love the printable checklist. We have a pack of 4. Two stay with grandma and grandpa and two get boarded at the Pet Hotel. I love the Pet Hotel because, unlike other board and plays, they do small play sessions multiple times a day rather than large rooms of 20+ dogs in all day play. My dogs both get so excited when we pull into the Pet Hotel and so I know that that is the right choice for them.

  14. Cathy Armato November 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Perfect post for the upcoming holidays! When choosing a pet boarding facility you should also ask if anyone is present overnight to look in on the pets and make sure they’re ok.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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