How to choose the right pet boarder

Leaving your pet behind when you travel can be a daunting decision. Ensuring your furry friend is in safe, caring hands is paramount for your peace of mind.

Choosing the right pet boarder involves careful consideration of various factors to ensure your pet’s comfort, safety, and happiness. This guide will help you navigate the process of selecting the perfect pet boarding facility.

1. Assess Your Pet’s Needs

Before you start your search, consider your pet’s specific needs.

Different pets have different requirements based on their species, breed, age, health, and temperament. For example, a high-energy dog might need a boarder with ample space for exercise, while a senior cat may require a quieter, more controlled environment.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Does my pet require special medical care or medication?
  • Is my pet social and enjoys interacting with other animals?
  • Does my pet have any dietary restrictions or preferences?
  • How does my pet handle new environments and strangers?

2. Research and Recommendations

Start your search by asking for recommendations from trusted sources such as your veterinarian, friends, family, or pet owners’ groups. Online reviews and ratings can also provide insights into the reputation and quality of local pet boarding facilities.

Steps to Take:

  • Look for boarders with consistently positive reviews and high ratings.
  • Check if the boarder is certified or accredited by reputable organizations like the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) or the American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA).
How to choose the right pet boarder

3. Visit the Facility

A personal visit to the boarding facility is crucial. It allows you to inspect the environment, meet the staff, and observe the overall cleanliness and organization.

Things to Observe:

  • Cleanliness: The facility should be clean, odor-free, and well-maintained.
  • Safety: Ensure the area is secure, with proper fencing and no hazards.
  • Staff Interaction: Watch how the staff interacts with the animals. They should be friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable.
  • Accommodations: Check the size and comfort of the kennels or suites. Ensure there is adequate space for your pet to move around.

4. Ask Detailed Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions to get a clear understanding of the boarding facility’s operations and policies.

Key Questions to Ask:

  • Feeding: What is the feeding schedule? Can you bring your pet’s food?
  • Exercise: How often are pets walked or exercised?
  • Medical Care: Is there a veterinarian on call? How are medical emergencies handled?
  • Socialization: How are pets grouped or separated? Are there opportunities for socialization?
  • Staff Qualifications: What kind of training do the staff members have?
  • Communication: How will the facility keep you updated about your pet’s well-being?

5. Check for Comfort and Amenities

Comfort is crucial for your pet’s well-being during their stay. Look for additional amenities that can make your pet’s stay more enjoyable.

Amenities to Consider:

  • Bedding: Comfortable bedding or the option to bring your pet’s bed from home.
  • Toys and Activities: Access to toys and activities to keep your pet entertained.
  • Climate Control: Proper heating and cooling to ensure a comfortable environment.
  • Grooming Services: Availability of grooming services for a fresh and clean return home.

6. Understand the Costs

Costs can vary widely among pet boarding facilities. Ensure you understand what is included in the pricing and what additional services might cost extra.


  • Base Rate: Understand the daily or nightly rate.
  • Additional Services: Inquire about the cost of extra services such as grooming, special feeding, or medical care.
  • Discounts: Ask about discounts for extended stays or multiple pets.

7. Trial Run

If possible, arrange a trial run or a short stay before a longer trip. This can help your pet get accustomed to the new environment and give you a sense of how well they adapt.

Choosing the Right Pet Boarder

Choosing the right pet boarder requires thorough research, careful observation, and asking the right questions. By taking the time to find a facility that meets your pet’s needs, you can ensure their safety, comfort, and happiness while you’re away.

A trusted and reliable pet boarder will not only provide excellent care for your pet but also give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your time away.


Find and book trusted pet care professionals with the help of Book Your Pet.