Dog boarding

Dog boarding

If you are going on holiday and need to make plans for your dog, you may choose to board your dog at kennels or in someone’s home.

What is the difference between dog sitting and boarding?

Dog sitting is when someone comes to stay at your house to care for your dog. The advantages are that it can be less disruptive to your dog’s routine. However, it does mean that you will have someone else living in your house while you are away. This can have the added benefit of someone keeping an eye on your property.

With overnight dog boarding, there are two options for dog holiday care. Your dog can stay at a boarding kennels or at someone’s home. 

Boarding kennels

These operate like a dog hotel and accommodate lots of dogs at a time. Each dog lives in their own kennel during their stay. For something extra special, you can even book your dog into a luxury dog kennel – complete with a dog spa! All boarding kennels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland need a boarding kennel licence to operate. This is intended to make sure that dogs are housed in suitable accommodation and cared for properly.

Dog home boarding

This is when your dog goes to stay in someone else’s house – home from home dog boarding – rather than a kennel. In England there has been a change in the law about home dog boarding. Anyone who provides overnight dog accommodation in their home as a business, requires a home boarding licence. This does not currently apply in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

How to choose dog kennels or home boarding

  • Think about what will be best for your dog. Will they be happy at a kennel or more settled in a home environment? 
  • Ask around – other dog owners, your vet, online – for recommendations and read the reviews. 
  • Once you have a shortlist, check to see that they are licensed. In England, home boarders also need to be licensed.
  • Visit the dog kennels or the home in advance to make sure you feel happy with your dog staying there. 
  • Make sure you book early if you are going to be away during peak times. Boarding establishments can get very busy during school holidays or at Christmas.

How much does dog boarding cost?

Dog kennels typically charge around £15-20 per day (luxury dog hotels may be extra). Home dog boarding can be slightly more at around £25-30 per day.

Taking your dog to a kennel for the first time

You’re bound to feel anxious about leaving your dog for the first time. Here’s a few things you can do make the first time away as stress-free as possible:

  • Make sure that your dog is up to date with their injections before they go the kennels
  • Pack some of your dog’s favourite toys and something that smells of home. This could be a blanket or an item of clothing.
  • Share all important information about your dog with the boarding establishment. This should include what they like, don’t like as well as anything they are scared of. Provide emergency contact details for you and someone else if you can’t be reached. 
  • Keep the goodbye short and sweet. If your dog senses that you are anxious it may rub off on them too. 

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