Vet Blog

How to Choose Between Boarding, Kennels, and Dog Daycare

March 05, 2019

You have everything planned for your vacation, except for one thing - you're still not sure how to choose between boarding, kennels, and dog daycare.

A lot of pet parents use these terms interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. To make sure that your canine companion gets all the TLC he or she needs during your time away, let's go over the differences in the services available.

The Dog Kennel

Kennels are the professional holding centers that are typically found at most vet clinics, pet stores, and grooming facilities. They can range in size and are able to house your dog for a certain period of time. Often, because they are able to include grooming, training, and vet services, these can be a great one-stop shop for all your doggy needs while you are away.

Each kennel is different. When choosing a kennel, always make sure to visit the location and observe reviews from other pet owners. There are many reasons for this, but the top of the list is safety. You want to come home to a pet that is in good spirits… and still there! Make sure the location is well lit, smells good, looks clean, and is secure. When you land on the right one, it can serve you well for many years to come.

Dog Boarding in Homewood, AL

Dog boarding facilities and kennels are very similar. Where they differ is in how they do things. Many dog boarders have small, intimate operations that house only a few dogs at a time. These locations are usually quite open and crate-free, sometimes in the home of a pet-sitter. You can also opt for at-home boarding that lets your pet stay comfortably at home while you're away (temperament permitting) and regularly visited by a boarder.

Others have much larger operations that take things to a whole new level - dog hotels are an example. The focus of larger operations is usually on socialization, lots of exercise, open area runs, and plenty of playtime. These locations try to focus on creating an experience that emulates what you provide at home, just with more stuff, dogs, and eyes on your pet.

Doggie Daycare

Daycare services help you to take care of things while you'll be away for the day. These are 'pick-up and drop-off on the same day services that give your pet a safe haven to play, exercise, socialize and get plenty of attention. Like boarding, you can also hire a private pet sitter to provide in-home daycare services as well. If you hire a certified pet sitter, they are often trained with first aid, understand a bit about the various breeds, and are typically loving and kind toward all animals they encounter.

Choosing Your Service

Depending on your specific needs, each kind of service offers you a different way to approach your time away. If your dog is well-behaved and is generally fine when left alone, at-home daycare may work for you while you're away. For short day trips, you may only need to consider on-location daycare services. For more extended stays, finding a great kennel or boarding center is a great way to make sure your dog gets the attention and care they need while you're away.

Regardless of your choice, make sure to have all your documents, shots, and meds ready to go. Most kennels, boarders, and daycare locations won't accept your pup if they don't meet the required guidelines of the facility. Make sure to visit the location in advance to get a feel for it and search around your area for the one that seems right for you and your pet's temperament.

Also, remember to include your pet's favorite food, some creature comforts like toys and treats, as well as any special items you think they'll want or need while your away.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to choose between boarding, kennels, and dog daycare can help to ensure you get the right service for your specific needs. Whether you're only going out for a few hours or a few days, there are services that will serve you and your pet perfectly. If you have any questions about what the most appropriate service for your needs is, call us at (205) 871-8186 and we are happy to discuss our options for pet boarding in Homewood, AL. Give us a call today, and we will help with any questions you have.

Same-day appointments available!