Vacations are all people’s favorite time of the year. But, vacations can also be hard for all dog owners. The first thing I think about before going away from home is where to accommodate my furry friend while I am gone.
Of course, many of us have somebody from our family, or one of our friends to watch after our dogs while we are away. But, this might not be so simple if our absence will last for 10 days or longer.
Luckily, there are specialized places where we can leave our dogs – kind of like their own hotels!
Dog boarding kennels are a useful option, still, you should also be aware of possible downsides of places like this.
Pro: Your Dog Will Be In A Safe Place While You Are Away
A dog boarding kennel is a place where your furry friend will get sleep, exercise, food, and socialization. This place will be similar to your home – just without you!
The best option would be to go with a kennel by recommendation from people you trust, or from your veterinarian.
If the place has positive customer reviews online – even better! If you want to be entirely sure you are choosing an ethical boarding kennel, you can pay a visit with your dog before leaving him in this place. This way, your dog can get to know the kennel.
If the boarding kennel offers to send you photos and videos of your dog, you can be sure that this is a trustworthy place!
Also, an additional good sign is that the kennel has surveillance cameras. This is the most important thing I require while I choose a kennel for my dog.
This proves that the kennel’s owner understands the dog owners, and knows how important it is for them to always be sure that our dogs are safe.
Con: Not All Boarding Kennels Are Ethical
I think it would be useful for you to know how to recognize the signs of an unethical boarding kennel. Take a look at the video below that explains these signs.
If the kennel staff don’t inspire confidence with their approach, you should think of other options.
Dogs of different sizes playing together is also a warning sign.
If the kennel’s outdoors area is not fenced and doesn’t seem too clean, this is not the kind of place you want to leave your dog in.
Pro: Your Dog Will Socialize
I have friends and relatives that I can ask to feed my dog while I am away. But, I would always rather choose a dog boarding kennel. Why?
Because I want my dog to have a decent form of socialization while I am gone. I couldn’t ask any of my people to spend a lot of their time with him, especially knowing their busy schedules.
Also, my dog will always want more of their company! He is used to receiving a lot of my attention, and often I even have to adjust my schedule to give enough of my time to my furry friend.
I believe many dog parents understand me, especially those whose dogs are among dog breeds prone to separation anxiety.
Well, a boarding kennel is a marvelous option here, since this is the place where your dog will socialize – both with kennel staff, and other dogs.
Con: Not All Dogs Will Be Satisfied With This Form Of Socialization
Boarding kennels might not be the best option for all dogs.
If your dog is not well socialized, the boarding kennel will not be a good place for him. Spending time with many other dogs might traumatize the dog, and cause destructive behavior in him. Also, this might negatively affect the other dogs in the boarding kennel.
Some dogs might be socialized, but they still belong to the group of shy dog breeds. If your dog prefers your company exclusively, or the company of a smaller circle of people, the boarding kennel might not be the best option for him.
Dogs who love to receive a lot of attention from their owners might not be so happy with the attention they will receive in the boarding kennel.
High-energy dogs might lack activities in the kennel, no matter how engaged the staff is. Simply, there might be too many dogs in the kennel for each of the dogs to feel entirely satisfied.
Pro: Your Dog’s Routine Will Remain The Same
My dog is used to his regular puppy schedule; everyday looks approximately the same for him, consisting of meals, playtime, potty breaks, walks, and nap times.
If he lacks any of these steps, he usually gets moody. I am sure this is also the case with your dogs, too, since canines are not fans of changes.
The good thing about the dog boarding kennel is that your dog will continue having all parts of his daily routine.
The kennel staff will feed your dog, give him his own place to sleep, take him out to run and play, and give him attention.
This way, even while you are gone, your pooch will still have his routine.
Con: Dog Boarding Kennels Might Not Suit Every Pocket
Good service comes with a price.
According to the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA), a night of your dog’s stay in a boarding kennel in the United States might cost you from $30 to $60.
Why does the price vary? Some kennels will offer the most basic service, like a separate room for your dog, giving your dog three meals a day, and taking him out for potty breaks, and for some exercise.
Some others will also offer a comfortable dog bed, heated space, or even a grooming session for your dog.
A price will unfortunately be a downside for many dog owners. If you will be away for 10 or 15 days, the total cost gets quite pricey.
Is Boarding Kennel A Good Idea For Your Dog?
I would say yes, boarding kennels will be a good option to accommodate your dog in a safe place while you are away for a vacation, a business journey, or if some type of emergency occurs.
I understand that many of you worry whether staying in a kennel might be a stressful experience for your dogs.
However, there are even some scientific studies that prove how boarding kennels are useful for dogs.
A study published in the Physiology & Behavior Journal  examined the physical, behavioral, and physiological changes in dogs that spent some time in boarding kennels.
Results showed how, based on their behavior, most of the dogs didn’t perceive their stay in boarding kennels as stressful, but rather as an existing change, at least in the short term.
Therefore, if you are okay with the price of the service, and if you are confident your dog is socialized and ready to spend some time away from you, I would say – go for it!
Just make sure you will be choosing an ethical kennel – a place your dog will be perfectly safe until you come back.
 Part, CE: Physiological, physical and behavioral changes in dogs (Canis familiaris) when kennelled: Testing the validity of stress parameters. Physiology & Behavior, 2014; 133: 260 DOI, Retrieved March 22, 2023.