When Should I Consider Boarding My Dog or Cat?

Sometimes, as a pet parent, you might find yourself in situations where you cannot provide the necessary care for your furry companions. This could be due to travel, house renovations, or even certain lifestyle changes that temporarily disrupt your ability to be there for them. 

During these times, one reliable option that often comes to mind is pet boarding. In this article, we’ll delve into the topic of pet boarding, offering key insights and valuable guidelines for when and why to consider this option.

Determining the Right Time to Board Your Pet

Traveling without Troubles

  • Planning a vacation sans your pet can raise numerous concerns. Opting for pet boarding ensures your dog or cat will be cared for so you can enjoy a guilt-free getaway.
  • Unscheduled business trips can come up without much notice, and finding immediate pet care might be challenging. This is when knowing a reputable boarding facility comes in handy.
  • Family emergencies require your undivided attention. In such situations, boarding your pet assures that they’re in safe hands while you tend to critical matters.

Accommodating Life’s Unplanned Events

  • Moving can be a chaotic experience for pets. Boarding them temporarily can reduce their stress and prevent potential escapes or injuries.
  • If you’re hosting a wedding or a large event, boarding your dog or cat ensures they won’t get overwhelmed by the noise and guests.
  • During home renovations, chemicals and loud noises can have adverse effects on your pet’s well-being, making boarding a safer alternative.

Catering to Your Pet’s Health and Comfort

  • Post-operative care can be intensive, and a boarding facility with specialized services can provide the right environment for recovery.
  • If your pet is displaying behavioral issues that need professional attention, boarding facilities often offer training and behavior modification services.
  • To avoid stress, especially for cats who value consistency, boarding can be a haven away from the hustle of your busy life.

Finding the Best Fit for Fido and Whiskers

Facility Reconnaissance

The logistics of choosing a boarding facility is similar to finding a good daycare for children. It’s imperative to do your homework. By touring prospective places, you get a feel for the environments and the people who’d be caring for your pets. Key things to note during such visits include the cleanliness of the space, the demeanor of the staff towards the animals, and the security measures in place.

Assessing Amenities and Services

Boarding options range from traditional kennels to luxury pet hotels that offer swanky suites with webcam access. Evaluate the services and amenities provided, including:

  • Sleeping arrangements and bedding comfort
  • Regular walks, playtimes, and access to exercise yards for dogs
  • Meal routines and the ability to accommodate special diets

Spotlight on Staff

The expertise of the boarding facility’s personnel plays a pivotal role in your pet’s stay. Staff should not only exhibit a genuine love for animals but also hold certifications in pet care and first aid. The staff-to-pet ratio is also a determining factor in ensuring your pet receives enough attention and care.

Pre-Boarding Prep for Pets

Becoming Boarding Savvy

Acclimatizing your pet to the boarding facility before a prolonged stay can be beneficial. Consider booking a couple of short stays to get them used to their temporary home away from home.

Health Matters

  • Before boarding your pet, you’ll need to ensure they are up to date on vaccinations to protect them and other animals at the facility.
  • Preventative treatments for fleas and ticks are also critical to prevent infestations.

Packing Essentials

Sending your pet to boarding can feel like prepping a kid for camp. Here’s a checklist of what to pack to ensure they’re comfortable and happy:

  • Favorite toys and a piece of your clothing for comfort
  • Enough of their regular food and treats to avoid gastrointestinal upset
  • Specific instructions on feeding routines or care requirements

Dog and Cat Services

There’s more to boarding than just providing a temporary shelter for your pet. At Taylor Veterinary Emergency, pets can also access grooming, playtime with dedicated staff, and even training services. These additional amenities can make the boarding experience far more enjoyable and enriching for your pet.

Understanding Pricing and Policies

Unpacking the Price Tag

The cost of boarding your pet can vary widely depending on the level of service and accommodation. It’s crucial to understand what’s included in the daily rate and what services come at an additional fee, such as one-on-one play sessions or grooming services during the stay.

Booking Know-How

Securing a spot at a good boarding facility often requires planning, especially during peak seasons like holidays. Be aware of how far in advance you need to reserve and make sure to understand the cancellation policy to avoid unexpected charges.

Special Boarding Considerations for Dogs

Managing Canine Stress

Dogs can face separation anxiety when away from their human counterparts. It’s essential to find a boarding place that understands how to mitigate such stress with plenty of human interaction and structured playtime.

Exercise and Social Life

Regular physical activity and the opportunity to interact with other dogs (if friendly) are crucial for your dog’s well-being during their boarding stay. Facilities should provide ample space and opportunities for both rest and recreation.

Emergency Vet

Don’t forget to ask the boarding facility about their protocol in case of emergencies. Knowing that there is a reliable emergency vet clinic in Turlock or nearby can offer peace of mind that your pet will receive prompt medical attention if the need arises.

Special Boarding Considerations for Cats

Promoting Feline Zen

Cats often require a quiet and serene space to feel secure. When boarding your cat, ensure the facility has a designated cat area far from the sounds and smells of dogs, which can be particularly stressful for your feline friend.

Addressing Dietary Needs

Cats can be picky eaters, especially in new environments. Ensure the facility is capable of maintaining its regular feeding schedule and that it can cater to any specific dietary restrictions your cat may have.

Cat and Dog Boarding

Ultimately, pet boarding can be a lifesaver when you can’t be there for your pet. It’s a service that offers benefits beyond basic care, and with the right preparation, it can be a positive experience for both you and your pet.

Bringing Your Pet Home Post-Boarding

After your pet’s stay at a boarding facility, it’s important to monitor their behavior. Some pets may need a few days to readjust to being home. Look out for any signs of discomfort or illness, which should be communicated to the boarding staff or your veterinarian.


Finding the right boarding facility and preparing for your pet’s stay takes time and consideration. But by doing so, you can rest assured that your beloved dog or cat is receiving the care they need in your absence—allowing you to focus on what you need to do while you’re away.