To Board Or Not To Board?

Merritt Milam | March 2, 2020

All Kennels are NOT the Same!

Spring break and summer vacations are just around the corner. Should you take your pets with you or board them? Maybe a close friend or neighbor would be a good boarding option while you’re away? For many pet parents, these might not sound like difficult questions but it’s actually more common than you think. We’ll look at the issues surrounding this dilemma and the importance of knowing what to look for when choosing a boarding facility.

Friends and Family

The anxiety of leaving a family pet in the care of others can be unsettling. Even if that individual is a close friend or family member, there may be some hesitation to leave your “fur baby” with someone who may not have your pet’s best interest at heart. Oh, they mean well, but what if they have small children, pets, or other distractions that could take their focus away from your best friend? Maybe their pets get along with yours when you are there but now, you’re hundreds of miles away.

If you think a friend or family member is your best boarding option, ask yourself these questions.

  • Are they comfortable with the routine your pet requires (feeding times, bathroom breaks, exercise, sleeping arrangements)?
  • Do they know your veterinarian in case of an emergency?
  • Does your pet have special medical or dietary needs?
  • Is your pet anxious when you leave them alone or do they have weather issues?
  • What if your sitter has a family emergency? What happens to your pet?

Friends and family might be your first choice, but it’s not always the best choice. It may not be worth damaging a good friendship because your pet decided to chew their favorite pair of dress shoes.

Boarding Kennels

Boarding kennels are a great option for pet parents who need a reliable pet “stay-cation” facility while they are away for a day, week, or longer. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your pet?

Here are some helpful things to look for when selecting a boarding kennel.

While your pet might not care what the kennel looks like, you should. Make sure you visit the boarding kennel to see where your pet is going to stay. Some facilities have luxury suites with closed-circuit monitors that allow you to observe your pet through your phone or computer. Most have large runs and comfortable crates to accommodate all pet sizes.

Exercise/Day Care
While a room with a view might be nice, an exercise or day care area is a definite plus for all pets. Even if your pet likes to sleep all day, they still can benefit from playtime or a good stretch of the legs. Exercise will help your dog with socialization and can reduce separation anxiety. Make sure to look for indoor play facilities. This provides a safe, climate-controlled environment where pets can enjoy their boarding experience.

Let’s face it, no one can replace a pet parent’s love and attention for their pet. But when considering a boarding facility for your pet’s stay make sure you are confident in the staff’s abilities and training. Are they a FetchFind® approved business? FetchFind provides training and business solutions to the pet industry and is the premier educational resource to pet care professionals. A seal of approval from FetchFind means the staff has been professionally trained and receive ongoing professional-level pet care education. (Wags ‘N Whiskers is a FetchFind® approved business.)


Immunization Requirements
Make sure you check out the business’ immunization requirements. A reputable boarding facility should require all dogs and cats to be up to date on their immunizations.

Emergency Procedures
Emergencies happen. Make sure you understand the company’s policy if vet services are required while you’re away. This also includes any medications they are taking. Make sure you provide all contact information if they need to reach you.

Inquire about the kennel’s arrangements for feeding and bedding. Do you need to bring their food and bedding or is that provided? Don’t forget your pet’s toys. Providing your pet’s own bedding, food, and toys can help them better acclimate to their boarding experience.

Additional Services
Boarding may be all you need but some businesses offer convenient services such as grooming, pet taxi, and training. A comprehensive pet care business may be a better option while your pet is boarding.

The Wags Way

For your furry friends, there’s only one way – The Wags Way!

The Wags Way is our promise that your pets will always experience positive reinforcement, compassionate care, and a clean environment while with the Wags team! Your pets will be treated like family and we will never use force or intimidation tactics to modify their behavior. We will consistently foster a happy and fun atmosphere where our trainers and counselors are genuinely engaged and active with your furry friends! Safety is a top priority at Wags and by utilizing a low counselor-to-pet ratio (1:5), we are able to devote more time to each animal while ensuring the safety of all.

Wags is also a FetchFind® approved business so you can rest assured our team members are professionally trained and eager to make your pet’s boarding, training, and day care experience exceptional.

Vacation time will be here soon so make sure you book your pet’s reservations now. Call 205.902.WAGS (9247). At Wags, we want your pet to have a happy, safe, and comfortable boarding experience.