Dog sitting next to a woman

What to Look For in a Pet Boarding Facility

Checklists for pet owners


If you’re planning to place your pet in a boarding facility (while you’re away on holiday, for example), then you should check out and compare several facilities in advance before making your choice. Even if a facility has been recommended to you by other pet owners, go and see for yourself. Check whether it is run properly and that it puts the well-being and protection of the animals staying there first. If you’re not sure exactly what to look out for, use the checklists below.

Checklist – Pet Boarding Facility

The accommodation should…

  • be clean both indoors and outdoors
  • be free of bad odours
  • offer spacious, bright and well air-conditioned rooms
  • offer intact furniture
  • not have unpleasantly high noise levels
  • be transparent in the way the animals are managed and handled
  • be able to perform essential tasks (e.g. giving medication)
  • be commercially registered, have liability insurance and be inspected by the veterinary office (depending on the laws that apply in the region/country)
  • not offer accommodation in kennels, unheated rooms, etc.


  • there are sufficient staff for the number of animals staying there
  • staff have appropriate expertise
  • there isn’t a constant turnover of staff
  • staff respond openly to all your questions
  • they ask you to provide all the necessary documentation (proof of vaccination, animal liability insurance, etc.)
  • they ask you about any special requirements your dog may have (food, care, rituals)
  • they ask you about your dog’s compatibility with other dogs

Dogs in Pet Boarding Facilities

How dogs are kept in a well-run facility

  • the dogs aren’t kept on their own – they have contact with humans
  • comfortable baskets are available
  • an exercise area is available and kept secure (protected by fences)
  • bitches in heat are not accepted
  • you are expected to have your dog fully vaccinated, dewormed and treated for fleas shortly before arrival
  • you are asked to bring food with you so your dog will get their usual food
  • fresh water is always available to the dogs everywhere (indoors and outdoors)

How dogs are handled

  • dogs are treated with care and affection by the staff
  • dogs are walked 2–3 times a day (with additional free running in the outdoor area)
  • no use of punishment
  • dogs aren’t allowed to walk off the leash
  • dogs are only put together in compatible groups

Cats in pet boarding facilities

For cats, the principles are broadly similar, but there are differences in how they should be kept:

  • cats should be offered their own individual rooms
  • preferably there should be the option of a room with a view outside
  • climbing and scratching facilities must be available

test period

If you find a pet boarding facility that seems right for your dog or cat, start bleaving your pet there for a short test period (i.e., a few days) and see whether they feel comfortable. If your pet seems happy to go back there for a second staythen youve found the right accommodation.

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