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Worry-free Pet Boarding, Keeping our Pets Safe and Happy

By Colleen Williams
February 14, 2014 • 3 min. read
catnip and cat

Finally finished my preparations for this weekend’s trip to the Bay Area. Heading to San Diego for a quick weekend getaway with some friends but sadly I couldn’t bring my furry-friend on this trip. But I can’t help feeling a bit guilty as I caught a glimpse of Fido playing at the corner of my room. Luckily, I asked my neighbor if he could take care of Fido for the weekend and he gladly said yes.

We can’t bring our pets during every trip. And some of us might not have the luxury of having an awesome pet parent living next to us who would gladly open his to door to our four-legged kids.

This is where pet boarding services come into mind. These professionals specialize in providing a second home to our pets when having them along on long trips is not an option. But choosing from the dozens of pet boarding services that offer the same type of services could be a journey on its own.

In this week’s article, Emily from Adventures of a Dog Mom shares her thoughts on how to safely choose a pet boarding facility. These tips should definitely come in handy when we want to enjoy a trip that is worry-free for both us and our furry-kids. Our thanks goes to Emily for being this week’s featured contributor. And if you think this was great, please visit Emily at Adventures of a Dog Mom for more tips or simply share in her wonderful adventures.


Sometimes we can’t help it we just can’t take our pets with us everywhere we go and that’s where boarding comes in.  I’ve found that for boarding to be successful you need to do several things in advance.

First, know your pet, this is the most important step.  By this I mean you should know how your pet will react to being in such an environment, how they will feel being handled by people they don’t know, if their eating habits will change, etc. If you feel that your pet will be under too much stress then maybe boarding isn’t the right solution for you, maybe a family member, friend or even a petsitter would be best for you and your pet.

If you feel that your pet would do OK the second thing you should do is tour the facility, and yes ask to go behind the scenes to see what goes on back there, after all you’re considering leaving your pet in their care.  And, sometimes you can arrange extra walks or one on one time with an employee.

Third, once you’ve decided on a place to board make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations and the boarding facility has a copy of the records.  They should also have the phone numbers for you, your vet and an emergency contact if you can’t be reached.

The fourth and last step to successful boarding is dropping your pet off, and this is a tough one.  You’ll probably want to hug your pet or give them extra attention since you won’t see them for a while but this can make the separation harder for the pet.  The best thing to do is calmly say goodbye and that you’ll be back and hand over the leash or carrier. The less excitement on your part, the less excitement in your pet.

I’ve been able to apply these same steps with Boomer and Dottie.  Unfortunately there have been times they can’t go with me on a trip so I’ve found a boarding facility that I trust.  I went on a tour and spoke with several different employees about their procedures and how my dogs would be treated.

But the most important thing I think is that I know my dogs, I know Boomer will make friends with anyone and would be fine hanging out in a boarding facility but I know Dottie isn’t. Dottie is more high strung and gets nervous really easily so when it comes time to board I ask for extra walks and play time, an extra large indoor/outdoor dog run with two beds and have Boomer board with her.  This helps her to not feel as anxious because she has her “big brother” with her.  And, when I pick them up they are both ready to go home to their own beds, toys and of course cuddles with me.

Author Bio: A recent transplant to Longmont, Colorado, Emily Ingram is the dog mom behind the blog Adventures of a Dog Mom.  When not busy sharing adventures on the blog and working for the Longmont Humane Society she spends her time exploring her new home with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers, Boomer Sooner and Dottie Mae.

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colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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