Pros and Cons of Long Term Dog Boarding

Pros and Cons of Long Term Dog Boarding

Long-term dog boarding is when you leave your furry friend at a specialized facility for an extended period, usually more than a week. This option is popular among pet owners who travel frequently, have long-term commitments, or need a temporary solution for their dog’s care. Choosing long-term boarding can be a tough decision. It’s not just about finding a place to leave your dog; it’s about ensuring they are happy, healthy, and well-cared for in your absence.

In long-term boarding facilities, such as Jet Pet Resort’s Luxurious dog boarding facilities, dogs get regular meals, exercise, and socialization with other dogs and staff. These places are equipped with everything needed to keep your dog comfortable and safe. However, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Understanding the pros and cons is crucial before making a decision.

Fun Fact: Did you know that dogs can recognize over 250 words and gestures? This intelligence means they can quickly adapt to new environments if introduced correctly!

Pros of Long-Term Dog Boarding

Professional Care

One of the biggest advantages of long-term dog boarding is the access to professional care. Boarding facilities employ trained staff who know how to handle dogs of all breeds and temperaments. They are skilled in providing the necessary care and attention that your dog needs.

  • Trained Staff: The staff at these facilities are often trained in animal behaviour, first aid, and even basic veterinary care. This means they can quickly identify if something is wrong with your dog and take the appropriate action.
  • Regular Health Checks: Many boarding facilities offer regular health checks. This ensures that any potential health issues are caught early. Regular monitoring can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.
  • Medical Care: In case of emergencies, most facilities have a vet on call or even on-site. This immediate access to medical care is a significant advantage over leaving your dog with a neighbour or a pet sitter.

Key Takeaway: Professional care ensures your dog is in safe hands. The trained staff can handle emergencies, provide regular health checks, and offer expert care.

Socialization Opportunities

Dogs are social animals, and long-term boarding provides ample opportunities for them to interact with other dogs and people. This socialization can be beneficial for their mental and emotional health.

  • Interaction with Other Dogs: At a boarding facility, your dog will have the chance to play and interact with other dogs. This can help reduce loneliness and boredom.
  • Structured Playtime: Many boarding facilities offer structured playtime and activities. These activities are designed to keep dogs physically active and mentally stimulated.
  • Behavioural Benefits: Regular socialization can improve your dog’s behaviour. Dogs that interact with others regularly tend to be more confident and less anxious.

Consistent Routine

Dogs thrive on routine, and boarding facilities are great at maintaining a consistent schedule. This stability can help reduce stress and anxiety in your dog.

  • Scheduled Feeding Times: Boarding facilities have set feeding times, ensuring your dog gets their meals at regular intervals.
  • Regular Exercise: Dogs in boarding facilities get regular exercise, which is crucial for their physical and mental well-being.
  • Stability and Structure: A consistent routine provides stability and structure, helping your dog feel more secure and less stressed.

Key Takeaway: Consistent routines in boarding facilities can help your dog feel more comfortable and secure, reducing stress and anxiety.

Cons of Long Term Dog Boarding

Separation Anxiety

While some dogs adapt well to boarding, others may experience separation anxiety. Being away from their owner for an extended period can be stressful for some dogs.

  • Signs of Separation Anxiety: Dogs with separation anxiety may exhibit behaviours such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, or changes in eating habits.
  • Exacerbation of Anxiety: Boarding can sometimes make anxiety worse, especially if the dog is not used to being away from home.
  • Mitigating Separation Anxiety: To help your dog cope, consider leaving them with familiar items such as their favourite toy or blanket. Some facilities also offer “trial stays” to help dogs adjust gradually.

Key Takeaway: Be aware of your dog’s temperament and how they handle separation. Gradual introductions and familiar items can help ease their anxiety.

Cost Considerations

Long-term dog boarding can be expensive, and it’s important to factor in all potential costs.

  • Breakdown of Costs: Boarding costs can vary widely depending on the facility and the services offered. Basic boarding may include just food and shelter, while premium options might offer grooming, extra playtime, or training sessions.
  • Additional Charges: Be aware of additional charges for services like administering medication, special diets, or extra exercise.
  • Comparing Costs: It’s essential to compare the costs of boarding with other options like in-home pet sitting or family care. Sometimes, a combination of different care options can be more cost-effective.

Key Takeaway: Long-term boarding can be pricey. Make sure to compare different facilities and understand all potential costs before making a decision.

Health Risks

Despite the best efforts of boarding facilities, there are always health risks associated with keeping multiple dogs in close quarters.

  • Exposure to Illnesses: Dogs in boarding facilities are at a higher risk of exposure to contagious illnesses such as kennel cough or parasites.
  • Importance of Vaccinations: Ensuring your dog is up to date on vaccinations can help mitigate some health risks. Many facilities require proof of vaccination before accepting a dog.
  • Preventive Care: Regular grooming and flea/tick prevention are crucial. Some facilities offer these services as part of their package, which can help keep your dog healthy.

Key Takeaway: Health risks are an inherent part of boarding. Keeping vaccinations up to date and ensuring preventive care can help protect your dog.

Comparing Long Term Boarding to Other Options

In-Home Pet Sitting

In-home pet sitting can be a great alternative to long-term boarding. It involves having a professional pet sitter come to your home to care for your dog while you are away.

  • Pros of In-Home Pet Sitting:
    • Dogs stay in their familiar environment.
    • Reduced stress and anxiety for your dog.
    • Personalized one-on-one care.
  • Cons of In-Home Pet Sitting:
    • Can be more expensive than boarding.
    • Finding a reliable and trustworthy sitter can be challenging.
    • Less socialization for your dog.

Family or Friends Care

Having family or friends care for your dog can be a cost-effective and comforting option for both you and your pet.

  • Benefits of Family or Friends Care:
    • Your dog is cared for by someone they know and trust.
    • More affordable than professional boarding or pet sitting.
    • Flexibility in care arrangements.
  • Potential Drawbacks:
    • May not have professional training in dog care.
    • Possible strain on personal relationships.
    • Limited availability of family or friends.

Dog Daycare Facilities

Dog daycare facilities, like the ones at Jet Pet Resort, offer another option for pet care. These facilities provide daytime care for dogs, with options for overnight stays.

  • Differences Between Daycare and Boarding:
    • Daycare is typically for daytime hours only, while boarding includes overnight stays.
    • Daycare provides more frequent interaction with other dogs.
    • Boarding offers more comprehensive care for longer periods.
  • Benefits of Dog Daycare:
    • Dogs get regular interaction and exercise.
    • Structured activities keep dogs engaged.
    • Professional care and supervision.
  • Cost and Logistical Considerations:
    • Daycare can be less expensive than boarding for short-term care.
    • Requires daily drop-off and pick-up, which can be inconvenient.
    • Limited availability for overnight stays.

Preparing Your Dog for Long Term Boarding

Choosing the Right Facility

Choosing the right boarding facility for your dog is crucial for their well-being. Not all facilities are created equal, and it’s essential to find one that meets your dog’s specific needs.

  • Key Factors to Consider:
    • Cleanliness: Ensure the facility is clean and well-maintained.
    • Staff Qualifications: Look for facilities with trained and experienced staff.
    • Facility Features: Check for amenities like play areas, climate control, and comfortable sleeping arrangements.
  • Questions to Ask: During a tour, ask about their daily routine, emergency protocols, and staff-to-dog ratio. Understanding these details can give you peace of mind.
  • Importance of Reviews: Reading reviews and testimonials from other pet owners can provide valuable insights into the facility’s quality and reputation.

Gradual Introduction to Boarding

Gradually introducing your dog to boarding can help ease their transition and reduce anxiety. This process allows your dog to become familiar with the new environment and routines.

  • Steps to Gradual Acclimation:
    • Short Visits: Start with short visits to the facility to help your dog get used to the new surroundings.
    • Trial Stays: Arrange for a few overnight stays before committing to long-term boarding. This helps your dog adjust to being away from home.
    • Familiar Items: Bring familiar items like your dog’s favourite toy or blanket. These can provide comfort and a sense of security.
  • Reducing Anxiety: Gradual introductions can help reduce separation anxiety and make the boarding experience more positive for your dog.

Essential Items to Pack

Packing the right items for your dog’s stay at a boarding facility can ensure they are comfortable and well-cared for.

  • Checklist of Items:
    • Food: Bring enough of your dog’s regular food to last their stay. Abrupt changes in diet can upset their stomach.
    • Medication: If your dog is on any medication, provide detailed instructions and ensure there is enough for the entire stay.
    • Toys and Comfort Items: Familiar toys and blankets can help your dog feel more at home.
  • Importance of Communication: Communicate your dog’s specific needs and routines to the boarding staff. This includes feeding times, exercise preferences, and any special care requirements.

Addressing Common Concerns

Communication with the Boarding Facility

Staying informed about your dog’s well-being while they are boarded is crucial. Open communication with the facility can help you stay updated and address any concerns promptly.

  • Regular Updates: Request regular updates about your dog’s condition. Many facilities provide daily or weekly reports, including photos or videos.
  • Emergency Protocols: Understand the facility’s protocols for handling emergencies. Ensure they have your contact information and that you can be reached at all times.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Establish a clear method for providing and receiving feedback. This can help address any issues quickly and ensure your dog’s well-being.

Coping with Guilt and Anxiety

Leaving your dog in a boarding facility can be a source of anxiety and guilt for many pet owners. It’s important to manage these feelings and ensure a positive experience for both you and your dog.

  • Understanding Your Emotions: Acknowledge that feeling anxious or guilty is normal. These emotions stem from your love and concern for your pet.
  • Positive Mindset: Focus on the benefits of boarding, such as professional care and socialization opportunities for your dog.
  • Support Networks: Connect with other pet owners who have used boarding facilities. Sharing experiences and tips can help alleviate your concerns.

Ensuring a Positive Experience

Ensuring your dog has a positive experience at the boarding facility involves evaluating their stay and addressing any issues that arise.

  • Evaluating Your Dog’s Experience: Look for signs that your dog had a positive stay, such as maintaining their usual behaviour, appetite, and energy levels.
  • Post-Boarding Behavior: Be attentive to any behavioural changes after boarding. Some dogs may take a few days to readjust to home life.
  • Feedback to the Facility: Provide feedback to the boarding facility about your dog’s experience. Positive and constructive feedback can help improve their services.


Weighing the Pros and Cons

Making an informed decision about long-term dog boarding involves weighing the pros and cons carefully. Professional care, socialization opportunities, and a consistent routine are significant advantages. However, potential issues like separation anxiety, cost considerations, and health risks must also be considered. By choosing the right facility, preparing your dog gradually, and staying informed, you can ensure a positive boarding experience for your furry friend.


What should I look for in a long-term boarding facility? 

When choosing a long-term boarding facility, look for cleanliness, staff qualifications, and facility features. Make sure the facility is well-maintained and that the staff is trained in animal behaviour and first aid. Check for amenities like play areas, climate control, and comfortable sleeping arrangements. Reading reviews and asking for recommendations can also help you find a reputable facility.

How can I tell if my dog is happy during boarding? 

Signs that your dog is happy during boarding include maintaining their usual behaviour, appetite, and energy levels. Happy dogs are typically excited to see the staff and engage in play with other dogs. Some facilities provide regular updates, including photos and videos, which can help you gauge your dog’s well-being. If your dog appears relaxed and content in these updates, it’s a good sign they are doing well.

What are the alternatives to long-term boarding? 

Alternatives to long-term boarding include in-home pet sitting, where a professional pet sitter cares for your dog in your home, and care from family or friends. Dog daycare facilities can also provide daytime care and sometimes overnight stays. Each option has its pros and cons, such as cost, convenience, and the level of socialization your dog will receive.

How often should I visit or check in on my dog while they are boarded? 

The frequency of visits or check-ins depends on your comfort level and the facility’s policies. Some pet owners prefer to visit their dogs regularly, while others rely on daily or weekly updates from the facility. Establishing a communication plan with the boarding staff before you leave can help ensure you stay informed about your dog’s well-being.

What if my dog has special needs or requires medication? 

If your dog has special needs or requires medication, choose a boarding facility that can accommodate these requirements. Provide detailed instructions to the staff about your dog’s needs, including the medication schedule, dosage, and any specific care routines. Many facilities are equipped to handle special needs and have trained staff to administer medication and provide necessary care.