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How does pet boarding work?

Before organising pet care, it's helpful to know how pet boarding works. In general, all pet boarding establishments (e.g. catteries, kennels) offer similar pet boarding services. These establishments take in your pet and care for a certain amount of time in pet-friendly premises.

Specify your pet boarding need

Before you start to look for kennels or a cattery, it’s vital that you are clear about what your animal needs.

To do that, ask yourself certain questions which will help you make the right choice.

It’s important to give the boarder all the relevant information, before entrusting them with your pet. This ensures that all will go as well as possible.

Your pet’s profile

When you contact the pet boarding establishment, they will surely request information about your pet’s profile to check that they can accommodate him/her. Depending on the size of the animal, for example, they may not have a suitable pen available.

So you’ll need to supply the following information about your pet

  • Species: dog, cat, rabbit, etc.
  • Breed: Alsatian, Yorkshire Terrier, Siamese, Burmese etc.
  • Size : small, medium, large
  • Sex : male or female

Your pet’s habits

Finding itself in unfamilar surroundings, your pet may be upset, especially if this is its first time away from home.

In order to minimise the disturbance, it makes sense to inform the boarding establishment about your pet’s daily routine so they can follow it as closely as possible.

By daily routine we mean all the key events in the day for your pet:

  • When and for how long your dog goes out (for walks and toilet needs)
  • When and how much to feed your pet


In any pet boarding establishment, your pet is bound to find itself living in close contact with other animals.

Therefore you should let the boarding establishment know any relevant information about your pet’s behaviour :

  • Reaction to strangers (wary or relaxed?)
  • With its fellow creatures (sociable or a loner?)
  • With other species (has it ever encountered other species?)

State of health

If you want all to go well, while your pet is staying in the boarding establishment, it’s vital that they are aware of any health issues.

  • Are vaccinations up to date?
  • Is your pet receiving any current medical treatment? (if yes what are the details?)
  • Are there any injuries or physical disabilities?
  • Are there any chronic problems? (arthritis, epilepsy etc.)

Check out the pet boarding establishment beforehand

Once you know what you’re looking for, why not visit some possible establishments before booking?

There’s no better way to help you decide which would be the best place for your pet to stay, while you’re away.

When you visit, don’t hesitate to ask whatever questions you need regarding your pet’s welfare.

This visit will not only allow you to check out the premises, where your pet will be staying, but also to meet the staff who will be in charge of its care.

A typical day in a pet boarding establishment

During your visit, don’t hesitate to ask about a typical day and other arrangements : how many animals per pen, exercise times and duration, cleaning, games etc.

This way you’ll get a better idea of how the establishment functions and, all being well, it will reassure you in your choice.

Another way to check the quality of the establishment, is to consult any reviews which have been posted by other customers on the internet.