Best Boarding Kennels For Your Pets

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Pet boarding can be a great option if you’re going on vacation. You know that your dog will be well cared for while you’re away, so you can enjoy your beak without worrying about your precious pup.

But how much do these pet services cost? How do you choose the best boarding service for your pup? And is it unfair to board your dog in private kennels?

Read this guide to discover the best boarding kennels across the country and more!

Best US Boarding Kennels For Your Canine Companion

In this section of our guide, we take a look at the best animal boarding kennel options for your dog.

Pooch Hotel

Pooch Hotel Logo

We love the Pooch Hotel since it offers several services that promise to give your dog the best vacation experience.

The Pooch Hotel is part of a national chain offering a range of services at its 11 locations, including:

  • Pet boarding
  • Doggie daycare time
  • Spa services

The staff is available 24/7 to keep an eye on the canine residents, and you can choose to add extra services, such as turn-down services, training, and dedicated treadmill time.

Locations are available in Texas, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Colorado, and Massachusetts, so if you live in any of those areas, you might want to try this company

What we like:

  • 24/7 pet watch service
  • Easy check-in and check-out times to suit you
  • Luxury add-on services

Room for improvement:

  • Strict cancellation policy
  • Only available in limited locations


Dogtopia logo

Dogtopia is a boarding service and daycare facility that provides a webcam so that you can watch your dog having fun while you’re away.

Dogtopia has 170 convenient locations across the US and Canada, so there’s almost bound to be one close to you.

You can check on your dog on the facility’s webcam throughout the day. All dogs staying at the kennels can have access to daycare so that they can get rid of some excess energy and have fun with other pooches. Your dog spends the nights in a climate-controlled crate, or you can choose a private boarding room if you want to upgrade.

What we like:

  • Over 170 nationwide locations
  • Daytime webcams enable you to watch your pup
  • Playrooms have rubber flooring that’s kind to paws

Room for improvement:

  • Few add-on options
  • Less flexible check-in and check-out times

VCA Animal Hospitals

VCA Animal Hospitals

If your dog has medical or compassionate care needs, you might want to choose VCA Animal Hospitals as the best pet care facility for your pet while you’re away rather than opting for private kennel boarding.

VCA Hospital’s Range Pet Lodge is staffed 24/7/365, so you know that your dog will receive the professional medical care he needs when he needs it. Your dog receives all the meals he requires and is given three walks daily. Fleecy blankets are provided to keep your pampered pet cozy and snug when he takes a nap.

A few add-on options are available, such as peanut butter-filled KONG toys and daytime care. VCA staff can administer insulin or medication as required at an extra cost.

What we like:

  • Staff on-site 24/7
  • Fun extras available, including pet storytime and “puptinis”
  • Located in a vet’s clinic

Room for improvement:

  • Not every VCA offers boarding facilities
  • Generally more expensive than competitors 

PetSuites of America

PetSuites of America

For longer vacations, PetSuites of America uses a specially tiered approach that can accommodate your requirements, making this a great canine care facility for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.

Short stays fall under the facility’s bronze plan and include a special daily treat and personalized playtime. The silver and gold plans are geared for longer stays and include all-day playtime and a handy extended check-out time. If you go for the gold plan, your dog will enjoy an extra walk, and you’ll receive daily photo updates.

If you really want to pamper your pooch, you might want to choose the Canine Luxury Suite, which features daily housekeeping, a TV, and a raised bed! 

What we like:

  • Lots of different boarding and lodging plan options
  • Photo updates are provided daily
  • Offers boarding for cats and dogs

Room for improvement:

  • Fewer locations than other boarding kennel facilities

Pet Palace Resort

Pet Palace Resort

Pet Palace Luxury Resort is a relatively small operation compared with some of the other boarding kennels we’ve featured. However, this facility offers a range of experiences that are sure to exceed your pet’s expectations! 

Your dog will enjoy his stay in a private “villa” that’s designed to look and feel just like home. Every room in the villa has a comfy bed, and you can opt for a suite with 24/7 webcam coverage so you can check in on your pup whenever you want. In addition, you can send as many of your dog’s favorite toys with him as you wish.

If you want to, you can add a day at daycare or even treat your pet to a spa day with the facility’s in-house groomer. Most facilities offer extended stay discounts, although prices vary depending on location.

What we like:

  • Various suite options for your dog
  • 24/7 webcam access
  • Offers both cat and dog daytime daycare options

Room for improvement:

  • Fewer locations than other boarding kennel facilities
  • More expensive than some competitors

PetSmart PetsHotel Pet Boarding

PetSmart PetsHotel Pet Boarding

Many dog owners also have a family cat in their household. Not all pet boarding business facilities cater to cats; however, PetSmart PetsHotel Pet Boarding does.

The facility offers  both dog and cat boarding services. Cats get to stay in a separate “Kitty Cottage” that enjoys daily sanitization and cleaning. If you have two cats, you can choose to have them stay together in a double unit linked by a connecting door.

PetSmart PetsHotel also provides 24/7 care and an on-call vet, so you know that Tibbles will be well cared for in your absence.

What we like:

  • Temperature controlled environment
  • Add-on extras available, including full-service grooming
  • Offers both cat and dog day boarding services

Room for improvement:

  • No webcam available
  • No packages available for cats


If you prefer not to send your dog or cat to a boarding kennel, you could consider hiring a pet sitter service as a pet boarding option instead. is basically an online platform that enables you to search for a pet sitter in your local area. You can then filter the search to find the best match based on your required dates, price range, care options, and specific needs, such as a fenced backyard.

The site has a review system that makes it simple and quick for users to find a trustworthy sitter, and the platform is extremely user-friendly. We highly recommend trying if you prefer to board your pooch in someone’s home rather than in an overnight boarding kennel.

What we like:

  • Home boarding service
  • You can interview your pet’s care service provider 
  • Flexible pricing, depending on the pet caretaker

Room for improvement:

  • Service availability varies depending on your location

How We Picked The Best Pet Boarding Kennel Services

You want the very best for your much-loved canine companion, and leaving your pet alone can be pretty traumatic for a doting owner. So, what should you look for when choosing a pet boarding kennel service?

We chose the boarding services featured in this list by looking at the following criteria:

  • Is the facility licensed and fully insured?
  • What amenities are offered by the facility?
  • Does the facility offer 24/7 veterinary on-call cover?
  • Does the facility have an excellent reputation?
  • Do the kennels accommodate cats as well as dogs?

Some companies offer flexible stay options, which is handy if you go on long vacations. We especially like companies that offer extra add-ons that you can choose for your pet to enhance your furry friend’s vacation experience.

Finally, we studied the company’s reviews to see what their users thought of the service they received and checked out the safety standards offered for your pet.

Provided that your chosen licensed boarding facility fulfills all those requirements, you should have no hesitation about boarding your dog or cat there.

How Much Do Pet Boarding Kennels Cost? 

The cost of boarding your pet in kennels varies depending on where you are in the country, the type of pet you have, and the duration of the stay.

Prices generally range from around $25 to $50 per night for dogs, although cat boarding is typically a little cheaper. In addition, some companies offer add-on services, such as daycare, grooming services, or obedience training, all of which incur an extra cost.

If you decide to hire a pet sitter so that your dog can stay in their home, the cost may be less. 

When deciding on what boarding option to go for, you need to think about what works best for your pet, depending on their healthcare needs and personality. 

Is Boarding Your Dog Cruel?

Playing ball with a Golden Doodle

Although most pet owners feel unhappy or even a tad guilty at leaving their furry friend when they go on vacation, choosing to board your dog or cat in a safe environment is a good choice.

Most licensed boarding kennels provide their canine and feline guests with a safe, loving place to stay while you’re not around. Many facilities provide playtime options either with other friendly pups or other dogs, so you know that your dog can have a fun time enjoying himself and socializing.

However, you must consider your dog’s personality before you book social activity sessions for him. If your dog is very anxious or has aggressive tendencies, you might want to choose other options, such as leaving your dog with a family member or friend or even hiring an experienced live-in pet sitter. 

Do Boarding Kennels Have A Minimum Age Requirement?

Most good boarding kennel facilities insist that your dog or cat must be at least 12 to 14 weeks old. That means that the animals will be fully vaccinated, which is essential in a facility where lots of pets are spending time around each other.

If you need to board a dog or cat younger than that, talk to your veterinarian for advice. 

In addition, for obvious reasons, most facilities insist that animals over six months of age are spayed or neutered if you want them to play with other pets.

You might also like: Kennel Vs Boarding – What’s the Difference?

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy our guide to the best boarding kennels for your pets? If you did, please share the article!

If you’re going away on vacation, you want to be sure that your dog or cat will be well cared for and properly looked after while you’re not around. A pet boarding facility can be a good option for your pet. Boarding kennels often provide additional services, such as 24/7 care, webcams, daycare options, and even Dog TV! So, you know that your beloved furry friend will have a great time while you’re away.

Where does your dog stay when you go away? Tell us what works for your pup in the comments box below!

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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