Kennels vs Home boarding

Dog Sleeping

We know if you had your way you would take your dog on every holiday, but sometimes you just can't help it, someone else has to look after your furry friend.

While you would be happy to let someone care for your "buddy" when you are out of town, you are torn between two choices –kennel or home boarding. Which is safer? How much will it cost you? Will your pet fit in? These are legitimate concerns. After all, you want the best for your pooch.

That's why we put this article together, so you can make a confident choice. And, by the end of this guide, you will know what to look out for.

Know your pet

Before we dive into the pros and con of a kennel vs home boarding, you need to have a fair knowledge of your pet's personality. Is your dog used to other dogs and good at socialising? Does your pet love to spend time outdoors exploring? Has he been to a dog park, did he love it? How active is your dog?

The answer to these questions will determine if kennel or home boarding is the best option for your dog.

Choosing the right Boarding Facility

Irrespective of which one you pick, you have to ensure your dog will be given the best care available while you are away. The minimum requirements for a kennel or home boarding facility are:

Outdoor Play Area: Even if your dog is open to spending time in confined spaces, it will benefit from regular exercises, some room to run around and socialise with both people and other pets.

Clean and dry environment: Yes, pets can be really messy, but whoever will be hosting your pet should prove they can take care of their facility before you can trust them with your pet. If the paints are peeling, there's untended lawn or the place smells unhealthy, simply move on to the next.

Require proof of Vaccination: Most commercial kennels and home boarders will insist you provide up-to-date shot records before your pet is admitted. Do not even consider anyone that doesn't require paperwork that should be a red flag; your buddy is not in safe hands.

Licence and insurance certificate: Having a licence proves that a kennel or home boarder has met and complies with the standards necessary to run a boarding facility. A Public Liability Insurance, Custody & Control Insurance provide cover for your dog in case it injures a third-party, has an accident or becomes ill in the custodian's care.

The best thing to do when choosing a boarding facility is to look around and trust your judgement. You will be able to tell if the place is good for your dog within a few minutes.

Kennel Boarding 

In a commercial kennel boarding facility, your pet has its own "room and play area" side-by-side, but separate from other pets, similar to the setup you would find in a hotel. Though the type of service each one provides very, kennels are better equipped to cater for dogs of different sizes, breed and exercise level.

Extras: Since kennels are separated, they will be able to admit unneutered dogs of any sex as well as aggressive ones.

  • Lots of trained staff
  • Tall and secure fencing
  • Well lit areas
  • Admits vaccinated puppies
  • Heating system or a comfortable bed
  • Cheaper pricing
  • Offers dog walks and training


  • Loud and disturbing noise can make dogs anxious.
  • Can admit as many as 15 pets or more.
  • If they weren't introduced as pups, older dogs take time to settle in.
  • Dogs in kennel are likely to feel stressed or suffer separation anxiety.
  • Some dogs may not be able to eat like they are used to.
  • Pet could develop kennel syndrome

Home Boarding

Home boarding is considered the next best thing to actually staying at home with your pet –or getting a sitter. A home boarder will care for your pet in a natural and relaxed environment that is pretty much like yours. This option sounds awesome, but there are some questions you should know the answers to, so you can maintain peace of mind while you're away.

Home boarder's experience with dogs?
Will other dogs be present, how many?
What exercise options are available?
Will you get updates?
Where will your dog spend the night?
Do they have a vet on call in case of emergencies?
What happens if my dog misbehaves? Some may send your dog to a kennel!

  • Only a handful of pets.
  • Constant human company.
  • Little disruption to your dog's routines.
  • Pets settle in faster irrespective of age.
  • Your pet gets to enjoy a natural secure surrounding.
  • Dogs spend more time playing in the open, socialising with humans and other furry friends.
  • Friendly owner will shower your dog with lots of attention.

  • Pricing is considerably higher in most cases.
  • Cannot accept pups under 6 months.
  • Service is rarely available in emergencies.


​In the end, when people with travel plans look around for boarding services what they really want is a facility that is well run, well-maintained. That's why all the boarding facilities listed in our directory are carefully screened to provide the best care for your pet and peace of mind while you're away. Plan smarter holidays, let's help you find a good boarding facility close to you.

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