Types of Dog Boarding in Boise, Idaho


So, you’re going on vacation and you’ve never boarded your dog before? Or you’re new to Boise and you don’t know what your dog boarding options are here? Hopefully, this will give you the low down on dog boarding in Boise.


There are a wide range of dog boarding options in Boise. There are stand alone kennels, kennels connected to veterinarian offices, doggie day cares that offer overnight boarding, and private parties that offer limited dog boarding in their homes. I suggest you take the time to really investigate all your options.


First of all, you need to determine what type of dog you have. Is he easily stressed or does he love a high energy environment? Is he active and in need of lots of exercise daily or does he prefer a quiet environment? Does he like to play and get along well with other dogs? Does he have special medical or other needs? Is he good with children? With these things in mind, let’s go shopping!


The first option is conventional dog boarding kennels. They are either stand along kennels or attached to a veterinarian’s office. The dog boarding kennels in Boise vary in their set-up, services, billing and hours of operation. I know of one kennel that is attached to a vet and open 24/7, so if your plane comes in at midnight, no problem…you can stop and pick up Fido on the way home! I love this idea. I recommend touring the kennels so you know what the kennel set up is. I was shocked when I toured one very popular kennel that was tied to a veterinarian. The front office was spacious, modern and clean. When I toured the back kennel it was super crowded, noisy, and stuffy. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The person giving me the tour was probably 18 years old. The area where the dogs were allowed to go to the bathroom was painted concrete. The ‘suites’ were also small and noisy.


After seeing pretty much the same situation with most of the kennels in Boise, I ended up going to the other side of Canyon County to board my dogs at a small kennel owned and operated by a couple. It was clean, spacious and my dogs got to go outside into their own large yard four times per day. There hours were not great and I ended up having to leave them there an extra day because they are closed on Mondays, but my dogs were well cared for and not in an overcrowded facility. When touring kennels, I recommend making mental notes of the air flow (is it hot and stuffy), noise level, smell, activity area, cleanliness and bathroom facilities. The last thing you want to do is end up with a vet bill for kennel cough and/or diarrhea. Also take note of the staff. What is the staff/dog ratio? Is the person experienced enough to notice if your dog is sick? Do they seem knowledgeable, caring and compassionate? Do the prices seem fair? Do they charge by the night or by the day? Do the dogs get enough time outside the kennel? Do the kennels have outdoor runs?


The next option I want to talk about is the dog day care option. You may also refer to these as a doggie day care. There are three of them in Boise. Here again, I recommend visiting the back room of the day care. I had a pet sitting client tell me that he asked one of the dog day cares how many dogs they had on the particular day he called. They told him 91 dogs! Wow! Personally, this many dogs in one or two areas would be very stressful and dangerous (stress = dog fights) for even the most active dogs. However, a well run dog day care and a dog that needs lots of activity is a great option. Just check things out. Another thing I look for in a dog day care is the maturity and knowledge level of the staff. I also like the dogs to be allowed to go outside onto a grassy area to go to the bathroom. Most doggie day cares and some kennels have web cams. I suggest watching the dogs on the web cam to determine if you think it is a good fit for your dog.


Lastly, there is the in-home dog boarding and pet sitting in your home options. These options vary in price and service as well. For in-home boarding it’s important to interview the person/people in charge. What is their background and experience? How many dogs do they board at a time? Are the dogs required to be vaccinated? Are there children in the home? Is the fence secure? Where are the dogs kept when the person is not home? How long are they left alone? And what is the living arrangement? Does the owner have insurance? Do the dogs get to live with the people or are they crated/kenneled in a separate room? Is it cage free dog boarding? If so, is it safe? Where do the dogs go when the owner is not home? Cage free dog boarding is down right dangerous if unsupervised. Be careful with this option. Personally, I would not let my dogs stay with a family with children. Even the best behaved children are children! They leave doors open and, if your dog bites them, you are liable. Even if they say you are not, you are. The bottom line on in-home dog boarding is to go with your gut and outside references.


Pet sitting is an option where your dog stays in your home and a pet sitter comes in for half hour visits or may stay full-time. The full-time option is usually expensive, ranging from $50-$100 per day depending on the amount of time spent in your home. Pet sitting is a great option for dogs that do best at home and do not do well in stressful situations. The great benefit here too is that they are not exposed to kennel cough.


So, there you have some options. I hope this helps. It is a very brief overview.

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