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Professional dog boarding services keep pups safe and sound while their owners are away on vacation or traveling for work. Most boarders offer dogs lodging and overnight care in their homes or keep special kennels located on their property. Most dog boarders are insured and have a background working with or training dogs. Some cities or counties require dog boarders and kennels to have special licensing. It’s a good idea to check providers’ qualifications and make sure they meet local requirements.

Some dog boarders require a meet-and-greet initial visit to get to know dogs and confirm that they are well-behaved. In general, this introductory session is free. Once a relationship is established with a boarding house, owners can arrange to board their dogs as needed. Several factors affect the cost of boarding a dog.

Daily rates

Many dog boarding facilities have set daily rates that apply to all dogs, regardless of size or breed. As a rule, owners must show proof of current vaccinations to keep all boarded dogs safe. Fleas are generally not tolerated at dog boarding locations. If a pooch infests the other dogs with fleas, the owner will most likely have to pay for the flea bath or treatment for their dog and the other dogs on-site as well as for a de-fleaing of the entire premises if necessary.

Daily rates could increase if a dog is particularly aggressive and needs to be isolated or if a female dog goes into heat and needs to be isolated. Some boarders do not take aggressive dogs or females in heat. Other factors that could increase daily rates include illness or advanced age if a dog needs special care or medical attention. Here are some examples of standard day rates for on-site dog boarding:

Angela Lullo at ALL4K9 in Cary, Illinois

  • First dog: $45 for each 24 hour period

    • Each additional dog from the same family: $22.50 for each 24 hour period

    • Owners provide their dog’s food during the stay. Any food provided by ALL4K9 costs extra.

    • Dogs must be friendly to both dogs and cats.

Wanda La Cour of AngelsCare Pet Sitting in Frisco, Texas

  • First dog: $35 per night

    • Each additional dog from the same family: $10 per night

    • There is an additional $17 charge if a dog is brought prior to 3 p.m. or picked up after 3 p.m.

    • Boarding includes interaction with other dogs, a daily routine and medication dispensation.

Randy Francis with Sitter4Paws in Scottsdale, Arizona

  • 12–24 hours: $50 per dog

    • 8–12 hours: $40 per dog

    • Less than 8 hours: $30 per dog

    • Francis charges an additional $5 for rush bookings—after 7:30 p.m. the night of dropoff or for holiday bookings.

In-home dog care

Owners who prefer that their dog remain in their own home while they’re away can opt for in-home dog care. Prices are typically higher for in-home dog sitting as opposed to dog boarding because the service provider cares for one owner’s pet or pets rather than being able to board multiple dogs. The higher cost also helps cover transportation costs. Leah Rowe with For the Love of Dogs in Wilmington, Delaware, charges $85 for each 24-hour period of in-home overnight care. She charges the following rates for time spent beyond the initial 24-hour minimum fee:

  • 1–6 hours: $21.25

  • 7–12 hours: $42.50

  • 13–18 hours: $63.75

  • 19–24 hours: $85

Doggy day care

Boarding during the day—commonly referred to as "dog day care"—is less expensive than overnight boarding because it requires fewer resources and time from the boarder. Day boarding is a good choice for people who can’t leave their dog home alone or who want their dog to have play time, socialization with other dogs and exercise during the day. Boarders may offer reduced rates to clients boarding multiple dogs at once. Here’s how ALL4K9 charges for doggy day care:

  • Hourly day care rates: $3 for one dog; $4.50 for two dogs; $6 for three dogs

  • Daily day care rates (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.): $25 for one dog; $37.50 for two dogs; $50.50 for three dogs

  • 5-day punch card: $120 for one dog; $180 for two dogs; $240 for three dogs

  • 10-day punch card: $230 for one dog; $345 for two dogs; $460 for three dogs
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