Going On Vacation? Here’s What It Could Cost To Board Your Dog

average cost of boarding a dog

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When you’re planning a long weekend or a 10-day vacation with friends, it’s important to know what you’re doing with your pup if he’s not coming along. There are several options, but it’s important to know what each will cost. Don’t blow your budget just so you can board your dog at the nicest hotel in town. Consider all of your options, and then choose the one that’s right for Fido and your wallet.

Boarding Options

First, you’ll need to figure out where you want to board your pup. An old-fashioned kennel at the vet could work, but there are also dog hotels that may offer your pup a slightly more comfortable stay. Once you decide what’s available in your area, it’s important to compare prices. Depending on your location, it could really add up.

According to PetCareRX, common prices for boarding a dog in a kennel range from $25 to $45 per dog, per night, while a night in a dog hotel could cost closer to $50 per night. If the kennel or dog hotel is more like a five-star resort though, it could cost hundreds per night.

dog napping

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Some places may also charge multiple fees for different amenities. For instance, you might only pay $15 per night, but that only covers the kennel that they sleep in. Playtime, food and water could be extra.

Pro Tip: If you own multiple dogs, ask if there’s a discount for boarding more than one at a time. Or if you’re traveling for a few weeks, see if the kennel or hotel could offer a better price for pup since it’s a long-term stay.

So if you’re going away for a week, boarding your dog could cost you anywhere from $175 to hundreds of dollars for the seven-day span.

What You Pay For

When you board your dog, you’re paying for him to have a private place to sleep, food, water, care and playtime. One thing to consider is the food that your dogs will eat while boarded. In order to keep them in the same routine, many places suggest bringing your own food for them to eat. If you don’t, the kennel will feed them their own preferred brand. This could be an added expense if you need to buy food for your pup while at the kennel or hotel.

Additionally, many places offer grooming services for dogs. You might want to have this taken care of while away, so be sure to calculate in that extra cost. Grooming services will vary from place to place.

Dog hotels offer a more private experience. For example, PetSmart offers two levels of lodging for dogs at its PetsHotel — a standard guest room or a private suite room. Many dog hotels provide dog beds, toys and maybe even window views of the nearby park.

Keeping Pup Happy

Many kennels have dogs spend a majority of their day in groups with other dogs. This is important to consider. If Rover doesn’t get along with others, boarding him might not be the right move. Oftentimes, dogs only go back to their kennels for meals, afternoon naps and to sleep at night.

Pro Tip: Ask if playtime for Pup is in a small or large group. Your dog may do better with just three or four dogs in a smaller space than in a large yard with 10 others.

dogs playtime

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Not all dogs will enjoy their stay at a kennel or dog hotel, either. If you’ve got a pup likely to cause a ruckus while you’re away, it could end up costing you even more than the regular boarding fee. If dogs cause damage to the facility, there may be additional charges tacked onto your bill, so ask before you board.

Pet Sitters

If your dog won’t do well at a kennel or hotel, consider an in-home pet sitter who can take care of her while you’re away. Pet sitters are great because your dog can stay in her own environment and in the same routine.

For instance, pet site and app Rover offers pet sitting services that could make going on vacation and leaving pup behind a lot easier. Owners can search for pet sitters nearby, schedule a meet and greet with them and book the one that is the best fit for Fido.

However, a pet sitter may cost the same per night as a dog kennel or hotel. On Rover’s forum, pet sitters said they charge about $30 per day, and Care.com’s community page showed that pet sitters may charge over $60 per day.

Of course, the cost of boarding a dog or booking a pet sitter all depends on your location, size of the dog and time of year. Summers and holidays may be more expensive, while a small Yorkie could be cheaper than a large Great Dane. Before leaving for vacation, take the time to price out different options for taking care of your pup. Don’t worry, you’ll find one that both fits your budget and makes Fido happy.

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