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The average cost to board a dog ranges between $18 and $120 a day, depending on the kind of facility you choose.³,⁴ Whether you’re going on a trip and your pup can’t tag along or you’re just looking to get your dog out of the house, boarding can be a great option when you need to take a break. Like veterinary care, boarding costs vary from city to city. Some dog boarding services will pass on their overhead costs — building maintenance, taxes, and other fees — to pet parents so it’s important to do your homework! Here’s what you can expect while looking for a reliable dog boarding service.
There are various options to board your dog: kennels, dog hotels, daycares, veterinary care, and dog sitters. As you can imagine, each offers very different experiences that may or may not fit your budget. Many boarding services offer very basic care while others are basically luxury retreats for the four legged friend. Some facilities, like dog sitters, can be limited to where you live. Here are the national averages for the most common facilities.³,⁴
|Types of Boarding Facilities||Cost Per Night|
|Kennel||$18 - $60|
|Hotel||$50 - $120|
|Daycare||$15 - $70|
|Veterinary||$20 - $50|
|In-Home Dog Sitter
||$45 - $75|
Take a moment to jot down what you need and want while your pup is away. Now that you have your list in hand, let’s figure out what the different facilities are like.
A dog kennel is the standard type of dog boarding where your dog’s basic needs are met: food, water, shelter, and playtime. Dog kennels tend to be the most prevalent and the least expensive option for pet parents. Some kennels can be as low as $15 a night, while others can charge up to $60 a night, so expect to spend somewhere close to $400 if you’re gone for a week.³,⁴
On the other hand, dog hotels have all these amenities plus other perks like a dog bed, a free roam environment with 24-hour supervision, and other services for you to choose from. For example, some hotels offer personalized luxury suites, on-site grooming, and training classes. The average base rate for dog hotels may be $50, but it can easily cost up to $120 a night for the most luxurious hotel.³,⁴
Another option available is to board your dog at a local veterinarian. Veterinarian boarding fees can range from as low as $20 a night to as high as $55. This is a good middle-of-the-road budget option for you if your dog takes medication daily or requires additional professional care. You can trust vets to manage ongoing dietary and medical care, especially for senior dogs who need extra love.⁵
Ask your vet if they offer these services and what amenities the charges include. Some veterinarians offer discounts for extended stays or multiple dogs.⁵
There may be additional costs to board your dog you should be mindful of, including optional services or fees for the care of your dog. Some examples include:
Be sure to get a detailed list of all fees during your visit of the facility if it isn’t listed alongside your quote. Otherwise, you may blow past your budget.
Leaving your dog with strangers overnight can feel daunting, but there are other options if you’re unable or unwilling to spend money on a dog boarding service without the individualized care other providers can give.
Dog sitters, or “in-home dog boarding,” can cost as little as $20 an hour but some sitters charge as much as $100 in major cities. Hiring a dog sitter is a great way to ensure your dog gets the personal attention they deserve. Most dog sitters require you to keep the dog in their home while others don’t. Shop around by asking family and friends who they recommend. Remember to screen these folks and arrange an in-person meeting with the sitter and your pup with your supervision to see how they and your dog interact with one another to ensure your pet’s safety.
Day boarding — often called “doggy daycare” — may also be an option for folks who don’t need someone to watch their dog overnight. Day boarding services can charge as little as $3 per hour for one dog. Some facilities offer packages for weekly visits and multi-pet households that can cost up to $500.⁶ Pet parents who work long hours or live in apartments may find doggy daycares can help their dogs get exercise, socialize with other dogs, and get the special attention they need.
It’s your responsibility to ensure your dog gets the most positive experience possible, so do your homework! Here’s a quick checklist to help you find the best place for your family pet.
Proceed with caution as you narrow down your search. If possible, get your quotes in person so you can have a tour of the facilities and meet the staff.⁷ Ask questions about how often the kennels are cleaned and what the procedures are for preventing communicable diseases, like kennel cough.⁷ Most dog boarders require proof of vaccinations (e.g., rabies) but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Once you settle on a dog sitter or a boarding service, it’s time to prepare your dog for their time apart from you. Gather items that will make their separation anxiety easier to deal with like blankets or a t-shirt with your scent.⁷ A responsible caretaker will typically require these items before taking your pup into their care, so be prepared to provide their preferred bedding, snacks, and toys.
Write out your dog's normal schedule, especially when they eat and take walks. This step is critical to avoid behavioral issues while also keeping your dog to their established routine. Provide the boarding service all the medications and supplements they need, along with care instructions. Lastly, give the boarding service your veterinarian's contact information. This helps make sure all the humans involved understand what to do and who to reach in the case of emergencies.
Pet parents may have anxiety about leaving their companions with strangers; they may be fearful of illness or injury. Consider a MetLife dog insurance policy, which can cover the cost of emergency visits.¹,² Get a quote today to see how affordable it is to be fully prepared, especially when you’re away.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.
2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.
³ “2022 Updated Dog Boarding Costs (Day, Night, Week),” AZ Animals
⁴ “How Much Does It Cost To Board A Dog,” Airtasker
⁵ “How Much Does It Cost to Board A Dog?,” Paoli Vet Care
⁶ “How Much Dog Boarding Costs?,” The Dog Kennel Collection
⁷ “Dog Boarding: What to Know and What to Look for When Boarding Your Dog,” American Kennel Club