boarding kennel cost

Booking a Boarding Kennel? Here’s What It Could Cost

Whether you’re off on holiday or have a family emergency, there will be times when your dog cannot come with you. This can be a tough realisation, especially if the canine has never been cared for by someone else, but a boarding kennel is one of the best options for pet care. Often purpose-built to offer comfortable and functional housing for dogs, kennels can offer 24/7 care, which is almost unrivalled by pet sitting services.

But when it comes to booking such a facility, the question of cost isn’t far from a dog owner’s thoughts. Thankfully, this article has collected essential information relating to the price of dog boarding as well as what other checks owners should carry out before making a final decision.

How Much Do Boarding Kennels Charge?

Although price should not be the most important aspect of choosing a dog kennel, it continues to be a crucial feature for pet owners when deciding where to send their dogs.

For a single dog kennel, most owners can expect to pay between £15 and £25 per day, £110 and £200 per week, and up to roughly £450 per fortnight. This will go towards caring for, feeding, and exercising the dog, cleaning and heating the kennels, and paying the kennel staff. If you provide your own dog’s food, you could ask if this will reduce the overall cost, but not all boarding services will agree to this.

However, this will increase when a luxury boarding service or dog hotel is selected. There are many different dog boarding options available in the UK, with some offering deluxe spa treatments for dogs while others try to keep the animals’ routines as normal as possible. More luxurious services can be costly.

Are discounts offered for long stays or multiple dogs?

Many dog kennels offer discounted rates for clients who are booking a “long stay” for their dog. Long-term stays generally mean one month or longer, which is commonly used by people who are experiencing housing issues. It is also used by dog owners who are unwell and unable to look after their pets while recovering.

If you own multiple dogs, and they can be housed in the same space, you might receive a reduced rate. As the dogs will only be using one kennel, there is still space to take another customer. This is often better for multi-dog owners than hiring a dog sitter, who is more likely to charge extra when caring for more than one dog.

Although rare, small dog boarding can also be discounted. As small dogs often eat less food and require less exercise than medium to large breeds, this can be cheaper for the kennel, meaning the price for the customer could be reduced.

Dog lying in a bed in a boarding kennel

Is a deposit required?

Most dog kennels will require a nonrefundable deposit at the time of booking. Like other services, this ensures the business does not lose out completely if the client cancels or does not show up to board their dog on the chosen date.

The deposit might be a set amount or 10% of the overall cost, and it is deducted from the final payment at the time of arrival or collection.

Will any additional tasks increase the cost?

Optional extras, such as administering medication, extra exercise, grooming, etc., might cause the overall cost to increase. This varies depending on the chosen boarding kennel, but the majority of dog boarders are happy to administer medication at no additional charge. Administering medication is considered to be an essential part of the dog’s care for many.

Some additional tasks will depend on whether they have the facilities to carry out the tasks you have requested. A dog boarding service might have a grooming parlour on-site so they can groom the dog as specified during its stay; this will cost extra in most cases. Similar additions might be dog daycare and professional dog training.

Dog grooming essentials shown in a boarding kennel

But boarding kennels might be unable to carry out additional extras themselves. In these situations, the dog boarder might contact an external provider to meet the owner’s requests. For example, if you want your dog to have longer walks, the boarding kennel might hire a dog walking service to complete this if they cannot guarantee they will have enough staff. Again, this will increase the overall price of your dog’s stay.

What is the price for home boarding services?

If offered, in-home boarding means the dog stays in the house of the establishment’s owner or another member of staff. A home boarder who also runs a boarding facility will charge similar prices, but a person who solely offers in-home dog boarding might be slightly cheaper than an establishment.

Similar to the price of dog sitters, home boarding varies depending on the local area.

Will the price increase at peak periods?

During peak periods, such as school holidays or summer months, some dog kennels will increase their prices due to high demand. This will also be the case if the establishment is open over the festive period.

What Else Should You Check Before Booking?

Although boarding costs are vital to think about, this is not the only aspect dog owners should be checking when searching for a dog kennel. Knowing the standard of care the dog will receive should be the priority, and this section will provide several factors of a dog boarding service you should check.

Is the boarding facility reputable?

Knowing your dog will be well cared for during its stay can make leaving them slightly easier. If a dog boarding facility follows the guidelines set out by The Animal Welfare Act, it is believed to be a reputable establishment. The Act provides boarding kennels with rules to follow, including the size of each kennel unit, how often dogs should be exercised, and what records the boarder should have.

Dog boarding facilities should follow the guidance set out by The Act to ensure all residents and staff are kept safe, but dog owners can use this as a checklist to find the best kennels in their area.

Other ways to verify how reputable a boarding facility is include:

Does the establishment have a boarding licence?

All reputable boarding services should be licensed by their local council after a successful inspection. Having and displaying a valid licence is required under The Animal Welfare Act. For more information on how to check if someone has a dog boarding licence, click here.

A licence is also required for dog home boarding services.

Is the boarding kennel insured?

Dog boarding kennels must also be insured to operate safely. The insurance will cover the business and its clients if the unthinkable happens, such as injury or pet loss.

Insurance documents are usually displayed near the boarding licence.

What is the staff-to-dog ratio?

Knowing how many staff work in the kennel and how many dogs each member is responsible for allows you to understand the level of care your dog is likely to receive. It is recommended that each member of staff should have 25 dogs or fewer to care for at any one time. This helps to ensure dogs receive the necessary care, such as clean kennels, fresh water, and opportunities to exercise and relieve themselves.

Dog drinking fresh water

Are there positive or negative reviews?

Online reviews can be useful when searching for the best kennel in your area. You should not limit your search to reviews only on the kennel’s website; you should also check independent sites like Google Reviews, Yell, and Facebook to obtain a complete understanding of the boarder. This is because most businesses only publish positive reviews on their official websites.

You should also check reviews left by people who own dogs with additional needs; this will show if the boarding kennel will go above and beyond for your dog. Dogs with separation anxiety, for example, might require personalised care and more one-on-one time with staff, and it will put your mind at ease knowing your dog will receive this if required.

Is the boarding kennel maintained?

Before booking your dog’s place at a kennel, it is recommended that you visit the dog kennels in person. A visit to the dog boarding facility will allow you to inspect the cleanliness and maintenance of the premises and observe how current residents are treated.

You should use the points listed below to evaluate how well-maintained the kennel is.

Are the premises clean?

Cleanliness is a vital part of keeping resident dogs healthy and safe. This is not limited to just the kennels, though; the entire premises should be cleaned frequently using pet-safe products, including the customer entrance and kennel units. Of course, it is acceptable if there are muddy paws on the flooring at times, but the boarding establishment should not look and smell unpleasant.

A clean environment portrays a high standard of care, which can be applied to the attention dogs receive during their stay. As previously mentioned, guidelines on cleaning are provided in The Animal Welfare Act. Keeping the kennels clean can reduce the risk of illnesses being spread; adequate ventilation can also help with this.

How noisy is the facility?

A calmer kennel is often preferred, but this can be difficult to find during peak times. When the boarding environment is quiet, this will have a relaxing effect on the dogs housed there, while more noise will cause dogs to become stressed.

Some dogs will develop boarding kennel stress due to being in a new environment, especially if they are nervous around other dogs and unfamiliar people. A quieter facility could help prevent dogs from becoming anxious while their owners are away.

Nervous looking dog lying in a boarding kennel unit

Is there a cattery on the premises?

Most dogs will become increasingly stressed if there is a cattery nearby. They will be able to hear and smell the cats residing there, and this can change their overall experience of the kennel. Boarding facilities will usually ensure there is enough distance between the kennels and cattery to prevent either animal from noticing the other.

To Sum Up

Understanding what dog boarding costs can be useful when you are planning a trip and must leave your pet behind. Dog boarding is one of the options available to owners, as well as pet sitters and asking friends or family. However, knowing your dog is safe in an environment tailored to canine care can ease any worries you may have.

Most dog boarding services range between £15 and £25 for one dog per day, which can be costly if you are away for an extended period. Thankfully, many boarders will offer a discounted rate for long stays as well as multiple dog households, especially if the dogs can be housed together.

Remember, when you find a boarding dog kennel that suits you and your dog, you should book early to reserve a spot. If you find that no kennels meet your standards or your price range, you could look into a dog sitting service, which allows the dog to stay in its own home.

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