Is Kennel-Free Boarding Right for My Dog?

April 1, 2016

When exploring your options for boarding, you may have come across kennel-free boarding. Kennel-free boarding or cage-free boarding has become popular over the last few years – especially as more dog owners recognize the benefits. While there are plenty of advantages to kennel-free boarding, not all dogs have the personality to handle this type of accommodation, and there are a few other things you will want to consider too.

Deciding if Kennel-Free Boarding Works for Your Dog

Before signing your dog up for a night at a boarding facility, you need to consider a few essential factors about their lifestyle, age, maturity and socialization. These include:

  • Crate Training – Is your dog currently in crate training? If so, kennel-free boarding will still work. The only difference is that your dog will be placed in the crate at night to keep up with their training. They will not enjoy the full kennel-free experience, but they will at least get to roam free during the day, have play time and enjoy other dogs.
  • Vaccinations – Kennel-free boarding often comes with a lot of socialization and play, but that also means your dog needs to be up to date on the latest vaccinations. Reputable kennels will require vaccination records for any dogs under their care; that way, they do not risk other animals in the facility.
  • Social Factors – It is important that your dog gets along with other dogs as well as humans. If you have a dog that suffers from social anxiety, is shy or simply does not socialize, kennel-free environments or even a boarding facility in general may not work for them. Instead, they may need a sitter at home. Most cage-free facilities include group playtime and while dogs are grouped based on age, play style and temperament, anti-social dogs will often find the experience overwhelming and they can become aggressive in such high-stress environments. Dogs that enjoy kennel-free environments are those that are social, get along well with other humans and like to play.
  • Separation Anxiety – Dogs that have separation anxiety will not enjoy any form of boarding. This is because they cannot relax in the company of trainers, professionals, caretakers or other dogs. Instead, this type of dog will need supervision by someone they know and trust; which may mean enlisting the help of a family member to watch them while they are at home.
  • Health and Exercise – Established boarding facilities try to give dogs as much playtime and exercise as possible. If your dog suffers from health conditions or has limited mobility, they can still go to a kennel-free facility, but they may need to be placed in special play groups or have one-on-one time depending on their condition.

Kennel-free environments give your dog the true home-away-from-home experience. At Stella Ruffington’s Doggy Daycare, we offer cage-free boarding 7 days a week and we have staff members here 24 hours a day. For your next trip, give your dog the cage-free experience. Contact us online with your questions about our overnight boarding or call 206-932-RUFF for more information.

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