The 5 Main Types of Dog Boarding and How to Choose What’s Best for Your Pup

Are you looking into your options for boarding your dog while you’re away? With busy work and personal lives, more pet parents than ever before need reliable doggy daycare and boarding. Luckily, there are several options available depending on your dog’s needs and preferences.

This article will go through the pros and cons, costs, and other considerations for the five main types of dog boarding so you can make the best choice for your furry friend. Whether traditional kennels, luxury pet hotels, in-home pet sitters, farm stays, or breed-specific facilities, understanding the differences is key to ensure your dog stays happy and healthy in your absence. Keep reading to learn more!

types of dog boarding

What Are the Different Types of Boarding for Dogs?

Before deciding where your dog will stay, it’s important to understand the main types of boarding facilities and what each one entails. The main options include:

Traditional Boarding Kennels

This is the classic option that many pet owners still use today. Traditional kennels house dogs in individual cages or runs while their owners are away. Some kennels may offer group playtime as well.

Luxury Pet Hotel Boarding

For pet parents wanting premium amenities, there are luxury pet hotel options now with boarding cottages, cuddle time, and even webcam access. These provide a higher level of comfort and activities.

In-Home Pet Sitters

Rather than taking your dog to a facility, pet sitters come to your home to care for your dog. This allows your pup to stay in their familiar environment.

Farm Stays

Some rural farms offer boarding where dogs can roam around the land and interact with the animals. This option provides more freedom.

Breed-Specific Boarding Facilities

Tailored specifically for certain breeds, these cater to particular breed needs, sizes, and temperaments when grouping dogs.

WoofConnect Free Dog Boarding

WoofConnect is a free dog boarding app that matches dog owners by breed to arrange home boarding services. Owners swap boarding duties while traveling, allowing dogs to stay in a home environment with loving attention.

Key Factors to Consider With Dog Boarding

When deciding which option may work best, consider:

Your Dog’s Temperament and Activity Level

Highly active or social dogs may benefit more from group playtime options, while anxious pups may need specialized care.

Health and Medical Needs

If your dog requires medications, special meals, mobility assistance, or training, some facilities can cater better to health issues.

Your Budget

Costs range widely based on amenities, with luxury hotels and private pet sitters charging the most per day.

Your Own Peace of Mind

Consider options for webcam access and frequent updates so you don’t worry while away.

In-Depth Look: The Pros and Cons of Different Boarding Types

To make the decision process easier, let’s explore the unique pros and cons associated with each of the five main types of dog boarding options.

Traditional Kennel Boarding


  • More affordable rates than luxury or in-home options
  • Can socialize with other dogs during group playtimes
  • Staff on hand 24/7 familiar with caring for dogs


  • Dogs spend much of their time in cages/runs
  • Higher risk of contracting illness from other dogs
  • Less personalized care and attention

Cost: Approximately $25-45 per night

Luxury “Dog Hotel” Boarding


  • Premium amenities like plush beds, music, and scenic outdoor spaces
  • Specialized services and activities like massage or swimming
  • Provide frequent updates and photos or live video access


  • Much more expensive than standard kennels
  • High demand means book far in advance
  • Some amenities may be unnecessary for some dogs

Cost: Approximately $50-100 per night

Using an In-Home Pet Sitter


  • Dog stays comfortably at home in familiar environment
  • Pet sitter can provide one-on-one care and attention
  • Often provide other services like walking, feeding, playtime


  • Allowing strangers into your home when away
  • Usually more expensive than kennels
  • Need a reliable friend or neighbor if out of town

Cost: Approximately $50-100 per day

Dog Boarding at a Farm


  • Fun adventure and change of scenery from city life
  • Outdoor freedom to run around on acres of land
  • Exposure to new sights, sounds, animals that dogs love


  • Farms may lack amenities some dogs require
  • Could track in mud, burrs, etc. that needs grooming after
  • Rural setting means harder to drop off/pick up dog

Cost: Approximately $25-50 per night

Breed-Specific Boarding Centers


  • Tailored specifically to needs of certain breeds
  • Group dogs based on size/temperament for safety and comfort
  • Staff very knowledgeable on particular breed traits


  • Limited mainly to popular breeds like Retrievers, Shepherds, etc.
  • Usually located in metro areas so harder to access in rural areas
  • Dogs miss socialization opportunity with other breeds

Cost: Approximately $30-60 per night

WoofConnect Dog Boarding


  • Free home boarding services
  • Dogs matched by breed for better compatibility
  • Warm, homey environment instead of cold kennels
  • Tailored care from owners familiar with your dog’s needs


  • Limited to dog owners registered through the app
  • Requires coordination and planning with another owner

Cost: Free Boarding

Questions to Ask Dog Boarding Facilities

Here are some important questions to ask any boarding facility before leaving your beloved pup:

  • What types of facilities/housing do you offer dogs? (Cages, indoor rooms, outdoor runs, etc.)
  • What size groups do you have for group playtime and how often?
  • What additional services or amenities do you provide?
  • What health certifications must my dog have prior to boarding?
  • Can you accommodate special needs like medications, mobility issues, specialized diets?
  • Do you have webcam access for pet parents? How often are updates provided?
  • What type of training do your staff have in caring for dogs?
  • What is the cleaning procedure for housing areas? How often are they cleaned/sanitized?
  • Will my dog be supervised at all times or ever left alone?

Choosing the Best Boarding for Your Dog

While away, every pet parent just wants the reassurance of knowing their dog is receiving attentive care and having fun. There are so many options now from affordability to luxury comforts. Take the time to assess your dog’s unique needs and personality, as well as your own preferences for peace of mind.

Weigh the pros and cons outlined here across the five main types of dog boarding facilities. Consider asking trusted friends for boarding recommendations as well. A little bit of planning goes a long way to setting up your dog for success while you focus on relaxing or working!

WoofConnect offers a unique opportunity for free dog boarding by matching local owners through their mobile app. If wanting to avoid expensive kennels and have your dog receive one-on-one home care while you’re away, consider joining the WoofConnect community.