Dog boarding vs dog kennels – What’s the difference?

When you have to travel and can’t take your beloved canine companion along, you’re faced with the dilemma of finding suitable accommodation for them. The two most common options are dog boarding facilities and dog kennels. While they may seem similar on the surface, some major differences can really impact your pet’s experience and well-being during your absence. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned pro, understanding these differences between the two services is crucial. After all, your dog is more than just a pet – they’re a cherished member of your family deserving of a comfortable and nurturing environment during your absence.

So, buckle up and get ready to uncover the truth behind dog boarding and kennels. By the end of this blog, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed choice that aligns with your pet’s unique needs and ensures their happiness and well-being, giving you peace of mind while you’re away.

Dog Kennels: The Basics

Dog kennels are primarily designed to provide temporary housing for pets. This facility typically offers basic necessities like food, water, and shelter, but may lack the amenities and personalized care that dogs crave. They also administer medications if required, ensuring your dog’s health needs are met. Some kennels offer grooming services such as baths, nail trimming, and brushing, keeping your dog clean and comfortable during their stay.  Kennel staff typically adhere to your dog’s feeding schedule and any special dietary needs. 

Dog kennels provide a valuable service for pet owners who need temporary care for their dogs. They are usually divided into small, confined spaces, which can be stressful and uncomfortable, especially for larger breeds or those accustomed to more room to move around. Additionally, pets in kennels may not receive as much attention, socialization, or exercise as they require, leading to potential behavioral issues or discomfort.

Benefits of Using Dog Kennels

  • Safety and Security

Kennels provide a secure environment, reducing the risk of escape or injury compared to leaving your dog unattended at home or with inexperienced caretakers.

  • Professional Care

Kennel staff are trained in animal care and can address any health concerns promptly. They can also handle emergencies effectively.

  • Peace of Mind

Knowing your dog is well cared for while you’re away can alleviate stress and guilt associated with leaving your pet behind.

How to Choose the Right Kennel

  • Visit the Facility

Tour the kennel beforehand to assess cleanliness, staff interaction with dogs, and overall environment.

  • Check Reviews

Read online reviews or ask for recommendations from other pet owners.

  • Verify Requirements

Ensure the kennel requires up-to-date vaccinations for all dogs to prevent the spread of diseases.

  • Communicate Special Needs

Inform the kennel staff about any medical conditions, behavioral issues, or special requirements your dog has.

Dog Boarding: A Home Away from Home

Dog boarding facilities, on the other hand, are designed specifically to cater to the needs of dogs while their owners are away. These establishments prioritize creating a comfortable, nurturing environment that mimics the comforts of home as closely as possible.

Unlike kennels, dog boarding facilities typically offer spacious accommodations, often with access to outdoor play areas and exercise yards. This allows your furry friend to stretch their legs, burn off energy, and engage in physical and mental stimulation throughout their stay.

Moreover, dog boarding facilities are staffed by professionals trained in animal care and behavior. They understand the unique needs of different breeds and ages, ensuring that your dog receives the appropriate attention, socialization, and care they require. From cuddle sessions to structured playtime, your pup will be showered with affection and kept entertained during their stay.

Premium dog boarding facilities often go the extra mile by offering additional amenities like comfortable bedding, live webcams for you to check in on your pet, and even specialized services like doggy massages or gourmet treats.

Benefits of Dog Boarding

  • Socialization Opportunities

Dogs can interact with other pets and humans, promoting socialization skills and preventing loneliness. Structured playtimes and group activities keep dogs mentally and physically stimulated.

  • Routine and Structure

Boarding facilities follow a consistent daily schedule, including feeding times, exercise sessions, and rest periods. This routine helps dogs feel more comfortable and less anxious during their stay.

  • Specialized Services

Many boarding facilities offer additional services such as grooming, training, and enrichment activities to enhance your dog’s experience.

How to Choose the Right Dog Boarding Facility:

  • Visit the Facility

Schedule a visit to tour the facility and observe the cleanliness, staff interactions with dogs, and overall atmosphere.

  • Check Credentials

Ensure the facility is licensed and adheres to animal care and hygiene industry standards.

  • Read Reviews

Look for online reviews and testimonials from other pet owners to gauge their experiences with the boarding facility.

  • Discuss Your Dog’s Needs

Inform the staff about your dog’s personality, health conditions, dietary requirements, and any special instructions.

Which is the right option for your furry friend?

When deciding between dog boarding and kennels, it’s essential to consider your pet’s individual needs and temperament. For example, if your dog is highly social and energetic, a boarding facility with ample playtime and socialization opportunities may be the better choice. On the other hand, if your dog is more reserved or has specific medical needs, a kennel associated with a veterinary clinic could be a suitable option.

Additionally, factor in the duration of your trip. While kennels may be adequate for short-term stays, prolonged periods in a confined space can be highly stressful for dogs, making a boarding facility a more humane and comfortable choice for extended absences.

Cost is another consideration, as dog boarding facilities tend to be more expensive than kennels due to the higher level of care and amenities provided. However, many pet owners find the added peace of mind and their dog’s overall well-being to be worth the investment.

Pet Boarding at Tails and Coffee

Tails & Coffee provides a comforting environment for your pet that feels like a second home. They provide tailored boarding options based on your pet’s size, ensuring dogs have plenty of playtime and walks. Cats and kittens are given attentive care and affection in dedicated feline-only spaces. They also offer corporate packages with convenient drop-off times from 8 am to 7 pm. You can check out their pet boarding plan.

Also, their premium pet cuisine will delight even the most selective eaters. Their grooming salon provides exceptional services for those desiring extra care to keep your furry companion looking and feeling fantastic.


In conclusion, while both dog boarding facilities and kennels serve a purpose, the former offers a more comprehensive and tailored experience for your canine companion. By providing a home-like environment and personalized care, dog boarding facilities can help alleviate the discomfort of separation and ensure your furry friend remains happy and healthy until your return. Remember, your dog is a cherished member of your family, and their well-being should be a top priority. By carefully considering the differences between dog boarding and kennels, you can make an informed decision that not only provides peace of mind during your travels but also ensures your beloved companion receives the care and comfort they deserve.

So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, take the time to research your options thoroughly. Consult with trusted sources, read reviews, and don’t hesitate to ask questions until you find the perfect fit for your furry friend’s unique needs. After all, their happiness is what truly matters most.


What is the main difference between dog boarding facilities and kennels?

The major difference lies in the level of care, amenities, and overall experience provided. Dog boarding facilities offer a more home-like environment with personalized attention, enrichment activities, and comfortable living spaces designed for your pet’s well-being. In contrast, kennels typically provide basic care and confinement in a more limited space, often used as a temporary holding area.

How do the accommodations differ between dog boarding facilities and kennels?

Dog boarding facilities typically offer spacious suites or rooms that mimic a home setting, complete with cozy bedding, toys, and sometimes even private outdoor patios. Kennels, on the other hand, are usually smaller, confined spaces with minimal furnishings, primarily designed for short-term housing.

Are there differences in the level of supervision and care provided? 

Yes, there are significant differences. Dog boarding facilities employ trained staff who are experienced in pet care and behavior, ensuring your dog receives personalized attention, socialization, and enrichment activities throughout their stay. Kennels may not have staff specifically dedicated to pet care and supervision, as their primary purpose is temporary housing.

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