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The Basics of Dog Hotel

Dog hotels and overnight stays for pets are an ever evolving service that is becoming par with some of the best accommodations available for hoo-man counterparts.  From spa services to pick up services in a luxury vehicle, there is something for every pup and owner in cities large and medium. Whether your pup gets a private suite, or is staying in his own crate overnight, or is attending a cage-free dog hotel, it’s best to know what is available to see what will work for you and your pup.

Preparing for the Overnight Stay

When preparing for an overnight stay for your pup whether its the first time or the tenth time, there are some standards that are set across the board.  On your checklist should include: proof that your pup is up to date with vaccines, prepared food, a list of allergies, an emergency contact other than yourself and the person you are traveling with, proper attire for handling (harness, leash, flea/tick collar, rain/winter jacket, identification tag with name and a number).

Meeting the Staff

We also recommend you check out the dog site and that you feel comfortable with the staff. Get a good sense of where you are going and always go with your gut- it never lies.  There is a place for every pup and a hoo-man for every dog (okay several hoo-mans).

The 5-Minute Rule for Dog Hotel

For some individuals, it is going to be more practical to have their dog stay at nearby boarding kennels, especially if you’ve traveled from a different part of the nation and need to remain at a hotel overnight that you find out at the last minute is not pet friendly.   If you travel frequently for work it is a good idea to have an electronic copy of your pet’s medical record handy. Different states have different requirements for vaccines- but the most basic will always include a current Rabies, DHPP and bordatella/kennel cough vaccine.  Professional dog hotels and daycares may require the bordatella shot to be re-vaccinated every six months so be sure to keep on top of this so that you’re pup can be more readily admitted.

Getting Set for a Temperament Test

Most dog hotels will require a temperament test for the dogs especially if they are going to be playing with the other pups during the day.  Temperament tests can last from 45 mins, to half the day. Some dog kennels even require a 24 hour observation.  Dogs that have been socialized before in a dog daycare, dog park and with friends and in the neighborhood will also have an increased chance of being admitted as a reputable dog hotel will only want to admit dogs that are well behaved for the safety of all the dogs, the staff and everyone involved in the pet’s care in lieu of the owner’s absence.

Prepping the food/meds

Your dog is less likely to eat during the first day or two if he/she is slower to adjust to new environments.  This is completely normal.   At a professional dog hotel staff will most likely have a routine feeding schedule such as breakfast, noon and dinner.  It is also wise to include healthy treats your pup likes to be given at meal time if your pup is a picky eater or gets nervous in new environments.It also makes it easier for the staff at the dog hotel if the food items are pre-measured as make it 100% clear what food is to be given when.

If you board your pup infrequently, it is a good idea to get your dog socialized before hand and acclimated to the space if your pup errs on the timid side. Some dog hotels will offer a discount for daycare days before boarding. If your dog does not have a history of being socialized, it might be a safer option for your pup to stay with a private boarder or at the vet. When you have more time to prepare for a more social stay for you pup, then go ahead and take those steps to socialize your pup across a time period that will not be stressful for you and Fido.

This article was written by Cynthia Okimoto of New York Dog Nanny. To submit a guest post please email

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