Dog Boarding Tips for Travelers

Vanlife Log. Day 3. For our first major stop, we are headed to Copper Mountain, CO to enjoy a few days of snowboarding with friends.  We will be taking the Vanlife indoors for a few days to a little VBRO vacation rental right by the lifts.  Unfortunately, this VBRO does not allow dogs, and we are a dog friendly caravan here.  So, we need to find some type of dog boarding for the pup.  We spent a bit of time in research and came up with a few dog boarding tips that you may find useful.

I thought a doggy play-and-stay may be a good option.  I started to research dog boarding venues, and found a variety of options ranging from $30-$55/ day.

Common Requirements for Dog Boarding

Vaccine Records

Typical vaccines required for Doggy Daycare and overnight Dog Boarding

  1. Rabies
  2. Distemper/ Parvo
  3. Bordetella

Bordetella Vaccine

In addition to being current on the above mentioned vaccines, many dog boarding and doggie daycare facilities require the bordetella vaccine (kennel cough preventative) to be current within 6 months. This vaccine is typically given to dogs only once a year.

Trial Day Required

Many dog boarding facilities require your pup to have a trial day, if they offer dog daycare with your stay.  This is a full day to establish how well your dog plays with other dogs.  They can then determine what type of groups they prefer, and basically get to know your pup’s temperament. It’s free for the entire day, but you would have to pick them up, and then schedule boarding at a later date.

We looked at reviews, called a few places, and toured The Dog Den and Rovers Stay and Play.

Denver/ Summit County Dog Boarding 

The Sniff Shack in Denver has playgrounds, sleeping suites and webcams.  They have multiple groups your pup can play in, depending on their temperament.

Doglife in Denver has an indoor heated pool and your pup can go for a daily swim!

Rovers Stay and Play offers doggy play time in the morning and afternoon, with doggy nap time in between.  I spoke with the owner who seemed very nice, and said they even have chicken broth and pumpkin that can be added to your dogs meals.  However, it is very much a dog kennel, and not a dog retreat.

The Dog House in Breckenridge has nice spacious runs, and good reviews.

The Dog Den in Dillon offers doggie daycare and is located close to the Copper Mountain ski area.  I walked in and spoke with the girl at the front desk.  She was holding one small dog, while another puppy walked around at her feet.  Just to the left was a half door to an indoor play room.  Four large dogs were peeking over the door, happily wagging their tails.  It looked like they were all having fun, and I would have felt comfortable leaving our pup to play here.

Many of these dog boarding places did require a trial day, but we found a couple that did not, and decided to check one out.

Touring a Dog Boarding Venue

Deciding NOT to board our pup

I picked up extra treats for pup’s potential staycation, and followed Mapquest to an industrial part of town.  Immediately, before even getting out of the van, I had an uneasy feeling.  I walked in with pup, and her big bag of goodies to look around. The owner asked me questions, and went over the tentative daily schedule of play, feeding, and quiet time. She let pup sniff around the play space in the back, while I walked through the main area.

A large concrete room held crates and kennels of barking dogs. The barks echoed off the cold walls. It felt like puppy jail.

I walked outside back to the van. I can’t leave her here, I told the Husband. Our pup is too sweet of a dog for this place. She’s a lover, a people puppy.  She doesn’t know about kennels, and rules, and dogs that may not want to be her friend. Our pup sleeps on the foot of the bed, not the concrete floor. She likes carrots, warmed with coconut oil, and homemade bone broth, pumpkin, and sometimes a little milk in her water dish.

The Husband looked around, and brought our pup back to the van.

Let’s get out of here, we’ll figure something else out.”

Our Top Dog Boarding Tips for Travelers

Things to note before boarding your furry family member

Read reviews, and walk through the facility prior to leaving your pet under someone else’s care

Get a FREE day of doggy daycare at places that require a Trial Day prior to boarding your pet

Dog Boarding places that do require a trial day will be watching your dog more closely to ensure safety and fun for your dog.

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