The Difference Between Boarding Facilities and Kennels

You love your dog like family, so when you have to be away for more than a few hours, you want to make sure your pooch is well taken care of. Our Manchester vets discuss the difference between a boarding facility and a kennel.

Leaving Your Pet

Regardless of whether you are heading out on vacation for a couple of weeks, or off on a business trip for a few days, you will need to find appropriate care for your dog or cat. Deciding what kind of care is best for you and your pet can be challenging but doing a little research into pet sitting versus boarding can help to make the decision easier.

The Difference Between Boarding Facilities and Kennels

You might think that kennels and boarding facilities do the same thing. On a surface level, that is true, but there are some distinct differences that pet owners should know about when choosing where to house their pets while they are away.


Pet kennels are designed to house pets for a specific and short period of time. The design and size of the kennels are normally based on what types of pets are meant to stay there, and for exactly how long. Veterinarians have kennels in their offices to hold pets for several hours or at most a couple days, groomers have kennels to hold pets for several hours between drop-off and pick-up and while they’re not being groomed, and some pet stores may have kennels to hold pets that are for sale or adoption.

Pet kennels are safe locations for pets who need to spend a short time in a confined space. They are not considered to be healthy environments for pets to spend more than a few hours at a time in, especially since they aren’t very large or comfortable. Pets in kennels don’t receive much supervision or care, and often times the individuals monitoring them are not well-trained or experienced in matters of pet health care (the obvious exception being veterinary offices). Again, the reason for this is that their stay in the kennel is not the main purpose of their visit to that location, but rather a necessary part of their visit.


Pet boarding facilities are also designed to house pets for a specific period of time, but the difference is that they are meant to house pets in a way that makes the pet feel happy, comfortable and well-cared for. To this end, pet boarding facilities normally have larger spaces for pets to stay in, rather than the smaller cages at pet kennels, and they provide more comforting services to the pet throughout their stay–such as soft bedding, toys, outdoor play time, interaction with humans and other pets and more.

Whereas kennels essentially establish temporary holding locations for pets who are at the location for a specific service, pet boarding facilities work hard to treat pets like they are important and well-loved family members. A pet’s stay at the boarding facility is the entire purpose of their visit, and so the facility staff are well-trained and experienced in providing them with the absolute best care possible. They are carefully monitored around-the-clock for the entirety of their stay, and their every need and desire is tended to.

Standard care for dogs at pet boarding facilities includes:
  • A clean, roomy kennel to sleep in
  • Time for your dog to stretch their legs before breakfast
  • Breakfast served in the kennel
  • Walk time or playtime in the middle of the day
  • Dinner served in the kennel
  • Evening bathroom break
Standard care for cats at a pet boarding facility includes:
  • Clean private crate with room to move and plenty of space for litter box
  • Frequent visits by staff to ensure that litter box is clean and that your cat has plenty of food and water
  • Clean bedding to ensure that your cat can lie down comfortably and watch the world go by
Other services commonly available at pet boarding facilities:
If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, you can look for facilities that offer the following services:
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • Specialized veterinary care
  • Shuttle services to and from the facility

Our team of veterinary professionals at Animal Health Clinic offer overnight dog and cat boarding in Manchester. We strive to make your pets feel at home in our facility while you are away.

If you are planning a trip and need to leave your dog in a safe and comfortable boarding facility, contact our Manchester team to book a stay.