Tips from the Top - Daycare & Boarding


Tails R Waggin'

Juli and Charlie Gilbert

1.  Check out different types of facilities.

Do you need a place where your dog can play all day to burn energy so he or she will sleep?  If so, a daycare / boarding environment would be best.  Is your dog older and/or non-social and with less need for play time?  Then you may need a place that does leash walking a few times during the day or provides traditional boarding.  If your dog has medical issues, ask your veterinarian to board your dog so they’re right there to provide medical attention if the need arises. 

2.  Vaccinations must be current. 

Usually these include Distemper / Parvo, Bordatella (kennel cough) and Rabies.  Most places want your dog to be on monthly flea and heartworm preventative as well.  It is important for your dogs to be vaccinated well ahead of being boarded.  If administered right before, sometimes the stress of boarding or a weak immune system can trigger sickness. 

3.  Visit ahead of time.

After passing the daycare interview process at our facility, we always encourage a dog’s owner to bring the dog in for one or two short visits to acclimate him or her to our facility before their boarding visit.  This gives the dog time to get comfortable here with our staff, and also for us to better get to know your dog.  It also helps us address any separation anxiety or other issues your dog may have.

Personal Note:  Tails R Waggin' Doggy Day Care opened in August of 2008 and is owned by Charlie and Juli Gilbert.  We provide a safe and fun place for your canine companions to play while your family is busy at work or away.  Charlie has over 20+ years' experience training and handling dogs with behavior issues.  Juli has worked in the veterinary field for over 20 years and is a licensed CVT.

4925 NW Fruit Valley Road, Vancouver, WA  *  360-258-0986  *


Mittens Motel

Brandy Slack

1.   Check out the culture and communication.

Will that facility treat your furry family member like family?  When we have a boarder at Mittens Motel, we make sure we either send texts or a picture of their babies to let them know how they’re doing.  We're very open with our communications.  When considering a facility, ask what services are available for keeping pet parents in touch while they’re away.

2.  How does the facility ensure comfort?

Talk to the boarding facility about how much interaction your pet will have with other humans.  At Mittens, getting our boarders to trust us is an important part of ensuring their stay is a comfortable one.  We will sit with our boarders or entice them with a little wet food to help them get acquainted and feel comfortable.  This usually works with cats who are very shy or who tend to be less comfortable with being boarded.  We want their time with us to be calming so their stay will be less stressful next time. 

3.  Do they get to come out and play?

We want our boarders to feel like they're home, so we allow them out of their rooms to play or mingle!  If you feel this would be important for your kitty, ask the facility if this is allowed.  This would also be a good time to discuss your own cat’s temperament when it comes to other cats.  

Personal Note:   We are an all-cat boarding facility in NE Portland, the only cat boarding where cats are let out of their individual rooms to interact with us and other cats.  We don't allow any fighting - most of the time the cats just want to play or sleep.  Our Home Away From Home Atmosphere is conveniently located in NE Portland.  Proprietors: Brandy Slack and Denise Struzan  

6025 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR  *  503-718-5937  *

3 Dogs Boarding & Daycare

Anne Graves

1.   Do your homework.

Take your time, do your research.  Portland is home to a tremendous variety of boarding kennels, so give yourself plenty of time to explore your options.  And even with all of these choices, kennels still fill up quickly during busier times; avoid last-minute shopping, especially around major holidays.  Research prospective choices carefully; read reviews online, call and visit any boarding kennel that you’re considering.

2.   Visit the facility and ask questions. 

Look for these things during a tour:

•           A clean, spacious environment with plenty of natural light.

•           Constant access to fresh water.

•           A secure outdoor area.

•           Excessive barking that could indicate stress.

•           An adequate staff-to-dog ratio.

Ask plenty of questions, such as:  What are the vaccine requirements, What happens in the case of injury or medical emergency, and Are the dogs ever left unattended.

3.   Get to know the staff. 

Look for a kennel with professional, friendly, experienced staff.  Observe them while they interact with the dogs, and ask how they deal with problem behaviors.  Keep in mind that the person at the front desk may not be the one actually taking care of your pet; you have every right to meet those who will be.  Be very selective in choosing people with whom you feel comfortable.

Personal Note:  3 DOGS offers cage-free boarding and daycare in a climate-controlled, 4000 square foot facility, with staff on-site 24 hours a day.  We have over 5000 square feet of securely fenced outdoor space, making our outdoor play area one of the largest in Portland.  Located at NE 42nd and Killingsworth, just minutes from the airport.  Convenient shuttle service available.

5430 NE 42nd Ave., Portland, OR  *  503-206-3028  *