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FAQs - Boarding

Dog Boarding, Cat Boarding:  Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of pets do you board?

 We do dog boarding, cat boarding and exotic/ small animal on special request  or arrangement.

What vaccines do you require?

We take our vaccination requirements very seriously.  We are concerned with both the health of your pet, and the health of all the other animals your pet may come in contact with while boarding with us.

When making a reservation, our receptionist will let you know what vaccination information, if any, we have on file for your pet, and when we show those vaccinations are due to expire.  However, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that boarding pet has required proof of vaccinations prior to boarding.  We cannot allow an animal into our boarding facility that is not in compliance with our vaccination requirements. Vaccinations must not expire during your pet's stay.

The following vaccinations are required for Dogs:

DHPP: Given at least 24 hours prior to check-in; renewed every 1 to 3 years.

Leptospirosis: Given at least 24 hours prior to check-in; renewed every year.

Rabies :   Given at least 24 hours prior to check-in; renewed every 1 to 3 years.

Bordetella :  Given at least 24 hours prior to check-in if the dog has previously been immunized.  If this is the dog’s first bordetella vaccination, it must be given 2 weeks prior to boarding.  After that, bordetella must be renewed every 6 months.

Heartworm test and prevention should be current.

Fecal Test: Negative within last 6 months.

All pets must be free if parasites, including intestinal worms, heartworms, fleas and ticks. Treatment will be administered if indicated.

 We accept Titers for Rabies and DHPP – please have your vet supply us with appropriate documentation.  The Bordetella requirement cannot be exempted with a Titer. 

PUPPIES – 4 months to 1 year

Young dogs must have had all of their adult shots – not just puppy shots – in order to board in either Daycare or overnight. 

The puppy’s Rabies, DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations must be given at least 2 weeks prior to boarding with us.  Allowing for a two week incubation period, your puppy must generally be at least 16 weeks old in order to board with us.


The following vaccinations are required for CATS:

Rabies:  Given at least 24 hours prior to check-in; renewed every 1 to 3 years.  

FVRCP : Given at least 1 week prior to check-in; renewed every 1 to 3 years.

FeLV /FIV  test: Proof of a current test or current FeLV vaccination required for indoor/outdoor cats.  Proof of a negative test for indoor cats that do not have contact with indoor/outdoor cats.

Fecal test should be current within 6 months

KITTENS – 4 months to 1 year

FVRCP:  Given at least 2 weeks prior to check-in; renewed every 1 to 3 years.

FeLV /FIV Test: Proof of a current test or current FeLV vaccination required for indoor/outdoor cats.  Proof of a negative test for indoor cats that do not have contact with indoor/outdoor cats.

Fecal test should be current within 6 months

Should I bring the food we use at home?

If your pet has any food allergies, is on a special diet or a veterinary prescribed formula, please bring your pet’s food from home.  We suggest that you bring a little bit extra, in case your pet’s stay is extended.  Any unused food you supply will be returned to you at check-out.

In general, maintaining the same diet being eaten at home is a good idea, and we encourage you to bring your own dog and cat food.  If this is not practical, or if we run out of your food during your pet’s stay, we can feed quality science diet products at no additional charge if needed.

For exotics, you must bring your own food, or else make specific arrangements – in advance with us. 

Do you board exotic/small animals?

Yes, we board exotic/ small animal on special request /arrangements. Please provide the necessary food and supplies for your pet’s stay. 

What are possible conditions may happen when pet staying away from home?

Occasionally, pets that are away from home can experience various problems due to stress or environment and dietary changes. Signs may include: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing sneezing and self- trauma such as scratching or biting their skin. Older pets or pets with pre-existing conditions are especially susceptible to stress. We take great care so that these problems won’t occur and we treat our guests promptly, if needed. However, please be aware and understand that these conditions can develop and that the hospital is not financially responsible for these inherent conditions if they do occur.

What do you do if my pet becomes ill?

Each time you check-in, we will confirm how we may reach you directly (or reach a designated emergency contact(s), who you authorize to make decisions on your behalf) while you are away, in the event of an emergency. Also we give complementary boarding exam to your pet at the time of check-in.

We also require you to sign an emergency authorization release that allows us to seek emergency care for your pet if you and the emergency contact(s) are unreachable, and a situation should occur.

If there is a problem, we will always try and reach you or your emergency contact first before taking any action. 

Non-emergency care will not be provided, unless pre-authorized by you, until they have been able to reach you or your emergency contact to discuss the situation, decide on a course of action, and obtain your authorization. 

Do you keep daily records of my pet's health and behavior during boarding?

Yes, we record detailed information regarding your pet's health and behavior every day.  For dogs boarding with us for 8 days or more, we do a weight check every four days.  You are welcome to review your pet’s health check information when you pick up your pet, or to call in during your pet’s stay with us for an interim report.

Will you exercise my pet during the stay?

Yes.  Dogs go outside for exercise/bathroom breaks at the morning, middle and end of the day.

Do you administer medication?

Yes, we administer pills, supplements, ointments and other oral and topical medications for an additional charge. Extra charges apply per type of medication/supplement. We administer medications between the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. If your pet requires additional medical attention, we recommend you speak with our veterinarian for the special care while you are away. The charge for administering any medication is $1.00 per dose for dogs and $1.00 per dose for cats. We cannot board any pet that is contagious or has been exposed to any contagious diseases in the last 30 days

What is your minimum age for boarding a dog?

Our primary concern is the welfare of our guests. For this reason, our minimum boarding age for dogs is 4 months. It is generally recommended that puppies get their first round of "adult" shots at 12 weeks (including rabies), and the second round at 16 weeks. Additionally, in any kennel environment, a young pup could possibly be exposed to air-borne viruses it could not fight off.

How long can my dog board at your boarding facility?

Boarding can be indefinite, as long as we are pre-paid for each 15 days. There is a 10% discount for every 15-day stay, but these visits must be prepaid and we must have a credit card on file so that we can charge the boarding expense every 15 days

Why does my dog smell when I pick him up after being boarded?

At Michigan Ave Animal Hospital, we are meticulous in cleaning our kennels, and use hospital grade disinfectants to keep them spotless. However, in the closed quarters of a boarding kennel amongst other pet guests, a dog's natural odor may become more noticeable.

Certain customers may also be more sensitive to pet odors after having not been with an animal for a while. We recommend scheduling a "go-home fresh bath" or grooming appointment for a pet before picking him up.

I'm boarding my pet for the first time? What should I expect?

Your pet will adjust quickly to our boarding facility, our staff and routines. Feeding, cleansing, exercise, and kennel staff monitoring are all scheduled events that bring order and structure to the boarding environment.

You can do a lot to help prepare your pet for this environment in the days before your pet is to be boarded. First, establish (or reinforce) a routine schedule of meal times and limit feedings to twice per day. We feed in the morning, and again in the late afternoon, as required.

Also, we routinely quiet the kennel down after closing hours (after 7 PM) to give the pets adequate rest and comfort. It's best if your evening schedule, in the week before boarding, is stable and consistent, and getting the pet(s) into a comfortable "wind down" to their day by 8 PM to 9 PM will enable them to adjust quickly to the kennel, once boarded.

Can my pet catch a disease by being kenneled with other pets?

Yes, your pet can be exposed to disease when kenneled with other animals. The risk is, however, quite low, and virtually eliminated when kennels require advance vaccination to ensure a healthy population of boarded guests. Additionally, high sanitation standards and quality living conditions are vitally important to ensuring an absence of disease.

We strongly suggest a tour, before making a boarding selection, of any our hospitals  that you might consider in your area. Here's what to look for:

  • You should be able to tour any aspect of the facility without a reservation, at any time during business hours. It should not smell and be clean from top to bottom.
  • Staff members should be available and capable of answering any of your pet care questions.

My pet is so thirsty when she comes home from a boarding visit? Doesn't she get water when she's with you? Or, why won't she drink when she's being boarded?

 Pets will frequently become very thirsty from the excitement and stress of seeing their family and loved ones again when they're picked up. It's natural and you should expect your pet to be a bit dehydrated from all the excitement once you get them home.

While in our care, pets are monitored carefully for their consumption of fresh water, which is continuously checked and refreshed throughout the day. And, just like the excitement of coming home, when they first are checked-in and settled in their suite, they will tend to become very thirsty. We watch this carefully, and are sure to provide plenty of fresh water upon check-in to get the pet fully hydrated. After the first 30 minutes or so, they settle into the new routine, get comfortable, and establish regular eating and drinking habits.

How much do you charge for boarding?

Our boarding rates vary depending on size & weight of the animal. Call us to review any questions you may have, and to reserve a boarding or grooming appointment.

Do you give discounts for multiple pets?

If your pets are boarded together in the same, we can offer you 10% off the rate of the second and, if applicable, third pet.

Can all my pets stay together in the same suite?

Yes, we can accommodate your wishes and board your pets together in the same suite, as space allows (typically we allow up to 2 dogs under 20 lb. each to board together in the same suite - this allows adequate space for each pet and promotes both comfort and safety). Up to two cats can be boarded together in one condo too.

Where is my dog going to go to the bathroom when in your care?

We have large fenced yard for exercise of pets and for their business.

My pets like to have toys with them. Can they have their favorite toys while boarding?

Your pets may have one or two toys to play with in their kennel during their stay. If you bring toys from home, be sure to mark them with permanent ink with your last name. Your pets' toys will stay with them in their kennel and we do our best to return all toys. Occasionally, a toy may be lost during a playtime or cleaning. We prefer not to bring toys from home.

We request that you not bring in any of your pet's bedding for their boarding visit. We provide comfortable and sanitary bedding for all our pet guests. Pets can be highly possessive of their personal bedding, and may become agitated when our staff removes the bedding for sanitizing, which, for the health of all our pet guests, we must do each day. Also, we don't want blankets or other fabrics to get caught up or wrapped around the pet, which might cause them harm. Our bedding is hypoallergenic, safe and comfortable.

My dog is on a special diet. Can I bring in my own food?

We use Science Adult Maintenance diet, a high quality, premium nutrition dog food. However, if your pet requires a special diet, we encourage you to bring their food when boarding. Our trained associates will follow your instructions to make sure your pet follows his regular diet. By pre-bagging each meal in a separate bag labeled with your pet's name, your pet will receive the exact amount of food that you feed him or her at home.

My pet is diabetic and requires shots?

Pets with significant medical needs are better off under a veterinarian's care than in any pet boarding centers. We do accept diabetic pets for boarding and can administer treatments to your pet.

Are your boarding facility is air-conditioned?

Yes, our boarding facility is fully air-conditioned for summer comfort and heated in the winter.

When are you open?

Michigan Ave Animal Hospital is open from 8 AM to 7 PM Monday thru Friday, 9pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sundays closed. You can drop off your pets anytime during these hours. The charges are based on every night.

 Do you Give Medications:

Yes, if the owners supply them. The charge for administering any medication is $1.00 per dose for dogs and $1.00 per dose for cats. For example, if your pet needs medications in the AM & in the PM the charges would be $2.00 for a dog or $2.00 for a cat. We cannot board any pet that is contagious or has been exposed to any contagious diseases in the last 30 days

How often will my pet be allowed out for free time?

The canine boarding guests are walked and allowed free time to run, romp, and play three times a day in our large, secured yard. We believe free time outside is important for a positive stay in our facility.

Will my pet be allowed to interact with other pets?

Even pets that normally get along with other pets can become over stimulated in a group environment. For this reason, All Pet’s policy does not allow group play unless from a client that is boarding multiple pets from the same household.

What happens if my pet needs medical attention while boarding?

Our trained kennel staff monitors the daily habits of each boarding guest. We keep a daily log of water/food intake, outtake, any medications given, etc. Any abnormal changes in their behavior are reported to a veterinarian and a physical exam is performed at no additional cost to you. If additional treatments are deemed necessary then the client will be responsible for any required fees.

What do I need to bring for my pet’s boarding stay?

Feel free to bring a couple of items from home to help make your pet feel more at home with us. Please refrain from bringing bedding items as we do provide soft, thick, wooly blankets for your pet. If you prefer to pack light, All Pets Hospital has everything your pet needs to have an enjoyable stay!

Will my pet be able to board at your place if my pet has special needs?

Yes! We are happy to accommodate your pet with any special needs they may have. Please make sure to communicate any service or care your pet may require when making the reservation and at the time of boarding check in with the front desk.

Can I call and check in on my pet?

Yes! Please feel free to call the front desk anytime during our normal business hours and they will be happy to have one of our caring and professional kennel staff speak with you and give you an update on your pet.

What are the tips for assuring a positive stay for my pet’s boarding experience:

We know that preparing for and dropping off your beloved pet for a stay can be an emotional one and with that in mind we offer some valuable tips to insure a successful experience!

Remember that by keeping your emotions in check, being prepared, and calm, will help make sure that your pet doesn’t pick up on your own feelings of sadness or nervousness. If you appear happy and assured, your pet will likely follow your lead.

It helps to bring along something that will remind your pet of home such as a familiar toy or treat. *Please note that it may be best to leave very sentimental items at home.

Plan ahead and have any necessary medications or instructions that may be needed for your pet’s stay.

Provide our staff with an updated vaccine history if your pet has never been vaccinated by All Pets Hospital.

What if my dog is being groomed before departure, when can I pick him or her up?

If your dog is being bathed or groomed prior to departure, you may pick up your dog any time that is convenient for you during our regular business hours. Please allow adequate time for your pet to be properly bathed or groomed so our groomers will have the proper time to make your dog look its best.

Can I have my dog groomed while boarding?

 We groom dogs and cats 6 days a week, Monday thru Saturday. If you would like to have your dog groomed on the day of your dog’s release, please let us know when you drop off your pet. We will coordinate a release time with our groomer that is convenient for your schedule. Fees for grooming are determined by the size of your dog, your dog’s hair coat, condition of the hair coat, style requested and temperament. Please inquire about our grooming services when you bring in your dog for admission.

What if my pet has to stay later than anticipated?

Please notify us if there is any change of plans in your pet’s scheduled release date. If you do not notify us of a change in your pet’s departure date and either we do not hear from you or are unable to contact you or your authorized agent for a period of ten days after your pet’s scheduled release date, the hospital will consider your pet abandoned according to the animal abandonment laws in Michigan. Please be advised that the pet owner will be responsible for the fees accrued and any fees or legal services incurred by the hospital as a result of abandonment.

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