How Safe Are Cageless Dog Boarding Facilities?

When dog owners end up traveling without their canine companion, they want to be sure they are leaving him with the best of dog boarding facilities. Many dog owners are taking a close look at cageless dog boarding facilities as a way to provide their dog with a “next best thing to home” kind of environment. But how safe are these facilities? As with other boarding facilities, you need to take a look at the individual facility to make that decision.

Here are some guidelines when selecting a cageless dog boarding facility:


In cageless boarding facilities there should be sufficient staffing to ensure the dogs in their care are never left unsupervised. 2 to 3 dogs per staff member would provide sufficient supervision should a scuffle break out. The staff should also be adequately trained to handle any situations that arise.

Guest Requirements

Does the facility require certain things of any guest dog? Because of the open environment, the facility should require that any dog be appropriately socialized with other dogs. They may also require a “Visitation Day” before you leave your dog for any extended period. During the visitation, their staff will evaluate your dog to ensure he will interact with other dogs in an appropriate manner. The facility should also require current vaccination records, especially since the dogs in their care are going to be closely interacting.

Spay/Neuter Requirements

Spayed and neutered dogs are going to be less aggressive and the likelihood of any female dogs becoming pregnant is eliminated by requiring guests to be spayed or neutered.

Individual Cages Available

Even though the facility may be advertised as “cageless” they should still have crates or individual areas available. While most socialized dogs are going to behave correctly, a scuffle may arise and require the dogs to be put into a time out until they can calm down. The individual areas can also ensure that while caretakers are sleeping at night, guest dogs aren’t fighting or misbehaving in other ways. The separate areas can also be used as feeding areas in order to avoid food aggression fights from breaking out.

Cleanliness of Facility

Cleanliness is especially important in a cageless facility because guest dogs will have access to all others and the possibility of spreading disease is increased. Cageless facilities typically have a yard or play area so these areas should be inspected to ensure feces are properly disposed of and should be treated regularly to keep flea and tick populations under control.

Access to Medical Treatment

Because you are entrusting your dog to their care, the cageless facility should have canine first aid certified staff and access to a local veterinary hospital.

Just as with a traditional dog boarding facility, safety levels within a cageless boarding facility vary by facility. No matter the type of facility you take your dog to, you should ensure that his health and safety are their primary concern and that sufficient measures are in place to maintain the same, if not better, level of safety as your dog has at home.