Even if you don’t refer to your pets as your “fur babies” or have more pictures of them on your phone than you do of your own kids, there’s no denying that pets are part of the family. In fact, they’re pretty much like having extra kids – they wake us earlier than we’d like on the weekends, demand food at random times, make messes, frustrate us, make us laugh, give the great cuddles, and, most of all, earn our love a thousand different ways every day. Needless to say, we want what’s best for these honorary family members – just like we would for our kids. That being said, there are times when, like it or not, your furry family simply can’t travel with you. And with summer just around the bend, many of us have vacations already in the works. If you’re a better planner than me, then you’ve already got the pets sorted and you’re summer planned. However, if you are like me, then you’ve only just remembered that, hey, wait a minute…you got the vacation planned, but completely forgot to make pet boarding arrangements for Fido.
That’s where having a reliable pet care service on your speed dial can make all the difference, both for your peace of mind and for your vacation planning flexibility. Many veterinary offices will provide boarding, and often that’s a good solution, especially if you have a pet with special needs. However, some folks want a slightly more stimulating environment for their pets while they’re away. Fortunately, there are lots of boarding and pet care out there– from kennels and catteries to posting boards for dog walkers and sitters. But, navigating all of these sites can be confusing.
With that in mind, we’ve sorted many of the area’s top-rated pet boarding service providers, and with a focus on pet boarding facilities, have found five favorites that we know you can call on with confidence any time you need overnight pet boarding or care. We chose our favorites based on the following criteria:
- Reasonable prices
- Care for different types of pets
- Unique services / offering
Take a look at our list, then get those vacation plans underway knowing that your pets will be having every bit as much fun as you are – if not more!
Although PawCienda Resort is about 20 miles outside of Richmond in Montpelier, the owners, Jeff and Gayle Stoneman, make sure that it’s well worth the drive. Since 2000, they have been providing loving care for cats and dogs with full-service boarding, grooming, training, and daycare. But what sets PawsCienda apart in our book is the level of customized care that your pets will receive. The knowledgeable, experienced staff recognizes that not all pets are the same, so they provide unique care, services and amenities based on your pet’s needs. For example, if you have an active dog, they’ll make sure to provide extra exercise. But if you have an older dog, they’ll pay extra attention to his or her comfort—just like you do at home.
Why we love them: PawsCienda wins a spot on our list based on their fantastic (and affordable) add-on amenities alone. With already reasonable nightly boarding rates, add-on amenities and package deals remain affordable while providing your pet with extras that range from special training sessions to one-on-one cuddle time. See a complete list of amenities here, then take advantage of their online booking system and see for yourself why PawsCienda Pet Resort is the go-to boarding solution for so many Richmond area families.
Dogs: $28/night for basic boarding
Cats: $14/night for basic boarding.
See add-on amenities here
Impawsible Pups is all about family. That means that they’ll do whatever it takes to make your furry family members feel like part of their family from the start. Founded in 2009 by Master Trainer Valerie Paul, Impawsible Pups was built on Paul’s love of animals and her desire to provide unmatched training and care. In less than 10 years, it has become recognized for its incredible quality of care, including being named Richmond Magazine’s #2 Boarding and Daycare service in 2015. With boarding for both dogs and cats, the highly qualified staff strives to make your pets feel at home. So, whether that means making sure your pup is with the right mix of other dogs (or none at all if solitude is what he needs) or helping skittish cats to feel calm and secure with extra love and attention, you can be sure you pets will get exactly what they need. With great rates and personal attention at every turn, Impawsible Pups lets you relax, knowing that your pets are in good hands every second of the day.
Why we love them: The staff at Impawsible Pets is what truly sets them apart. Not only are they highly trained, but their love of animals shines through. Like we’ve mentioned, their goals is to make your pet feel like part of their family from the word “go.” And they can achieve that goal because they are truly a family themselves. Whether you’re leaving your pet to board, or you’re taking advantage of one of their other full-service offerings (daycare, grooming, and training), you can be sure that your pet is getting personal, loving care every step of the way. And honestly, that’s the kind of care you can’t put a price tag on.
As one of the top-rated pet boarding services in the Greater Richmond area, Holiday Barn Pet Resorts will have you stepping up your own vacation game when you realize that your pets might just be enjoying more luxury than you are. Holiday Barn offers boarding for both dogs and cats in two convenient locations in Richmond and Glen Allen. Both facilities feature ultra modern facilities, complete with a choice of dog boarding options, including kennel lodging, “Cozy Cottages,” Luxury Suites, or “Presidential” Suites. And for your favorite feline, choose from kitty condos or luxury suites that boast features like a built-in aquarium with moving fish, windows with an outside view, and top-range ventilation…not to mention daily “room service” and “hug time” twice a day with the caring, compassionate staff. No matter what you choose, you can be certain that your pets are living the high life with exceptional care and supervision around-the-clock.
Why we love them: The range of options at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts is hard to beat. Just like you might spend a week at a resort with options to upgrade lodgings, add special activities, or treat yourself to little extras, the Holiday Barn offers the same for your pets. For example, the boarding packages for dogs offer a range of accommodations, but you can also add on special activities – from extra walks to gourmet treats to pool time. (That’s right – there’s a doggy pool.) And while you won’t be charged for services you don’t request, Holiday Barn also offers full-service grooming, so if you want to come home to a meticulously groomed pet, then just add a grooming package to their stay. It can get pricy, make no mistake, but you definitely get what you pay for at Holiday Barn.
Holiday Barn – Glen Allen
3800 Mountain Road
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
Holiday Barn – Richmond (South of the James)
614 Johnston Willis Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23236
There are kennels – and then there’s the Dude Ranch. Born from years of researching and studying other kennels around the country, the Dude Ranch Pet Resort in Glen Allen offers next level boarding, training and pet daycare. The facility’s meticulous design ensures that your pet is comfortable and safe, whether they are there for classes, training, or boarding. But, since boarding is what we are focusing on here, let me just say that when you board your pet at the Dude Ranch, you can pretty much guarantee that they’re going to have a vacation that beats yours by far. First off, you cat or dog will be staying in a villa or a suite…of course. Next, they’ll enjoy off-the-floor beds, climate control, and around-the-clock staffing so that there’s never a time someone isn’t there to meet your pets’ needs. Plus, you can add on extra treats like a swim in the lake (seasonal), extra walks, orthopedic mattresses and more. You can leave your pets at the Dude Ranch with absolute peace of mind, knowing that the only risk is that they may not want to come home.
Why we love them: The Dude Ranch Pet Resort really is a next-generation concept for pet boarding. While most of our favorite facilities offers rooms, villas or suites that redefine luxury for pets, the Dude Ranch stands out for us in their attention to detail. They have truly created a “Hotel for Dogs (and Cats)” with each room offering its own theme, colors, “real” bed, shelves with toys and more. To top it off, there’s room service three times daily and nightly turn down service complete with a “doggie mint” on every pillow. For cats, luxury villas are completely separate from doggie quarters and offer every toy, scratching post, climbing gym and feline luxury imaginable – all the way down to a flat-screen TV customized for kitties. If only we all could take vacations this nice…
The Dude Ranch Pet Resort
11015 Dude Ranch Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
Dog’s Day Inn wins our top spot thanks to their all-around care, service, modern facilities and affordability. But the fact that when we say “boarding,” we really mean “luxury vacation” certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether you’re looking for care for dogs, cats or both, you can rest assured that you’ll be leaving your pet in paradise. Dog’s Day Inn offers private, climate-controlled suites with indoor/outdoor access at all times for pups, and provides a three-story kitty condo for your feline friends. The “condo” includes bottom level litter boxes, a mid-level that stores food and water and a top level that offers your cat a room with a view. Both dogs and cats are also given plenty of exercise time: dogs get a minimum of two exercise sessions every day and cats get special time in the “cattery” for some one-on-one love from the dedicated staff. With boarding available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, you’ll never have to worry about availability. Plus, there are NO breed restrictions and grooming is available as an add-on. I mean…what’s not to love?
Why we love them: If you picture cold, concrete slabs and rusty chain link fencing when you think of “pet boarding,” then you’re in for a treat at Dog’s Day Inn. This family-owned operation has been in business for nearly 30 years and their modern facilities are simply top-notch, featuring private suites, indoor/outdoor access (for dogs), and around-the-clock climate-control (with a back-up generator to make sure it stays that way!), plus 24-hour fire, security, and video camera monitoring. And last but not least, when it comes to pricing, we love their all-inclusive pricing model. No hidden fees, no surprise charges, just great care for your pets around the clock.
Pricing: Pricing Menu
Do you have a pet care facility that you would recommend? If there’s a pet care provider in the Richmond area that you think we should know about, please tell us in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We always look forward to hearing from you!
For more of Best of Richmond, click here.