Boarding Frequently Asked Questions 

What vaccinations are required to board my dog?

We require your dog to be vaccinated against rabies, parvo/distemper, bordetella (kennel cough), and canine influenza. We require that your dog be vaccinated against bordetella at least 1 week  prior to boarding, so that the vaccination has time to take effect before entering the kennel. If your dog is approaching the expiration date for the bordetella vaccine, we recommend a booster prior to boarding. 


What vaccinations are required to board my cat?

We require your cat to be immunized for rabies, distemper and feline leukemia.



What are the check-in times for boarding?

Monday through Saturday, pets can be checked in between the hours of 10am and 3pm. On Sundays, you can check in between 9 and 11am only.


What are the pick-up times for boarding?

You can pick up your pet any time during office hours (8am-5pm Monday through Saturday, or 9-11am Sunday.) However, if you pick up your pet before 11am, you will not be charged for that day of boarding.


How are boarding fees calculated?

Boarding fees begin the day you check in your pet, regardless of the time. You may check in your pet between 8am and 4pm Monday through Saturday and between 9am and 11am Sunday. Our “check-out” time is 11am, so picking up by 11am ensures you are not charged for that day of boarding. If your pet is scheduled for a bath or groom the day of pick-up, the groomer will determine the pick-up time and you will not be charged for that day, regardless of the pick-up time.


Can I pick-up/drop-off my pet out of your normal business hours?

No, we are not able to accommodate these requests.


Can I make reservations on-line?

No. We make reservations face-to-face or on the phone only.


Do you fill up?

Yes, we do. We generally fill up holiday weekends, school vacations and during the summer months and, therefore, recommend making reservations for your pet as early as possible. It is a good idea to book a space in the kennel at the same time you book a space for you to stay with your family. Once we are full, we begin a waiting list for any possible future cancellations. We try our best to accommodate all the pets we can safely board.


What is the daily schedule like for my dog?

We begin work at 7:30am every day (even on days when our office is closed.) We begin the day with feeding each pet according to your directions (our food/your food/amount, etc.) and then sanitize each separate sleeping area for the dogs. While we are cleaning, dogs are kept in their separate runs and also taken individually for some time on one of our play yards. Once all sleeping areas have been cleaned, dogs are able to go in and out of their sleeping area/attached run at will, as we leave the doors between the two areas open. During the early afternoon, dogs are again given time on the play yards and we begin afternoon feedings at approximately 3pm, which gives dogs time to eat and “take care of business” before we close at 5pm. All dogs are in their sleeping areas at 5pm with full water buckets and given a cookie (diet permitting) before we head out for the night. Dogs adjust to this schedule very quickly. Generally, dogs are much more active here at the kennel than they would be at home, which makes for a VERY quiet kennel in the evenings when they rest up to do it all again the next day!


Are cats kept separate from the dogs?

Definitely. We have a separate room for the kitties to board in – this makes for happier kitties (and doggies, too!)


What type of runs do you have for dogs?

Smaller dogs and young puppies stay “up front” in runs that measure 4’ by 8’. Each dog is kept separately, unless it lives together with another dog and they get along extremely well. Bigger dogs stay in one of the buildings “out back.” Some runs out back measure 4’ by 10’ while others measure 4’ by 15’. The runs “out back” are attached to the sleeping areas, so we call them in-and-out runs, while the runs “up front” are not attached, and we instead move the dogs in and out.


Can you board my puppy?

We are VERY happy to board puppies! Of course, being young they need special attention so we usually keep them “up front” and keep a very close eye on them. They get fed more often, have more rest periods and get on the lawn more often than our adult guests.

Most veterinarians have recommendations regarding boarding young puppies, so please speak with your veterinarian before making a decision regarding boarding.


What are the cat accommodations like?

Cats are housed separately from dogs, for the mental well-being of both. Cats have enough room to walk around and have shelves/hiding spaces to rest in and beds and blankets to cuddle in. We recently purchased new kitty condos, they are spacious with lots of hiding places.


What type of exercise will my dog get while boarding?

We get each dog out of their runs and into one of our play yards several times a day with one of us to play. They also run and play in their runs. It is not uncommon for dogs to go home after boarding more exhausted than when they came in, as they get so much exercise while here.


Do you offer group play for boarding dogs?

No, we do not offer group play unless the dogs live together at home. We do however offer drop in play groups - please see the related page on this website.  These groups are monitored by an experienced Derbyfield staff member. All owners are asked to be present at the play groups.


 Do you offer day boarding?

Yes, we do. Monday-Saturday we are open from 8am to 5pm and we day board many dogs during these hours.  It is important to note that day boarding is different than doggie day care, as in day boarding we do not have groups of dogs playing together. Dogs can socialize through the fences, keeping them safe and uninjured, while still entertaining them and leaving them happy and tired for you at the end of the day.


Can I visit my pet while it is boarding with you?

We encourage people to visit their pets, if they are staying locally while their pet is boarding with us. We offer this Monday-Saturday between 10am and 2pm. These hours are important to stick to, as they allow us to make sure your pet has fully digested his/her breakfast before going out and will be back in time for dinner. You are welcome to play with your dog in our training yard, if you wish. If you plan to leave the property with your pet, we will ask for a credit card number before you leave. Occasionally, a dog will board who does not adjust well to leaving and returning to the kennel. If this is the case, we will let you know you will need to curtail such visits, in the best interest of your pet.


When my dog comes home from boarding, he/she drinks a TON of water – don’t you give water there?

We get asked this question all the time! Please rest assured that your dog has water available 24 hours a day. We’re not sure why it is, but some dogs don’t drink as much while boarding (maybe they’re like children and are having too much fun to worry about such things!) If this happens with your dog, we would encourage you to monitor how much water your dog drinks in a short amount of time because, at times, dogs drink a large amount too quickly and it causes them to throw up.


Should I bring food, toys and a bed for my pet while he/she is boarding with you?


Food - If your pet is on a special diet or has difficulty switching foods, you are welcome to bring your pet’s food along. If you do, we ask that you bring the amount your pet will need for his/her stay in the kennel and not a huge bag. The best way to do it for dry food is in individual serving-size containers (such as baggies.) We serve Earthborn Holistic adult vantage formula for both dogs and cats. This is a high quality food that many animals adjust to easily.


Toys – Your pet would love to have a toy from home to keep him/her company during the stay here at the kennel. We encourage you to bring one or two favorite toys along, however we cannot accept more than a couple toys from each pet. We do not accept as toys the following (all for the choking hazards they present): raw hide, rope toys and greenies.


Beds – Through the years, we have received many, many pet beds and blankets through donations. We know that most pets enjoy having a soft place to snuggle into while boarding and these blankets and beds allow us to provide that. We are able to wash these each day and replace them. It is very difficult in busy boarding times to keep track of whose bed was whose when they come out of the laundry. Therefore, we do not accept personal beds from pets, unless they are given with the understanding that they may be a donation. Please allow us to pick one of our beds for your pet and keep yours at home.



Is it OK if I call to check on my pet while I’m out of town?

Absolutely! Please call during business hours of 8am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and 9am-11am Sundays to get an update on your pet. You can also write an email to check-in, but realize that email is not the fastest way to get information, as we generally only check in once a day.


What days are you closed during the year?

We are closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also close at noon the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.


Is someone at the kennel 24 hours a day? What happens in the case of an emergency?

The owners and their family live in the house attached to the kennel, so someone is almost always there. In an emergency, our first concern is for the well-being of your pet, so we will do what we needs to be done to secure care for your pet. Our first option, if it is feasible, is to take your pet to his/her own veterinarian for care. If this is not possible, we are fortunate to have CARE (Cape Animal Referral and Emergency) located within a mile of our facility. When checking in to the kennel, your signature on our check-in form allows us to act as caretaker for your pet and make decisions in your absence. As soon as feasible, we will phone you or your emergency contact to notify you as to what has happened. Please keep in mind this may be after your pet has already gone to the vet for care. If you have any concerns or advanced directions regarding the care of your pet and the expense involved, please talk to either Holly or Barbara upon check-in.


Can you board my handicapped pet?

In general, we board only healthy, able-bodied pets. There are some exceptions to this policy, so please speak to either Holly or Barbara before making a boarding reservation if your pet has some special concerns.


My pet takes several medications. Will you give my pet these medicines?

We are happy to give oral and topical medicines to pets boarding with us, however we do not give injections. We ask that you bring the medications in their original containers so we understand exactly what we are giving and have information regarding dosage, prescribing veterinarian, etc.


On your new rate schedule, I see a "special case" pricing.  What does that mean?

Some of our older guests require an extensive amount of care - with many medicine doses given a day, as well as special care in moving from sleeping area to run. We are happy to provide boarding as pets get older and require more care, however the rate for boarding is slightly higher. If you are wondering whether your pet qualifies as a "special case", please ask to speak to Holly or Barbara and we will be happy to talk to you about it.


Do you board only cats and dogs?

We also occasionally board other small animals, such as birds, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets. Please call the office directly to discuss this.


What is your cancellation policy?

We require four days notice for changing or cancelling a reservation. If this is not met, you will be expected to pay for the dates you reserved. We require a credit card during the summer and holidays to hold your reservation.