The best dog boarding kennels and catteries in Canberra

Dogs playing in water at Tara Estate Pet Boarding

Tara Estate Pet Boarding is one of Canberra’s most recommended dog boarding kennels and catteries. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

If you are like most animal lovers, the best holiday is one where your beloved four-legged friend is right beside you. And while Canberra is slowly embracing a paw friendly approach, doing so for the most part remains tricky.

Whether you are taking a weekend coastal break or accumulating some serious flight mileage, chances are that your dear pooch or kitty will need to stay behind. So, what do we make of the options? Family or friends may briefly embrace their call; but lengthy stays are likely to test the relationship.

Enter pet lodgings. Dog boarding kennels and catteries provide a wonderful solution to such a dilemma. Offering accommodation and care for your dogs and cats, these traditional boarding establishments cater to both short and long stays.

That said, leaving fur-babies in the hands of strangers can be a quite daunting! There are loads of concerns from attention, to nourishment, to comfort and security. And we have all heard them – horror stories from times gone by, seeding doubt in our minds.

Thankfully, Canberra is home to some wonderful dog boarding kennels and catteries, offering quality care just as you would do at home. Even better, we have curated a shortlist of the finest care providers in Canberra so please read on below.

What makes a great dog boarding kennel and cattery?

The best boarding facilities are a home away from home for your beloved dog or cat. They provide a stimulating and safe environment to comfortably rest and play while you are away. Here are some tips to help you evaluate whether the lodgings are right for you and your pet:

  • Squeaky clean. The most reputable boarding facilities are squeaky clean. They deploy meticulous hygiene practices and consider this one of their top priorities. Look for facilities which are regularly cleaned and disinfected with products that are sensitive to little paws. Also enquire about pest control to ensure that your loved one will be free of pesky critters. Check that litter is cleaned after each use, and positioned away from feeding and rest areas. Finally, cleanliness should also extend to your pet, with the best boarding facilities offering comprehensive grooming services.
  • Excellent enclosures. The best boarding kennels and catteries are luxurious sanctuaries which cater to every paw pals need. Look for individual lodgings that are spacious, naturally lit, and well ventilated. Moreover, ensure there is ample room for all eat, play, and rest needs. Basics like only mixing cats from the same household; raised bedding; and litter away from food should all be a given. There should also be points of interest, be it a natural setting or toys to keep pets stimulated. Finally, internal lodgings must be supported by climate controls like temperature and humidity to ensure comfort.
  • Next level nutrition. Although you may not be around, you should expect that your dog or cat will be properly nourished. Only consider kennels and catteries that follow the recommended dietary intakes for both dogs and cats. The provision of this sustenance should come in the form fresh protein and produce, tinned or packaged items, as well as snacks and treats. Importantly, all pets should have a permanent supply of clean, fresh water at the ready. The best kennels and catteries will even go so far as to include supplements like probiotics to ensure good health while in their care.
  • Activities aplenty. The best dog kennels and catteries understand that your pet needs daily activity to stay happy, entertained, and healthy. This should include activities within their individual space, such as scratchers, climbers, tunnels and toys, along with outdoor play. Many facilities offer structured times, typically once or twice daily, for play and exercise outside of their individual lodgings. Look for natural surrounds, plenty of grass, and interesting flora to keep them interested on each outing.
  • Super secure. For added peace of mind the best lodgings offer super secure facilities. Individual lodgings must be lockable, along with the broader facility and perimeter. In addition, the best kennels and catteries are fully staffed by a manager and animal attendants during business hours and beyond. For added comfort many also boast on-site residents which are particularly handy in the event of emergency.

The best dog boarding kennels and catteries in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Tara Estate Pet Boarding

Tara Estate Pet Boarding

As one of Canberra’s oldest and most respected boarding facilities, Tara Estate provides day care and lodgings for both dogs and cats. The team at Tara Estate are all about providing enrichment-based care ensuring ensure physical and mental activeness during your pets stay.

Their impressive facilities include individual accommodation, grooming services, training, and airport transfers. For respected carers and all that you need for your dog and cat under the one roof look to Tara Estate Pet Boarding.

As Frederica Heacock wrote on RiotACT, “Tara at Pialligo is like Disneyland with 10 acres of parkland, trees and a lake.

9 Beltana Road
Pialligo ACT 2609

Best Friend Pet Centre

As one of the region’s leading boarding kennels and catteries, Best Friend Pet Centre provides spacious accommodation, tip-top conditions, delicious meals, and quality care for your pet. With separate facilities for both dogs and cats, each lodging is purpose built to cater to their unique set of needs.

Best Friend Pet Centre offers a range of additional services which can be accessed during your dog or cat’s stay including grooming and extra play time. For careful hands and a safe space for your dog and cat look to Best Friend Pet Centre.

Richard Keegan had this to say about Best Friend Pet Care on Google, “We have used Best Friends a lot over the years. The dogs seem to have a great time and come back happy and tired. The staff seem really soft on them to!”

Monaro Park Dog Boarding

Operated by local couple Josh and Bridget, Monaro Park Dog Boarding have earned a stellar reputation for their care and services. They are passionate about animal welfare and keep an impressive collection of animals on the property themselves!

Natural surrounds are the name of the game, with lodgings located outdoors. An abundance of space, light, and fresh air ensures your pup will be entertained – and exercised – while you are away. For personalised care and attentive service just as you would at home, look to Monaro Park Dog Boarding.

As Eric Yarger shared on Google, Best, boarding service around our dogs love Josh and going to Monaro! Absolutely recommend Monaro Dog Boarding to everyone in Canberra or passing through and need a boarding service!”

Kiaora Park Pet Care

Kiaora Park Pet Care is a family-owned and operated boarding facility on a rural property just outside of Gungahlin. The suites are private, safe, and temperature controlled – the dogs get their own 6m run attached to their sweet, plus twice daily private play times with the friendly staff. The cats can enjoy scratching poles and toys in their rooms, plus an open atrium for some supervised exploration.

Happy customer Kirsty Luckie left the following Google review for Kiaora, “I have used many kennels in the past and in my opinion this one has been the best one. Staff are very accommodating and I love getting the updates and pics. Thank you again Kiaora Pet Care, we will be back.”

Canberra Pet Care

Positioned as a real resort for pets, Canberra Pet Care offers short, and long-term lodgings for both dogs and cats. This unique concept in animal care boasts experienced professionals in the pet care industry for over 29 years.

Offering superior motel style accommodation and luxury suites, stays at Canberra Pet Care come with daily bushwalks, yappy hour, and playtime keeping your pet happy and entertained. For a holiday that your beloved four-legged friend deserves look to Canberra Pet Care.

rpearce had this to say about Canberra Pet Care on RiotACT, “I’ve found Canberra Pet Care great as a cattery.”

There’s a lot that comes with providing the best care for your pet. Check out our articles on the best dog groomers, the best vets, the best emergency after-hours vets, the best dog trainers, the best pet shops and pet supplies and the best pet insurance for more helpful information on Canberra’s best pet services.

If you’re interested in finding somewhere for your pet to stay whilst you’re on holiday, our articles on Canberra’s best dog walkers and pet sitters and best doggy daycares may be helpful.

And if you’re looking to adopt another furry friend, our article on the best places for rescue dogs in Canberra may be of interest to you.

Your experience with dog boarding kennels and catteries in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the dog boarding kennels and catteries listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare my dog or cat for boarding?
To ensure your dog or cat is best prepared for boarding considering taking a few extra precautions ahead of time. Firstly, ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and treatments. If currently sleeping with you, consider adjusting to self-sleep. Moreover, a familiar object or toy to bring along on their say may provide comfort. Finally, plan to drop and depart in the morning to allow your dog or cat ample time to adjust to their surrounds before bed. Where possible, a boarding trial may also help.
How old must my dog or cat be before it is accepted for boarding?
Generally, dogs or cats need to be at least 5 months old before being accepted for boarding at kennels or catteries. Always check with your boarding house to be clear on their specific requirements.
What vaccinations are required prior to boarding?
Typically, all boarding kennels and catteries will require your pet to be up to date with all annual vaccinations with a C5 for dogs and F3/4 for cats. It is also recommended that vaccines must be completed at least two weeks prior to boarding commencement. For specific advice please consult your boarding facility.
How much does boarding cost?
Boarding rates do vary and are subject to the nature of facilities and services offered and of course seasonality. Standard daily boarding rates can start from approximately $30 and go upwards of $70.
Do dog and cat boarding facilities need to be licensed?
Yes. In the ACT any dog or cat boarding facility must hold a multiple dog keeper or cat licence as issued by Domestic Animal Services.

What's Your Opinion?

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42 Responses to The best dog boarding kennels and catteries in Canberra
Paul Mathews Paul Mathews 2:55 pm 12 Dec 20

do u take our neighbours' BARKING dogs ?

Catherine Powell Catherine Powell 1:20 pm 12 Dec 20

Tangos Cat boarding at RSPCA ACT

Liz Matthews Liz Matthews 9:13 am 12 Dec 20

Michealigo Snuggles Pet Resort

Ona Marto Ona Marto 7:55 am 12 Dec 20

Comfort cattery at the inner south vet is fantastic. They have looked after our cat for 6 years now.

Jennifer Fraser-Brown Jennifer Fraser-Brown 7:00 am 12 Dec 20

Kiaora Park Pet Care is next level! We have previously used Tara and Canberra Pet Care but I would never leave my dogs and cats anywhere else now. Lisa and her team are special people

    Stacey Lamberth Stacey Lamberth 7:56 am 12 Dec 20

    we also love Kiaora park pet care, my boys always enjoy their holiday!

Helen Butcher Helen Butcher 12:32 am 12 Dec 20

Another vote for Kiaora Park Pet Care. They are tremendous! ❤️

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 11:37 pm 11 Dec 20

Bit late to be looking fora Christmas booking

Katie Ryder Katie Ryder 10:51 pm 11 Dec 20

Miss u motel for moggies is hands down the best chattery in the Canberra region!

Fiona Kildey Fiona Kildey 9:39 pm 11 Dec 20

Purr Luxury Cat Hotel is the best place for your cat to have a holiday too. Heidi’s care for fur babies is amazing.

Roslyn Russell Roslyn Russell 8:42 pm 11 Dec 20

Canberra Pet Care is where our beloved granddog, Bruno, goes to stay. Our family calls it his holiday camp. He loves it!

Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 6:00 pm 11 Dec 20

Tara at Piallago is like Disneyland with 10 acres of parkland, trees and a lake.

Angela Therese Angela Therese 2:32 pm 11 Dec 20

Canine Culture in Carwoola

Linda Norris Linda Norris 1:01 pm 11 Dec 20

Snuggles Pet Resort all the way for care, pricing and doggy fun.

Kim Harrison Kim Harrison 12:29 pm 11 Dec 20

Curtin Cat Care and Kismet, the absolute best!

Joanne Jeanes Joanne Jeanes 12:21 pm 11 Dec 20

The Drovers Rest in Cooma is absolutely great

Joanne Clark Joanne Clark 10:35 am 11 Dec 20

Kismet and Curtin cat care

Lyz Lawrence Lyz Lawrence 10:06 am 11 Dec 20

My dogs absolutely love their holidays at Best Friend Pet Centre. Nothing better than knowing they are safe, nutritionally satisfied and happy during their stay.🐕🐾

    Heidi Monique Heidi Monique 11:07 am 11 Dec 20

    Best Friend in MacGregor is great - they’ve even have misters to keep the dogs cool this summer

    Pen St Clair Pen St Clair 3:24 pm 11 Dec 20

    Lyz Lawrence we use them too for our very attached little white dog

    They are great

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 8:56 am 11 Dec 20

Cat boarding Bella is happy at TANGOS RSPCA in Weston. She is a high maintenance gluten intolerant cat but is always content when I pick her up & when we get home.

She has stayed somewhere else due to no availability at Tangos & was unhappy for weeks after returning home!

Ludie Popowycz Ludie Popowycz 8:52 am 11 Dec 20

Kiaora Park Pet Care

Hav even fantastic with my GSD. The room is prepped for her needs. The ladies that look after her fantastic and so caring. They have accommodated her at short notice and for extended periods. I’ve been super happy with them.

    Julie Shaw Julie Shaw 9:25 pm 11 Dec 20

    Ludie Popowycz I’m taking my pooches there tomorrow! Hope this poll will still be open.

    Jennifer Fraser-Brown Jennifer Fraser-Brown 6:58 am 12 Dec 20

    Ludie Popowycz we were their first guests and have been back again and again. Truly the best one I have ever seen.

Kristy Bryden Kristy Bryden 8:26 am 11 Dec 20

Kiaora Park Pet Care in Sutton.

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