- Like routine vaccinations and vet visits, a standard pet insurance plan will rarely cover boarding — especially for something like a vacation or holiday travel.
- In cases where a pet insurance plan covers boarding fees, there are often specific conditions and limits that vary from company to company.
- Some wellness plans and add-on coverage options will include boarding costs for an additional fee (on top of your standard monthly premiums).
Whether or not your pet insurance covers boarding will depend on the specific company and its policies. Generally, boarding is considered a routine or preventative expense of owning a pet and is not usually covered. There are, however, exceptions.
In what types of situations does pet insurance cover boarding?
These are a few examples of events in which pet insurance companies may cover fees associated with boarding your dog:
Illness or Injury
If your pet needs medical treatment or surgery, the cost of boarding may be covered as required by your veterinarian. This can include monitoring periods, recovery time, or administering medications.
In the event of natural disasters like flooding or wildfires, you may need to evacuate your home. Some pet insurance policies may cover the cost of boarding in these situations.
Unlike recreational trips and vacations, traveling for emergency reasons (in which you cannot take your pet) can be a qualified reason to cover the cost of boarding.
If you are hospitalized and unable to care for your pet, some policies will cover boarding costs while you are being treated.
What types of pet insurance plans cover boarding?
Standard pet insurance plans rarely include any coverage for boarding except as required by a veterinarian’s care. However, plans with add-ons and optional upgrades may include coverage for boarding your pet.
Figo and Trupanion offer add-ons that provide coverage for boarding at a licensed kennel when you are hospitalized.
Fetch by The Dodo also covers boarding for owners’ hospitalization in their plans, though it is limited to $1,000 per year.
Make sure to review your policy or contact your provider to confirm if boarding fees will be covered and under what circumstances.
What is boarding?
Sometimes referred to as a kennel stay, boarding is a service provided by dog daycares, veterinarian offices, or even grooming facilities to care for your pup in your absence. This can be overnight, for a weekend, or longer.
Basic care, such as walks and feeding, are usually included in this service. Unlike pet sitting, which may be in your own home or a professional pet-sitter’s home, boarding your dog will mean they have their own sectioned-off space in a building with other dogs that are also staying.
These types of stays can range from basic kennels to luxury accommodations. Insurance usually covers licensed, approved boarding facilities or veterinarian’s offices.
Will any other types of insurance cover boarding?
Travel insurance, home or renter’s insurance, and medical insurance usually do not cover pet boarding fees. They may include this coverage in specific circumstances similar to those noted above, like a home insurance policy covering boarding in the event of an emergency evacuation.
Otherwise, they do not generally provide coverage for pet-related expenses.
How much does boarding cost?
According to Rover’s The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2022 survey, dog boarding can cost between $40 and $280 annually.
The frequency and length of boarding, type of boarding, where you are located, and periods of high demand (holidays and peak travel times) will influence these costs.
According to the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA), Americans spend more than $123.6 billion on their pets annually. $9.5 billion goes toward boarding, pet sitting, and grooming services.
Although it would be quite the perk to have boarding covered for travel or vacation, you’re unlikely to find a policy that will do so. On the other hand, pet travel insurance policies are available if you’re interested in traveling together.
Most pet insurance policies clearly state that boarding is not covered, and any exceptions are usually found in various sections of lengthy policy documents.
It never hurts to call, email, or contact your prospective insurance provider to ask them this type of question when shopping around for the best policy for you.
Interested in learning more? Check out our guides on how pet insurance works, if pet insurance is worth it, and what pet insurance covers.