Pet Boarding FAQs


You have questions, we have answers.

Click a button below to be directed to the section that is applicable to you!

The Basics





Pet's Needs

My Pet's Stay

Boarding Safety

Boarding Comfort

Optional Services

The Basics

What are the benefits of boarding your dog?
  • Boarding provides care and attention for your dog when you are away.
  • Dogs need exercise and stimulation or they become bored and can act out. While you’re away, they have the option to play with friends with our daycare option or play individually with a team member via play days or enrichment days. Dogs have a full acre of turfed outdoor play yards for cleaner playtime with many fun options.
  • Pets enjoy attention from our trained and caring staff. We provide bedding, treats, lots of TLC and hand walks several times a day.
  • In addition, we have many add-on services that will make your pet’s stay with us extra-special. These services include daycare, playtimes, video emails, TLC packages, bedtime toys and treats.
  • Dogs that want a VIP experience with optional enrichment sessions can enjoy our Luxe Boarding Retreat.
  • Dogs that need extra attention, pampering, or special care can enjoy our luxury onsite home environment at Bed & Biscuit.
Why Union Lake Pet Services for my Boarding?
  • We’re locally owned here in Waterford, Michigan–not a chain location.
  • We offer very reasonable prices, especially compared to the national chains. See Boarding Pricing section below for current pricing.
  • 10% off any Boarding stay for New Clients.
  • We offer the convenience of online boarding reservations or you may call us.
  • We offer multipleboarding options: regular boarding, boarding add-ons, Luxe VIP boarding, and our home-like Bed & Biscuit boarding.
  • We offer the right environment for every dog. Dogs can be very social and have lots of socialization and playtime with other dogs, and one-on-one playtime with multiple leash walks per day with staff.
  • We provide a warm and caring environment where pets will feel comfortable and relaxed. Our staff will lavish your pet with attention and TLC.
  • We have large, full-sized runs for each dog with orthopedic beds and comfy wool stadium blankets.
  • We have a full acre of turfed play yards for cleaner and more fun playtime.
  • The health and safety of your pet is very important to us. We have high standards for hygiene, diligently sanitizing everything several times per day.
  • The staff is trained in dog behavior and pet first aid.
  • Many of our pet care staff have been with us for 3-15 years (experienced).
  • You’ll have the comfort of knowing Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is right across the parking lot with a medical staff of 11 doctors and 12 licensed veterinary technicians in case of any issues.
  • ULPS Daycare accepts dogs who have special care needs such as cancer, diabetes, etc.
  • Dogs receive 3 meals per day and you can opt for a Frosty Paws bedtime treat.
  • We provide optional or included daily video emails so you can see how your pet is doing (depends on package).
  • You may conveniently schedule training, daycare, or grooming at ULPS during your pet’s boarding stay.
  • We have great ratings on Facebook and Google.
  • ULPS offers multiple free events to our clients and neighborhood including Howl-O-Ween and Easter Egg Hunts.
  • We’re conveniently located on your commute route.
  • We stock a small boutique onsite for needed purchases.
  • We’re bonded and insured.
  • Not sure how to pick an excellent boarding facility? Our blog explains what to look for in choosing the perfect place for successful pet boarding.
What are your boarding drop-off and pick-up hours?
  • Monday through Friday 6am to 7pm. Saturday 8am to 6pm. Sunday 10am-6pm

Eligibility and Suitability for Boarding

What are your boarding entrance requirements?
  • First, we ask that you complete our Boarding Registration Form.
  • We’ll review the Registration Form and confirm your pet’s vaccination records.
  • When you book, we’ll ask if you’re interested in adding daycare to your dog’s stay. Daycare is optional.
  • If your dog has done daycare before, here or elsewhere, you can schedule our 1-day session where an expert spends time with your dog one-on-one to help them become comfortable with ULPS staff and daycare.
  • If your dog has never done daycare, you’ll need to schedule our 3-Day Starter Package to help your dog get the hang of daycare with our supervised attention.
What vaccinations are required for boarding?
  • For the safety of your pet and others staying with us, we have certain preventive health requirements that must be current before entering our facility for pet boarding, pet daycare, or pet grooming services:
  • Dogs—Rabies after 4 months, Distemper Combo Vaccine needs to have been started for puppies, Flu Vaccine, Annual Negative Heartworm Test, Annual Canine Cough (Bordetella) Vaccine, and Negative Intestinal Parasite Screening twice annually. Canine Influenza Vaccination is normally only strongly recommended, but is currently required for the protection of any dogs who will be around other dogs at Union Lake Pet Services.

Click here for more information.

How old does my puppy need to be for boarding?
  • There isn’t a specific minimum age for boarding but vaccinations are required. Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet has had all of their necessary vaccinations for their age.
Does my dog need to know certain commands before boarding?
  • Dogs don’t need to know any commands for boarding though they are appreciated.
Do you turn away dogs based on their breed?
  • All breeds are welcome at ULPS boarding.
Does my dog have to be spayed or neutered?
  • No. However, we can’t accept an intact female in heat.
Are all dogs good candidates for boarding?
  • Almost every dog is a good candidate for boarding, but not every dog is a good candidate for adding group play during their boarding stay.
  • Some dogs require more individual attention. For those, see the next question for the individualized options we offer.
  • We don’t recommend adding daycare to boarding for dogs that are very anxious about being around other dogs.
What if my dog is not a good fit for group play during their boarding stay?
  • Your dog always has the option to spend the day in their run rather than join group play. We take them for 3 individual walks each day. You can also add on one-on-one play times with staff.
  • Some dogs want more individual attention. For those, we offer other options:
  • Our individualized Play Days include:
    • Several hand walks per day with our loving team members
    • Individualized play time (ball play, brushing, toy time, peanut butter kongs)
    • Enrichment activities customized to your dog’s liking
    • Hot lunch
    • Hugs and kisses
    • Off leash time outside
    • SmugMug photos and videos can be sent
  • An Enrichment day is similar to a Play Day but includes more focus on Enrichment Training. Your dog is having fun learning and growing, and building confidence, coordination, mental focus and strength.
For other questions related to suitability for adding daycare during a boarding stay

Boarding Enrollment

How do I preview your boarding facilities online?
Am I able to visit and take a guided tour of your facilities?
  • Absolutely. Any day. Any time. And it isn’t necessary to call ahead. We want you to see for yourself the difference at ULPS, and we want you to be comfortable with leaving your dog or cat with us while you’re away.
Will my pet like this environment?
  • We find that most pets are very comfortable at ULPS boarding and enjoy our boarding staff. We have several types of board offerings and we have something to suit almost every dog.

Boarding Pricing

What is the cost of boarding?
  • $47 per night for regular boarding ($54 during holidays when demand is high).
  • $105 per night for Luxe VIP boarding ($115 during holidays)
  • Bed & Biscuit luxury boarding 
  • There are multiple TLC optional enhancements at very reasonable prices.
    Is there a discount for multiple dogs?
    • No, all dogs are charged the normal rate.
    • Two dogs may stay together in one run for their comfort with each other but the rate is not discounted.
    What is included with each type of Dog Boarding?
    Are there optional add-on services or upgrades for boarding?
    • Yes, you may add-on these enhancements for your furry family members
    Is there a charge for giving my pet his or her medications?
    • Yes, we charge just $.50 per pill per application.
    • Just give us the medications and information during drop-off. We will administer your pet’s medications with precise tracking.
    • Medications should be in the original container.
    Do you have any special offers for boarding?
    • We offer 10% off boarding stay for new clients.
    • We occasionally have special offers for boarding. When we do, they would be on our Specials page and/or featured in local mailbox coupons.
    Can I purchase a boarding package?
    • Sorry, we don’t offer boarding packages as we do with daycare.

    Boarding Reservations, Cancellations, Drop Off and Pick Up

    Do I need to make a reservation?
    • We highly recommend making reservations in advance for boarding, especially at the holidays. You may contact us to see if we have last-minute availability.
    • We appreciate a call ahead when you’re headed in for drop-off.
    • For optional daycare group play, you will need to schedule the Prerequisite 1st Day or 3-Day Starter Package in advance since these require a trainer.
    How do I make a reservation?
    Is there a minimum stay?
    • No, we don’t have a minimum stay requirement.
    What is your cancellation policy?
    • We require 48-hour cancellation notice for a refund, or 1 week notice at the holidays.
    What are the hours for pick-up and drop-off?
    • Boarding guests can be dropped off or picked up between 6am and 7pm Monday through Friday, and between 7am and 6pm on Saturday.
    Is parking convenient for boarding drop-off and pick-up?
    • Very convenient. We have a large parking lot right outside the building.
    Does my dog need to be on a leash when arriving or leaving boarding?
    • Yes, please. We ask that it be a regular leash, not a retractable leash.
    What are your boarding check-in/check-out policy and procedures?
    • We keep it simple. Check in and out at the front desk. We’ll review any special instructions, then get them started on their boarding stay.
    May I pick up my pet early from boarding?
    • You may pick up your pet at any time between 6am and 7pm Monday through Friday, and between 7am and 6pm on Saturday.
    What if I’m late picking up my pet from boarding?
    • If you are not here to pick up your pet by closing time on the day, we will board your pet for another night. Regular boarding rates apply.

    My Pet’s Boarding Needs

    Should I bring anything for my pet’s boarding?
    • There’s nothing you need to bring unless your pet is on a special diet or needs medication.
    Do you provide blankets and beds?
    • Yes, we provide comfy beds and cozy blankets.
    May I bring my dog's favorite bed or blanket?
    • We ask that you don’t bring in beds or blankets from home for dogs.
    May I bring clothing, a sweater, a hat, etc. for my dog?
    • Yes. We’re happy to put a sweater or other warm clothing on your dog, especially if they will be playing outside. We don’t put hats on dogs though.
    • We’ll also apply sunblock as directed if your dog needs it.
    Is it okay for my pet to have a favorite toy with him while boarding?
    • Favorite toys from home can cause problems between dogs as your dog protects his favorite toy.
    • We have lots of toys here so we ask that you leave your dog’s toys at home.
    • You may bring a favorite toy for your cat.
    May I bring my own food?
    • Yes. Bring whatever food your pet prefers.
    • If your pet is on a special diet, bring in the food with any instructions.
    • You may also choose the meals that we serve. Boarding pets enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed.
    • For dogs, we provide our quality dry food three times per day. You can add on a peanut butter kong bedtime treat.
    • Note: If your pet has food allergies, please let us know, as we do feed treats and don’t want to give him something that would trigger an allergy.
    Does my pet get treats?
    • Dogs get a biscuit upon arrival. We offer our guests plenty of treats to help them feel at home.
    • A Frosty Paws Treat or peanut butter kong are optional add-ons.
    Do I need to bring my own leash or carrier?
    • We ask that you bring your dog to drop-off on a regular (not retractable) leash. We’ll send you home with the leash and ask that you bring it with you for pick-up.
    Is there a specific kind of collar my pet must wear?
    • Yes, we’ve found that the safest collar for dog group play is a flat buckle collar. If your dog is not participating in group play, any collar is okay.
    • We prefer that collars also have ID tags but we also put our identification tags on each dog.

    My Pet’s Boarding Stay

    What is a typical schedule for my pet? What do the pets do all day?
    • Dogs who are participating in daycare will play outside with their playgroups for an hour, then come inside to rest in their run for an hour. We alternate play and rest throughout the day. We feed the dogs lunch during one of the rest times.
    • When outside, dogs play in our multiple wading pools, play with balls for 15-minute play sessions, chase bubbles, practice their dog sits and comes, and just enjoy free time to run around.
    • The daycare staff also puts each dog on a leash during play time and walks them around the perimeter of the yard for special one-on-one attention.
    • Dogs who aren’t participating in daycare will receive multiple walks throughout the day as well as meals. One on one play time is also an option.
    How much attention will my pet get at boarding?
    • As much attention as he or she wants.
    • Some dogs want to be social and play with other dogs, and we allow that under supervision if you choose daycare. We are out in the yard with the dogs, observing them and interacting with them, at all times.
    • Others just want to sit at a staff person’s feet, and have more personal attention.
    • Other dogs prefer to stay in their run and just go for walks with a staff person.
    • Optional TLC add-ons include one-on-play sessions.
    • Our Luxe VIP boarding includes 4 optional enrichment training sessions.
    • Our Bed & Biscuit boarders get lots of attention in the onsite free-roam home environment with one of our certified trainers.
    What is your staff to pet ratio?
    • 15 boarders per trained staffer. Daycare is 12 dogs per trained staffer.
    Do you have trainers on staff?
    • Yes. Our trainers are involved with each dog who participates in daycare. Before a dog can add daycare to their boarding package, we confirm whether they have done daycare before. If so, they can do our 1-day intro to daycare. Dogs new to daycare will need our 3-Day Starter Package before engaging in group play.
    • Our trainers are also available to help if we observe issues.
    Are experts available to answer my questions or offer advice?
    • In addition to blogs, we have an extensive pet services staff including an entire team of dog trainers who can answer questions.
    • The kennel staff is trained in dog behavior and first aid by our Karen Pryor Certified Training team and our 11 onsite veterinarians.
    • Many of our pet care attendants have been with us for 3-15 years and treat each pet as their own.
    How do meals work?
    • Dogs are fed 3 times per day. Staff will serve either the food that was brought in with them, or our quality dry food.
    • We also offer an add-on peanut butter kong Frosty Paws bedtime treat.
    Are there nap times?
    • Absolutely. With the daycare option for dogs, our normal schedule alternates 1 hour of group play followed by one hour of rest or nap time in the runs (or in crates for smaller dogs and puppies).
    • Without daycare, your dog can nap to their heart’s content between walks.
    Do you provide outdoor play areas?
    • We have one full acre of fenced yards, divided into three outdoor play areas for dogs.
    • Yards are covered in turf for cleaner dogs and less impact on your dog’s joints.
    Do you walk the dogs?
    • If your dog is part of our normal daycare schedule, each dog receives on-leash walks around one of the daycare yards.
    • Dogs who are not part of group play receive three on-leash walks around the neighborhood.
    May I call and check on my pet while he’s boarding?
    • Yes. Anytime. We’re happy to have you check on your pet.
    Am I able to observe my pet while he is boarding?
    • We offer a SmugMug photo and/or video package for $5.00 per day.
    How will I know if my pet is having issues while boarding?
    • We will attempt to contact you if there is an urgent issue. For minor behavior issues or concerns, a boarding attendant will chat with you when you return about what we’ve observed.
    Do you discipline a dog for bad behavior? If so, what is the procedure?
    • We do not discipline the dogs. If we see that a dog is worked up or needs extra one-on-one work, we have the option to separate them from their playgroup (since daycare is where bad behavior is most likely). We can take them for a walk to get things under control. Once they are calm and ready, they are normally allowed to rejoin their playgroup.
    Why is my dog tired when he/she comes home?
    • Although your dog will have time to rest and nap, if your dog participates in group play, he will likely run around quite a bit during play time. Dogs will usually go home tired. That is one of the benefits of boarding with us–your dog has had plenty of movement and socialization while you were gone.
    Why does my dog have a minor cut or scrape?
    • Dogs use their mouths and paws in group play. You may notice minor cuts, scrapes, or even tiny chunks of missing fur as a result of dogs playing. We would notify you if a serious incident were to happen while your dog is here but those are very rare since we closely monitor their play behavior.
    Why does my dog seem stiff or sore?
    • You may notice that your dog seems stiff or sore if they participate in group play. Most dogs do not get this much exercise at home, so some temporary soreness is normal. If your dog is limping or seems to have serious issues, please let us know.

    My Pet’s Boarding Safety

    If you are opting for daycare/group play, please reference our Daycare page and Daycare FAQs for information about daycare safety.

    How sanitary is your facility?
    • We place a high priority on cleanliness and hygiene in our boarding facility. Managed alongside Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we understand better than most kennels and catteries just how important cleanliness is.
    • We sanitize everything twice per day to protect your pet’s health.
    What steps will you take to protect my pet’s health?
    • Every step we can. In addition to sanitizing everything in the boarding area and cattery twice per day, we require certain vaccinations in order to board with us.
    • We won’t admit an obviously sick pet. We listen and watch for signs of illness, and make sure that any pets requiring veterinary attention are separated and receive attention as quickly as possible.
    • We refuse dogs that are coughing, vomiting or suffering from diarrhea and we watch to see if any pets are becoming ill.
    • With the canine flu outbreak, we were one of the first daycares in the Detroit area to require vaccination for daycare guests.
    • We do not share runs or cages. Once a pet comes in, their cage or run is theirs for their stay.
    How do you protect my dog from getting kennel cough?
    • A good pet care facility like ULPS requires vaccination against kennel cough. But, just as with humans getting a flu shot, your dog may still catch it. See more information above in the previous answer.
    Can my pet get fleas from other dogs?
    • Your pet is unlikely to get fleas from boarding. It is your responsibility though to make sure that your pet is on regular flea treatment (same is true for ticks and heartworms).
    • Please consider applying your pet’s topical flea treatment in the evening time, so that it can dry before they come to stay with us.
    Can my pet catch a disease by being around other pets?
    • It is always possible. Dogs that lead social lives are exposed to viruses, bacteria and parasites more frequently than their counterparts who lounge at home in solitude. This is true whether your dog attends daycare, goes to training, or sees other dogs in the dog park or pet store.
    • It’s the same as sending your child to school. Some exposure is good for building their immune system and resistance.
    • We do ask that if your dog is coughing, vomiting, or has diarrhea, keep him at home or make other arrangements for protection of the other dogs and so your dog can rest and recover.
    What do you do in case of illness or injury?
    • We don’t accept dogs who are coughing, vomiting or having diarrhea and we check that pets have had their required vaccinations.
    • Once a pet is boarding, we listen and watch for signs of illness. If we see a pet that appears ill, we will separate them and contact their owner.
    • We also contact the owner in case of injury.
    • With your approval, we will ensure that your pet receives veterinary attention at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital across our parking lot.
    Do pets ever get hurt?
    • Yes, occasionally in daycare. We’ve had broken toenails and dogs can injure themselves in small ways during play. These injuries are normally minor and can be easily treated.
    • We would contact you in case of injury and get your approval for treatment.
    What happens if there is an incident between my pet and another pet in daycare?
    • It’s appropriately addressed. We try to figure out what occurred and why. We then take the appropriate steps to ensure that it doesn’t continue.
    • Sometimes it is just a matter of separating dogs as these incidents are usually due to over excitement during group play. Our Quirky K9s trainer can get involved if a behavior issue surfaces.
    • If there was a more serious issue, we would discontinue group play for one or both dogs.
    • If there were to be a more serious injury, we would contact you and get your pet treatment at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital next door.
    How much/what type of experience does your boarding staff have?
    • Our trained boarding team is staffed with dog lovers overseen by a team of more experienced staff.
    • The staff who works with your dog initially during the Daycare 1st Day or Starter Package are all certified trainers who have spent years studying dog behavior.

    My Dog’s Boarding Comfort

    Is your facility climate controlled/air conditioned?
    • Yes, we offer a climate-controlled environment inside for dogs.
    • Outside, we have built-in heaters where the dogs may warm themselves in cool weather.
    • For warm weather, we have covered areas, shady areas, sprinklers, misters and wading pools to help dogs stay cool and comfortable.
    • We monitor the temperature and decrease outside playtime during extreme heat or cold.
    Do the dogs play in the rain or snow?
    • If you’ve opted for group play/daycare, the dogs love playing outside even when there is snow on the ground or it’s raining.
    • We don’t allow the dogs to play outside during a thunderstorm.
    • With our turf yards, dogs stay cleaner than with dirt or regular grass yards.
    • We have covered areas where dogs can play during inclement weather.
    • We shovel paths through the snow in winter for those who want to play in it.
    What if it is too cold or hot outside for my dog?
    • In extreme weather conditions, outdoor walks and playtime will be decreased. We monitor the heat index and, if necessary, adjust play time for safety, ensuring that we don’t endanger the dogs.
    • Yards have built-in heaters so that dogs can warm themselves up. They are usually running around so they stay fairly warm anyway.
    • In the summer, we have covered areas, shady areas, misters, sprinklers and wading pools.
    • We monitor individual dogs. If a dog is lifting his paws due to cold weather or appears uncomfortable, we will bring that dog in sooner than the rest of his playgroup.
    • Dogs with smooshed faces can’t stay outside in the heat as long in summer.
    • We’re more conscious of heat and cold for our senior dog boarders.
    Does your facility have a pool for hot days?
    • Our outdoor play area has several large, sturdy wading pools and they are a very popular item with our doggy guests.
    What size are your dog runs?
    • Our runs range from 6 to 10 feet. We also use crates for smaller dogs and puppies.
    Does my dog have a private run or kennel?
    • Yes, unless you have requested that your two dogs stay together.
    Can my dogs stay together?
    • Yes. Just let us know when you make the reservations.
    What steps will you take to ensure my older dog is comfortable?
    • Older dogs get extra padding in their beds.
    • We’re more conscious of heat and cold for them. We notice that they are more likely to stay undercover in the shade in the summer, and near the heaters in the winter.
    • Our turf play yards are softer on older joints so they are more comfortable for senior dogs.
    Will boarding negatively affect my puppy’s potty training efforts?
    • We observe a regular schedule with plenty of time outside. This should help reinforce your puppy’s potty training efforts. If we observe an issue, we would discuss it with you so that you are aware of it.

    Optional Boarding Services

    May I schedule dog training during daycare?
    • Absolutely. You would need to pre-book any training. Otherwise, our trainer’s schedules may be full and unable to accommodate the desired training time.
    • Click here to learn more.
    May I schedule dog grooming services during boarding?
    • We can groom pets on the day that you’re picking them up. Once they are groomed, we would not send a dog out for group play unless you request it since they may get hot and disheveled by the time you come to pick up your pet.
    • Click here to learn more.
    Where may I see any additional service options?
    • You may view daycare, training or enrichment services that you can add to your dog’s boarding schedule on our Union Lake Pet Services website.
    Are there upgrades I should consider for my pet’s boarding?
    Are there other Play options other than Daycare?
    • Absolutely, we offer individualized Play Days include:
      • Several hand walks per day with our loving team members
      • Individualized play time (ball play, brushing, toy time, peanut butter kongs)
      • Enrichment activities customized to your dog’s liking
      • Hot lunch
      • Hugs and kisses
      • Off leash time outside
      • SmugMug photos and videos can be sent
    • We also offer an Enrichment day similar to a Play Day but it includes more focus on Enrichment Training. Your dog is having fun learning and growing, and building confidence, coordination, mental focus and strength.
    Are you able to provide my pet with his/her medications?
    • Yes. During check-in, just provide us with the medication and instructions.
    • There is a small additional charge for administering medications. $0.50 per pill.
    Are you able to care for pets with special medical needs?
    • We’re very well equipped for that. We have pets that have cancer, diabetes, are prone to seizures, etc. We pay even closer attention to their care.
    If I’m unable to pick up my pet as planned, what happens?
    • If you’re unable to pick up your dog by our 8pm closing time, Monday through Friday, or Saturday closing time (6pm), we will automatically board your pet another night. Regular boarding rates will apply.

    Pet Services offered 7 days a week.

    Union Lake Pet Services has been serving the communities of Waterford and West Bloomfield, MI for over 30 years.


    6547 Cooley Lake Rd.
    Waterford, MI 48327
    Click here for directions.


    Mon-Fri: 7:00am – 7:00pm
    Sat: 8:00am – 6:00pm
    Sun: 10:00am – 6:00pm

    Contact Info

    Phone: 248-363-6262
    Fax: 248-363-7213

    Get in touch!

    Ready to come see us?

    Request an appointment online! We can't wait to see you and your furry friends.