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Pets and Visiting Walt Disney World

Updated on January 11, 2016


Let's be honest, boarding pets at a kennel can be expensive. If you are like me you will want to shop around to make sure that you are not only getting the best deal, but that your four legged companion will get the treatment they deserve. After all, I wouldn't trust my little Karma with just anyone.

If you decided that you want to board your dog or cat at a kennel in your hometown chances are you will have a few to choose from. Make sure that the facility is dean when you visit, and that there is an area for the dogs to go outside. If your dog has any special needs make sure that the kennel staff will be able to accommodate them. Be aware that there might be extra fees if your dog is aggressive or will require more handling than deemed normal, if they will even accept the dog at all.

Typically boarding facilities charge by the day, though some may offer a discount if the pet is there for a certain amount of time. Some kennels offer special activities, training classes, or even grooming all for an additional fee of course. For the most part they are all the same in that each dog will be given its own kennel, with a water bowl, food bowl, and a blanket. Typically there will be playtime with the other dogs (unless you specifically state otherwise) and the kennels will be cleaned once a day. There are some newer facilities that offer webcams in their kennels so that you can see that Fido is having a good time while you are away. These tend to be rather pricey, though.

For cats it is a little easier. Each cat will get its own kennel, typically smaller than the dogs and in a separate room from the dogs. The cats will get a litter box, food and water bowls, and something to cuddle with. Just like with the dogs the kennels will be cleaned daily.

For both dogs and cats there are a few things you will need if you are going to board them. You will need to provide the boarding facility with up-to-date copies of your pet's vaccine records. You will need to bring enough food for your pet to last for their entire stay, and possibly a little extra just incase you get stuck somewhere. It is also a good idea to provide information for your veterinary office, just in case, and contact information for you and a friend or relative that will be in the area, just in case.

My precious little Karma
My precious little Karma

Important Note!

No matter who is going to be taking care of your pet let your vet office know. They will want to know who is watching your pet and that you have authorized them to bring your pet in for treatment should it be needed. That way if your pet needs to see the vet while you are away everything is taken care of. Many vet clinics will even call you when your pet is ready to check out to let you know how your pet is and so you can pay over the phone.

Home Care

If taking your pet to the kennel doesn't sound like something you would like to do you are in luck. There are plenty of people, and even whole companies, willing to come to your house to take care of your pet. This way your little ones can stay in the comfort of their own home and not have to deal with the stresses of strange pets. This is also a great option for people with exotic pets or fish.

Most often the in home care giver will charge by either the day or the number of visits. If you have a lot of animals or have animals that will require a lot of care (a large dog that will need a long walk twice a day) the price may be a little higher. The best part is you pick the times that you want the person to come to take care of your pets and how long they will stay.

Much like with boarding you will need to make sure that your pets have everything they will need before you leave. You will want to make sure that your veterinary office knows that the care-giver has permission to bring in your pets should a situation arise.

If you are not comfortable with someone you don't know coming into your home try asking a friend or coworker to watch your pet. Your pet might even be more comfortable with someone they already know.

I've seen many people out walking their dogs while at the camp grounds. As long as they are not aggressive, up to date on vaccines, and you clean up after them there isn't a problem. After all they are staying in your camper or tent.

I've not heard of dogs being allowed to stay in the cabins, but I have heard of people bringing their cats. The cabins do receive house keeping at some point during your stay, so I am not sure how that works out with the kitties.

Local Wildlife

There are many wild animals at the campground site. Peacocks can be heard nightly. There are foxes, deer, many different birds, lizards, raccoon, and opossum. I've never seen an alligator on Disney property, but I am more than willing to bet they are out there. For the safety of your pets and the local wildlife please keep your pet leashed while outside, and safely kept inside when you are not around.

Bring Them With You!

If you are staying at the camp grounds at Fort Wilderness Lodge then you can bring your furry pet with you. As with anything there are restrictions, and the pet must be up to date on all vaccines. This is a great option if your furry companion travels well. This way they can stay at the campsite and be there waiting for you when you come home from the parks. Its like they are on vacation too.

It is important to note, however, that the resorts at Walt Disney World do not allow animals to stay on the premises. The only execution is for service animals. Think about it: would you be happy if house keeping accidentally let your cat out? How annoyed would you be if your neighbor's dog barked all night while you were on vacation? I know I would be really upset if anything happened to my animals while I was enjoying myself at the parks. The camp ground allows animals because it is just that; a camp ground. It is just like camping anywhere else, but with a little Disney magic.

What is your preferred method of pet care for vacations?

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Disney Has Kennels Too!

Want to bring your pet with you but can't keep it in your room? Not a problem. There are kennels on site at Walt Disney World. And just like everything Disney does they are beyond imagine. Disney has partnered with Best Friends Pet Care to create the ultimate vacation experience for you pets. Unlike some kennels in your hometown this one will take small and exotic animals, provided that they aren't venomous.

Essentially this boarding facility is over the top. It is a resort for pets. I really like the idea that you can go see your pet after a day at the parks. It always makes me laugh that they have movie time as an option for activities for dogs and cats. Though, it makes perfect sense since my little girl loves watching animal documentaries.

The prices are reasonable, considering the care they are getting and the fact that it is Disney. Guests that stay on Disney property get a little discount as well. If you are just looking for a daycare option for your pet they have you covered.

What Would I Do?

If I had the money I would defiantly take my Karma to the kennel at Walt Disney World. She loves to be around people, and needs a lot of play time. I really like the idea that there is so much open space for her to run and that I can go see her whenever I want. I'm not saying that local kennels are bad, but I have never seen an animal care facility that is as clean as the Disney kennels. It must be Disney magic.

Realistically, I will have a friend or co-worker watch her while I am away. I know that she will still get a lot of attention and all of the care that she needs. But, I also work with people that take care of animals for a living so I wouldn't be concerned with them taking care of my pets.


Things to keep in mind

  • Your pet will need to be up to date for vaccines (particularly rabies and bordetella)
  • It is a good idea to add your care giver to your authorized to treat list at your vet
  • Make sure that your pet has enough food for the time you will be away
  • Make sure whoever is taking care of your pet has your contact information
  • Make sure that if your pet needs medications that there is enough for the entire time you will be away
  • Your pet will either be mad at you or want to love on you non-stop when you return


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