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Frequently Asked

Vaccine Requirements

What vaccinations do you require for booking a stay or a salon session?


Current Vaccines Required:


Distemper (DHPP, DHLPP, DAPP, etc.)

Bordetella (Canine Cough, Brontiseptica, etc.)


Visit to a veterinarian within the past 12 months

Lyme Vaccine

Current Flea, Tick, and Heartworm preventive regimen


Current Vaccines Required:


FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)


Visit to a veterinarian within the past 12 months

FeLV (Feline Leukemia)

Current Flea & Tick preventive regimen

Other Pets:

We will discuss required and recommended vaccines and veterinary care at the time you make your reservation.

Arrival/Departure Procedures

What are your arrival and departure procedures?

Check in is daily between 3 pm and 5 pm. Check out is from 9 am to 1 pm. Arrival or departures outside these hours may be arranged for an additional fee as availability allows. All dogs must be leashed and all cats must be in carriers for check in and check out.


We ask that only one family at a time (4 human maximum per family) come into our lobby for drop off and pick up. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, masks are required inside our buildings. If you would prefer curbside service, please call us at 252-987-1127 when you arrive, and we will meet you in the parking lot.


Remember that your pet will pick up on any nervousness or anxiety you and your family show. The best way to ensure a smooth drop-off process is to keep it brief and to act upbeat. Have young children or anyone who may become emotional say their “see ya laters” outside, give your dog a potty break, and bring them in to begin their exciting stay with us! If you act happy about the good time they’re about to have, they will feel much more comfortable.


At check out, you and up to 3 additional family members may come into the office. Once we have settled all outstanding balances, we will bring your pet to you for a joy-filled reunion.


Early Check Outs: Should you decide to check your pet out before their scheduled departure date, you will be responsible for the cost of their full stay, and your invoice will not be pro-rated. Please understand that, particularly during peak season, we often have a wait list for boarding space and may have to turn pets away as we are fully booked.  back to top

Out of Hours Procedures
Rates and Discounts
Minimum Stays

What if I'm running late or need to pick my pet up early in the morning?

​No worries! We offer an early drop-off and pick-up period starting at 8:15 am every day, and a late period at 7:30 pm each evening. These services must be arranged in advance and are by appointment only. There is a $25 flat fee per early or late pick-up/drop-off period (i.e. not per dog).  back to top

Do you give tours of your facility?

We are happy to give a tour of our facility to up to two adults maximum if time allows. We are typically not able to offer tours on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months. We are also unable to offer tours during our evening mealtime, from 4-5 pm daily. Feel free to schedule a tour for the week prior to your pet’s check in date! If you are unable to schedule a tour in advance of your pet’s arrival, we have put together this video tour to walk guests through the office, salon, boarding, and play areas your pet will be enjoying during their stay.  back to top

What are your rates? Do you offer discounts for multiple pets?

Our dog boarding rates can be found here. Our cat boarding rates can be found here. Our day boarding rates can be found here.

For salon services, rates will vary based on the size of your pet, their type and length of fur, and whether any special treatments (medicated shampoo, flea shampoo, etc.) are requested or required. Nail trims, which include grinding sharp edges smooth, are $15 per pet.


All salon services are dependent upon your pet's willingness to participate. We will not unnecessarily stress your pet by continuing services if they become overly agitated or attempt to nip or bite.

We discount boarding for multiple dogs from the same family who regularly live in the same household, as long as they are able to board together in the same run. This discount is reflected in our listed prices. Sharing a run is dependent upon spay/neuter status, temperament, and length of stay. Please be sure your dogs will be comfortable and happy sharing a run. If you have any reservations whatsoever, please opt for separate runs. We will place them next to or across from each other, and they will have plenty of play time in the yard together. We reserve the right to separate pets that exhibit stress, aggression, illness, etc. A surcharge will apply for pets that require separation.

We do not discount salon services for multiple-pet groups.  back to top

Do you have minimum stay requirements?

From May 1 through September 30 and during peak holiday weeks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) we have a 3 consecutive night minimum for overnight boarding and a 3 day minimum for day boarding. Shorter stays may be booked within 3 days of arrival, subject to availability. back to top

Shared Runs
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Can my dogs board together? What about my dog and my friend's/sister’s/parents’ dog?

Your dogs can absolutely board together in the same run! We do reserve the right to separate same-family dogs if we feel there is a health or safety issue, and a surcharge will apply for dogs that require separation. If your dogs require different diets, have to separated for feeding, or eat at different paces, please consider boarding them separately. If you have any reservations whatsoever about whether your dogs will get along for their entire stay, please opt to board them separately.

While most dogs do absolutely fantastic in a run with their siblings, sometimes close quarters can cause increased stress, which can lead to snappiness or over-stimulation even in the best of doggie friends. Picture it as going on a long road trip with your kid brother - at some point, one of you may get on the other's nerves!

For this reason, we are unable to board dogs together who do not regularly live together. We will do our best to board your dog and your friend's dog near or across from each other, and we can even let them in our play yard together for fun-filled romps!   back to top

What to Bring

What should I bring with my pet for their stay?

Overnight Boarders are welcome to bring any blankets, beds, toys, or treats that may help them feel more at home. Day Boarders are welcome to bring a blanket or favorite toy, as well as any treats or a prebagged meal they would like to enjoy during the day. For all guests, a t-shirt or towel that smells like Mom and Dad is always appreciated!


Please note that we cannot guarantee any items you provide will leave in the same condition they arrive - we've had our share of beds and toys de-stuffed over the years!


We prefer that you bring your pet’s usual food in a labeled container or large Ziploc bag or pre-measured serving-size bags. Refrigeration is available if needed. Please bring enough food to last your pet’s entire stay, but no more than 2 extra days’ worth due to limited storage capacity. Alternately, we can provide dry or wet food at a cost of $2.50 per dog per day and $1 per cat per day. *Sudden dietary changes can cause gastric upset in pets.


If you pet is on any regular medications or dietary supplements, please bring those as well. Refrigeration is available if needed. Prescription medications must be in their original containers. We are happy to administer most medications and supplements at no additional cost; however, injectable medications, such as insulin, will incur an additional fee.  back to top

What do you provide?

We provide all guests with bedding, bowls, toys, and as many treats as they are allowed to have! For our feline guests, we provide a premium clay litter and private litter box, as well as a personal cardboard scratching pad and a fun ribbon-wand toy.


Our dog bowls slide into special brackets in your dog’s run to prevent them from getting knocked over. We also have slow feeder bowls available for dogs and cats.


We keep a variety of toys of all shapes and sizes clean, sanitized, and ready for your pet to enjoy. Each pet is given private use of toys they are sure to enjoy – no sharing required! From ropes and balls to hard chews and stuffies, we have something for everyone.


Our selection of comfy bedding is checked and cleaned daily, so your pet will always have a soft place to relax. For smaller dogs or dogs with mobility issues, we have elevated cots to help support their joints.


For a small additional cost, we can also provide a stuffed beef bone, stuffed hoof, or other premium chew for your dog!  back to top

What HIPR Provides
Field Trips

Can I take my pet out for the day?

Absolutely! Our hours are from 9 am - 1 pm and 3 pm - 5 pm daily. There is a sign out sheet on the front desk, so please make sure you sign your pet out when you come to pick them up. We ask that you have your pet back by 4:45 pm each day so we can give them dinner and make sure everyone is settled before we leave for our dinner.

Occasionally, we get a dog who does not respond well to being taken out for field trips. It might make them more anxious and less willing to cooperate with us in the kennel. Some dogs get confused with their people dropping them off repeatedly, and may become fearful and "act out". This is rare - most dogs are glad to return to us at the end of their field trip for a treat, some fresh water, and a good nap! If we feel your pet is not a good candidate for continued field trips, we will let you know.

There is plenty to do nearby for pets. The Rodanthe Fishing Pier is pet-friendly, and several local restaurants have pet-friendly outdoor seating available (please call restaurants ahead of time to verify their policies haven't changed). In Avon, Lotsapaws Barkery makes homemade doggie cookies and ice cream. They also carry a variety of other treats, chews, toys, and souvenirs. Off-island, The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo is dog friendly (dogs pay $3 admission as of January 2022), as are the dunes, soundside beach, and trails at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.


Our office is right across the street from the beach, and you are more than welcome to park here and walk over. There are also sound accesses a short drive away if you're looking for calmer waters.  back to top


Do you have any age, size, breed, or other restrictions for boarding?

Our only restriction on age is that we have a 12-week minimum age for dogs and cats to ensure they have begun their vaccinations and had a chance to build some immunity to common ailments. All puppies and kittens 16 weeks and older must have received their rabies vaccine and be current on all other age-appropriate vaccines.

Other than that, we welcome dogs, cats, and other animals of any age, size, breed, or any other descriptor. We proudly host bully breeds, doodles, super seniors (one shih tzu regularly visited us at over 20 years old!), little puppies, giants, toy breeds, shy first-timers, confident regulars, and everyone in between!   back to top


What kind of accommodations will my pet have?

​Your dog or dogs will stay in a private 4' x 6' run inside our air-conditioned kennel. Each run opens onto a private 4' x 8' patio accessible in more temperate weather. The back and sides of each run are solid, while the front is open-link, so your pup can watch and smell other dogs from a safe distance. Dogs who need a little more privacy to help reduce stress get a curtain placed on the front of their run.

Kitties stay in a comfortable kitty condo inside the cat room of our main office. Each condo is approximately 2' x 2' x 2' with multiple levels and hiding spots. Kitties are all given the run of the entire room on a rotating basis, so everyone gets to get out and explore their surroundings at their own pace.

Be sure to check out our video tour for a closer look at these accommodations!   back to top

Dog - Typical Day

What does a typical day look like for dogs?

​We arrive on site by 8 am each day. Each dog or family of dogs gets a quick potty break outside while we straighten up their run and do any necessary cleaning, then it’s back inside for breakfast! We administer medications, refresh water bowls, and change out toys and bedding as necessary during this time as well. After breakfast, each pup gets a longer second trip to the play yard while we do more cleaning and (in warmer weather) get the pool set up for the day. 

Throughout the day, your dog will enjoy 5-7 trips to the yard for potty breaks, as much play time as they want, or just taking in the sights and scents! We never rush anyone, but we monitor them to make sure no one is getting too hot or winded. Play trips are supervised by a member of our staff, and everyone gets a lot of individual attention. We are also constantly monitoring each run for cleanliness and refilling water bowls whenever necessary.


At about 12:30, we go through the kennel and give everyone a chicken ice cube or suitable alternative treat, as well as feeding lunch for any dogs who get that meal and administering any mid-day medications. We leave the office from 1 pm - 2 pm for a break to give everyone some quiet time. At 2 pm, we're back for another round of trips to the yard.

Between 4 pm and 5 pm, we give everyone their dinner and any medications that go with it. We do another round of yard trips, check water bowls and refill as needed, then head out from about 5 pm to about 7 pm.

At about 7 pm, we're back in the office. We do some cleaning inside, then go outside to let everyone have a final potty break for the evening between 7:30 and 8 pm. Everyone gets a treat, we switch the nightlight on, turn up the radio, and head home for the evening with a bunch of quiet and tired pups settling in for a snooze.   back to top


How do dogs react to being boarded?

Most dogs do great! It doesn't take them long to discover that we've always got treats in our pockets and hands ready to dole out the belly rubs! The most common thing that surprises returning guests is how excited their dogs are to come back after not seeing us for a while.

The most common issue we encounter is dietary changes. Some pets who typically wolf down their meals may hold off on eating for the first meal or so. Others, who typically graze all day, may down their entire meal in one sitting. For pets who are reluctant to eat, we will add crumbled up treats, a small spoonful of wet food, or chicken, pork, or beef liver powder to their regular food to entice them to eat. If they need someone to sit with them while they eat or even to hand-feed them, we've done that as well.

Another common issue is GI upset due to either stress or excitement. Some dogs and cats may have softer stools than usual or even diarrhea. When combined with ingesting salt water during beach excursions, this can make for a very upset tummy. For such occasions, we keep chicken and white rice handy to give their digestive system a rest, as well as Pepto and Imodium if necessary. We may suggest adding a probiotic for the remainder of their stay.

Rarely, an anxious dog will rub his or her nose on the wire links, metal bowls, the floor, or their bedding. This can cause a small raw spot to form. In such circumstances, we take extra precautions like wrapping bowls in soft towels and applying liquid bandage and antibacterial ointment to the spot.

We will always communicate with you if your pet is experiencing any negative reactions, particularly prior to administering any medications. We also have a working relationship with a local veterinarian should your pet need medical care. 

Again, most dogs take very well to boarding. With all the new sights, sounds, and smells they encounter, it is a very mentally stimulating experience that keeps them constantly entertained and enriched. Coupled with ample playtime, lots of cuddles, and all the treats they're allowed to have, the overwhelming majority of our guests give us four paws up!  back to top

Dog Boarding Issues
Cat - Typical Day

What does a typical day look like for cats?

We arrive on site by 8 am each day. Each litter box is scooped; water is refreshed; morning meals and medications are given; and bedding is checked for cleanliness and changed out if necessary.


Each cat or kitty family gets free reign of the room for several hours each day to play, stretch, snooze, and explore. Depending on how many feline guests we have, this may range from 4-6 hours at a time to all day long!


Kitties are checked in on frequently, though many of our feline guests prefer more privacy and fewer stranger intrusions. At about 12:30, we check in one final time before we leave for lunch. We are out from 1 pm – 2 pm daily.


Between 4 pm and 5 pm, we give dinner and any necessary medications. We scoop litter boxes again, check and refresh water bowls, then head out from about 5 pm to about 7 pm.


At about 7 pm, we’re back in the office. We return all kitties to their condos for the night, do a little cleaning, and head home for the evening.  back to top

Special Considerations for Cats

Are there any special considerations when boarding cats?

Definitely! Cats tend to adapt to change and stress much more slowly than dogs. They thrive on routine, predictability, and security, and being in a strange environment with strange people can be scary for a kitty.


When first adjusting to the boarding environment, cats must be given peace and quiet. The amount of time it takes for each cat to feel comfortable – both in the kitty room and with us – will vary from guest to guest. Some kitties warm up right away and are excited to get love, play time, and other attention from our staff. Others take a few days, but when they see we mean them no harm, they’re happy to interact or at least look down at us from a high shelf with ambivalence.


A small minority of cats do not handle boarding well at all. Despite spending all week with us, they may never feel comfortable enough to get out of that “fight or flight or freeze” zone. Some of these kitties end up hiding when we come in the room, so we will set out a few treats and be as quiet and brief as possible to give them their space. Others react aggressively and do not allow us to approach them, in which case they may not be able to leave their condo during their stay, as we are not able to safely get them back in.


This is not abnormal, and it does not mean you have a naughty kitty – just a nervous one.


Our goal is to make each pet’s stay as fun, enjoyable, and stress-free as possible. Whether that means tons of interactive play, plenty of petting and love, or just privacy and space, we will always take each pet’s preferences into account for all interactions.  back to top


How much time does my dog get to spend outside?

​Each dog (or family of dogs) gets approximately 5-7 trips to our large play yard each and every day. No one is ever rushed. If they want to sniff and explore the yard on their own, we'll let them. If they'd rather play fetch or tug or just enjoy being lavished with love and attention, we're happy to oblige.

We are constantly monitoring your pet for comfort and safety, as well; if we feel it is too hot or cold for your dog to safely stay outside, we will ask them to come inside.

In addition to play yard time, each dog run has a private 4' x 8' patio that is accessible in more temperate weather. In less enjoyable weather, we frequently bring dogs up to the main office one at a time for some individual playtime.  back to top

Outside Time

Why don't you do group play?

​The vast majority of our guests are with us for a week or less, meaning we don't get time to know them as well as we would like. Because of that, we do not have an established "pack" whose dynamics we can safely predict. Introducing a group of unfamiliar dogs together in an unfamiliar setting with humans who haven’t had time to get to know each dog individually leaves a lot of room for accidents to happen, which is the last thing we or you want!


Second, we simply do not have a staff large enough to safely monitor multiple play groups. Keeping our staff small allows us to keep our prices low to make your pet's stay more affordable - all with the extra value of giving your pet more individual attention than they would otherwise receive! 


Finally, by not offering group play, we are able to accommodate a wider variety of pets. From bouncy puppies who haven't learned good play manners yet to persnickety seniors who need a little more help getting around; from giant breeds to teeny toy breeds; and from social butterflies to more challenging cases who like their space, we gladly accept pets of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments!

It is our immense pleasure to get to know your pet on a one-on-one level!  back to top

Group Play

Do you offer training?

​At this time, we do not offer training. We highly recommend the Outer Banks Dog Club, located in Nags Head behind Petsmart, for local clients.

For visitors, if you are working with your pet on basic obedience, potty training, or other simple tasks, we are happy to continue your work while your pet is with us to the best of our abilities.   back to top

Off-Site Walks

Tell me about the walks you offer.

​Weather permitting, your dog or dogs will enjoy an approximately 30-minute stroll on the beach across from our office. During the summer months, we walk first thing in the morning before the air or sand become too hot; in cooler weather, we tend to take our walks around midday.

With baggies, treats, and camera in hand, we'll make sure your doggie has the time of their life. If you've got a digger or an investigator, we let them explore to their heart's content, focusing more on time than distance covered. For water-loving pups, weather permitting, we get close enough for the waves to lap at their feet. All dogs are leashed at all times.

For dogs who may not enjoy the length or excitement of a beach walk, we also offer more leisurely walks down the quiet, scenic gravel lane adjacent to our facility. These relaxed walks take us back toward the soundside and last approximately 10-15 minutes.  back to top

Dietary Supplemnts

What are the probiotic and CBD supplements you offer?

​Our tasty probiotic supplements are designed for dogs and can be given as a treat or on top of their meals. Daily probiotics may aid your dog's digestion and ease excitement-related GI issues that are common in boarding environments. Probiotics may also help your dog's digestive health during or after a course of antibiotics. Available for $1 per dog, per day.

We are proud to carry HempWorx CBD products specifically formulated for your dog. We carry these both in our retail section and for daily administration. Available either as a bacon-flavored oil to add to your dog's meals or as a tasty cookie-style treat, CBD may help alleviate anxiety, chronic pain from inflammation, and stimulate appetite in dogs who may be reluctant to eat in unfamiliar settings. Available for $2.50 per dog, per day.  back to top


My pet is on a special diet and/or daily medication. Is that okay?

​Of course! We will never give your dog anything to eat that they are not allowed to have. Whether it's a sensitive tummy, an allergy, the need to lose a few pounds, or another medical issue requiring special meals or dietary restrictions, we will follow your instructions always.

We have complementary refrigeration available for all guests for both food and medication.

As for medicines, we are glad to give your pet whatever medication it needs on the schedule you need us to follow. Oral and topical medications, including ear drops and eye drops, are administered at no additional cost. We can add your pet's pills to a pill pocket, peanut butter, slice of hot dog, or piece of cheese. We are also able to manually give pills to most pups if they will not take them with a treat.

Injectable medications, like insulin, can be given at a cost of $5 per day.

Please bring all medications in their original containers.  back to top

Special Diets & Medications

My pet is an escape artist/a nervous wreck/a timid rescue. How will you keep them safe, secure, and comfortable?

​We get a lot of first-time boarders, a lot of pets with separation anxiety, and a lot of rescues who want so badly to be loved, but are just a bit shy and need some extra TLC. And we understand how difficult and scary it can be – for them and you – to leave your beloved family member in a strange place with unfamiliar people.


​Our play yard is surrounded by an 8-foot fence, and we have special covered runs to accommodate escape artists. As for pups with separation anxiety, nervousness, and shyness, our experience has shown us that showering them with treats, respecting their personal space, and speaking calmly and sweetly to them goes a long way. Before long, they are seeking out our hands for scritches and climbing in our laps for cuddle time!


We will never force our presence or physical contact with a nervous dog, but we will do everything in our power to encourage them.  back to top

Special Needs Pups

Is anyone on site overnight?

​No, there is not anyone on site from 8 pm - 8 am. We do, however, have a monitored security and fire safety system. Our neighbors have also never had an overnight noise complaint. In fact, when no humans are in the kennel, it is very quiet and calm


The biggest issue we may encounter when we arrive in the morning is that someone has had a potty accident overnight. In that case, we simply clean their run, their bedding, and if necessary, them.  back to top

How can I check on my pet during their stay?

In addition to our daily posts on Facebook, which are typically up by 6 pm but may be later depending on several factors, you are welcome to email us, send us a Facebook Message, or give us a call at 252-987-1127 at any time. Please note that we are not always able to respond to emails, messages, or answer calls immediately, but that we will get back with you in a timely manner. If we do not answer the phone, please leave a voicemail, as we are likely either helping another customer or tending to our guests.  back to top

Overnight Staffing
Checking In

Why does my pet have fewer pictures online than another pet?

Some pets prefer not to be hounded by the pawparazzi, and that’s okay! This isn’t to say they are not absolutely adorable, or that they aren’t photogenic, but some pets completely shut down when a camera is pointed their way. We don’t want to put a picture online that makes it look like your pet is not having the time of their life, because they are! Cats, in particular, often do not appreciate having a camera pointed their way, and they are not afraid to let us know by “giving us the tail”!  back to top

I have a predawn charter fishing/horseback riding excursion booked and want to do day boarding. Can you accommodate that?

We are not able to accommodate a day boarding arrival as early as you would need to drop off in order to catch your boat or meet your horseback guide. We recommend dropping your pet off the afternoon prior to your early-morning adventure so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep and wake rested and ready for the day! We’ll keep your pet entertained for the day, and (schedule permitting), you can pick them up in the afternoon when your boat reaches the dock or your ride gets back to the stable.  back to top

Early Trip Day Boarding
Local Things to Do

What are some nearby things to do that my pets can’t join me for?

Charter fishing out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Teach’s Lair Marina, or Hatteras Landing Marina are exciting adventures we can whole-heartedly recommend.


Charlie’s Trivillage Watersports here in Rodanthe offers jet skis, pontoon and tiki boats, skiffs, and kayaks for rentals to take in the sights on the scenic and typically calm Pamlico Sound.


Equine Adventures in Buxton offers guided rides through ancient maritime forests to the beach, the perfect family-friendly excursion.


Enjoy a day trip to Corolla and book a wild horse tour through Wild Horse Adventure Tours. Of all the tour operators offering wild horse adventures, Wild Horse Adventure Tours is the only one who partners with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, the non-profit who manages the herd in Corolla.


Head south and catch the ferry to Ocracoke Island to spend your day walking or bike riding through the quiet village, shopping, relaxing on one of the best beaches in the United States, and retracing the steps of the infamous Blackbeard the Pirate.


The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is sure to be a hit with all ages. Featuring a fun touch tank, playful otters, the Sea Turtle Assistance & Rehabilitation center, and fish of all sorts, everyone will get a thrill from this trip.


From flightseeing to exploring historic sites to shopping and dining and so much more, the Outer Banks is one of the best vacation spots in the United States.  back to top

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