Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Individual Certification Program Overview

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Fear Free Boarding & Daycare Individual Certification Program

Boarding and daycare environments are often fraught with potential stressors for dogs and cats. Pets are away from home, their family is gone, unfamiliar people and animals surround them, and their daily sleep/wake schedule is thrown off. But there are several steps you can take, from setting up the environment itself to adjusting the way in which you interact with dogs and cats, that can help reduce stress and increase calm and safety for both pets and staff. 

The Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Individual Certification Program will help you ensure you are thoughtful in every interaction with boarding and daycare pets—from greetings to kennel introductions to overexuberance or shyness. You’ll learn what a Fear Free boarding and daycare environment looks like, feels like, sounds like, and smells like. And you’ll get practical advice on what to do in the moment if a dog or cat struggles when you try to give them needed medications or care, drags you into the play yard, or refuses to enter or leave their kennel. 

The purchase of the Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Individual Certification Program provides you with a Fear Free membership, which requires an annual renewal fee and completion of additional annual CE to maintain your membership.

The Fear Free Boarding & Daycare Individual Certification Program is a wonderful educational addition to the pet care service industry. Boarding & daycare facilities will immediately see value in this certification program as staff learns to identify and mitigate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. The pet owner will be assured that their pets are in the care of professionals who are knowledgeable about the physical and emotional needs of each individual pet. Boarding & daycare facilities will be proud to be considered as “best in care” providers as they promote the wellbeing of their staff and the pets in their care. IBPSA is proud to be part of the Fear Free programs. —Carmen Rustenbeck, CEO and Founder, International Boarding & Pet Services Association

This course was reviewed by the IBPSA (International Boarding & Pet Services Association) and PACCC (Professional Animal Care Certification Council).

This course has been approved by the PACCC for 6 CEU

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Environment

  • Prevent stress-induced illnesses, such as diarrhea. Recognize and respond to even subtle signs of stress in boarding and daycare pets early on before it worsens and potentially leads to stress-induced illnesses.
  • Elevate the kennel experience. Transform the kennel into a Fear Free retreat that is both enjoyable and calm, even for shy or stressed pets who are reluctant to go into their kennel.
  • Deliver medications and care safely and calmly. Eliminate the struggle with pets who need medications during their stay and do not want you to administer them, those who need a quick cleaning, or those who require medical attention.
  • Enhance enrichment to help calm pets. Understand why enrichment is important for reducing animals’ stress and learn what an enriched, Fear Free environment looks like, sounds like, smells like, and feels like.
  • Break the cycle of behavior problems. Empower boarding and daycare staff to help with common issues like jumping up, gate crashing, or pulling on leash in just a few minutes a day without needing to bring on additional staff.
  • Reduce injuries. With less stress comes fewer injuries to both staff members and the pets in daycare/group play environments.
  • Consider the pet’s point of view. Simple changes to your approach can make a huge difference in pets’ stress levels. Ensure that you are always interacting with pets in a way that enhances their comfort.
  • Quickly bond clients to your business. Fear Free is the gold standard of care, and your clients will notice that you went the extra mile to ensure their pet’s stay was as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
  • Become integrated into the Fear Free ecosystem of professionals. Forge mutually beneficial relationships with Fear Free Certified veterinarians, trainers, groomers, and more.
  • Differentiate yourself with the power of international marketing and PR. The Fear Free movement is rapidly sweeping through all facets of the pet care industry. Be a part of that movement.

To successfully complete the program and attain certification as a Fear Free boarding & daycare provider, all qualified registrants must:

  • Pass each online module with a score of 80 percent or higher.
  • Sign the Fear Free Pledge, a commitment to uphold a humane, emotionally protective code of conduct and ethical standard for pet care and professionalism.

This certification program requires an annual membership renewal fee of $49. In order to keep your certification and membership active, 2 hours of Fear Free-specific Continuing Education (CE) needs to be completed annually. CE can be easily recorded in our convenient CE Tracker within your account.

With every annual renewal, you will have access to a number of complimentary courses available for Fear Free Certified professionals to facilitate the CE requirement.

Maintaining Fear Free Certification also requires remaining in good standing with the Fear Free organization by upholding ethical standards and codes of conduct.

Registering for the Fear Free Boarding & Daycare Individual Certification Program and renewing your membership is simple:


Valid for individuals with an active Fear Free membership purchasing an additional membership for themselves.


$119 for existing Fear Free members
$229 for new members


2-9 people: $219/person
10-29 people: $209/person
30+ people: Email us at wags@fearfreepets.com to discuss special pricing.



2 hours of Fear Free CE completed annually

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