Taking a break occasionally is something that all pet owners want to do, whether it’s a ten-day trip to Europe, or a couple of days spent camping. Thanks to the proliferation of facilities offering dog boarding, it’s now easier than ever to do that. And it’s just as important to make sure you have everything packed for your dogs when taking them to the local kennel, as it is to make sure your own bags have everything you need.
While you are on vacation having fun, you want your dog to be stress-free and comfortable in your absence, whether it’s his first time in a dog boarding facility, or he’s an old hand. Treats, bedding, and other essential supplies are typically included in the costs of your boarding fees, although to ensure your dog gets as much as possible out of the experience, it’s acceptable for pet owners to bring along other items too. Most dogs will benefit from having the following items packed for them during their stay.
An upset stomach and a refusal to eat can be the unwanted results of trying to switch your dog’s brand of dog food, and for that reason, most dog owners feed their dog one or two types they know he likes. It’s important to keep everything as familiar as you can in the unfamiliar surroundings of a dog boarding facility, especially as your pet may already be anxious. Use small plastic bags of food that you can leave with the boarding staff, and these can be marked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to leave enough food to cover the length of your trip, and make sure the amounts are similar to those you would normally feed him. It may be an indication your dog is anxious or stressed if he doesn’t eat all the pre-determined amounts of food every day.
2) Supplements and Medication
Be sure to supply the staff at the dog boarding facility appropriate and clear instructions on any medication your dog takes, as well as the correct dosages. You can include the medication or supplements in the pre-packaged bags of food if they need to be taken along with food. Many dogs take medicine of some sort, so the facility shouldn’t mind doing this.
You may want to pack some emergency medication just in case it’s needed during your absence. An existing condition in your dog can be worsened by simply being in close proximity to other dogs or by being in an unfamiliar setting.
Most dogs are lost without their favorite toys, and you may want to pack a few of them for him to take to the dog boarding facility, despite the fact that they’ll probably have their own toys there.
4) A Reminder of Home
You will probably miss the company of your dog almost as much as he will miss you during his stay in the kennel, and a reminder of home can be an easy and effective way to make the parting a little easier. A tee-shirt, blanket, or even an old sock are some possible things to include when you pack for your dog, as they will retain your scent and remind him of home. Your dog is much more likely to enjoy a stress-free, relaxed, and enjoyable stay if he has one or more of these reminders.
5) A Leash or Two
It’s recommended to send two leashes with your pet, just in case one gets lost or destroyed. Most dog boarding facilities will require that you send at least one leash with your pet.
6) Paperwork and Documents
Rule acknowledgment forms, a contract, emergency contact numbers for yourself, as well as medical records and vaccination histories are all paperwork that the boarding kennel will probably need. Make sure you have all of this gathered together and submitted when you drop your pet off; it can be stressful trying to get this together at the last minute or knowing you’ve forgotten something. If a form isn’t clear, ask the staff for clarification.
7) Other Items
Put anything into your dog’s bag that you think he might appreciate or need to make his stay more enjoyable; after all, nobody knows his likes and needs better than you. He may have a certain treat he can’t resist, a kong that he loves, or certain water or food bowl that he seems to prefer. It can make a big difference in how relaxed and comfortable his stay is.
Your dog’s comfort is important to us!
Just like you, we want your dog to be as comfortable and as happy as possible, and we don’t want you to have to worry about him while you’re on vacation. You can help us to make his stay enjoyable by following the tips above on what to pack.