When you head off on vacation, packing everything you’ll need for the trip is an essential step. You’ll need toiletries, clothes, shoes, electronics… And since going on vacation often means boarding our dogs, we have one more thing to make sure we don’t forget: packing everything our pups will need while we’re away.
Here are the things you’ll need to pack for Fido before dropping him off at the boarding facility. Make a checklist to be sure you remember everything!
1. The documents your doggy daycare requires.
Most often, these documents include:
- Completing appropriate forms
- A registered account
- Proof of vaccination
- Medical records
If you have questions about the specific documents your boarding facility requires, check their website or give them a call.
Make sure your pet’s identification info is up to date before you leave them at the boarding facility. Your pup’s collar should include an ID tag that has your phone number, at the least. Having your dog microchipped and checking that the contact information is accurate is also a great idea.
3. Emergency contact information.
If you’re going out of town, make sure to give the boarding facility emergency contact information. This could include:
- The name and phone number of a local friend or family member who can care for your dog if there’s an emergency at the boarding facility.
- Your regular veterinarian’s name, address, and phone number.
- A local emergency vet’s name, address, and phone number.
- A way to reach you in an emergency.
The more information you give the boarding facility, the better they’ll be able to react to an emergency.
4. A reminder of home.
You love your pets, and they love you, so leave them something to remind them of home while you’re away. This could be a familiar blanket or a shirt that smells like you. They’ll sleep with it at night, which can help them feel calm and stress-free instead of homesick.
5. Their favorite snacks and toys.
Make sure to pack one or two of your dog’s favorite toys. Though the boarding facility is likely well-stocked, your pup will appreciate having something familiar with them. The toys will also provide a distraction if they ever start feeling homesick during their stay.
You can also pack your dog’s favorite treats and chew toys, like a Kong or a Bento, and ask the doggy daycare to give them the treat at the same time of day that you usually give them the treat. That little bit of routine will help your dog to feel more comfortable.
6. Food… and extra food.
If you’ve ever suddenly changed the type of food you feed to your dog, you’re probably well-acquainted with the negative effects an abrupt change in diet can cause. Upset stomach, burping, gas, runny poops. It isn’t fun for you or your dog, so make sure you pack enough of your dog’s usual food to last the length of their stay—and then pack some extra, just in case. You can even separate each meal into labeled baggies to make it easier for the staff to feed or to ensure your dog is getting the exact amount of food they’re used to during meal times.
7. Any medicines and supplements.
Many dogs have been prescribed medications by their vets or get supplements with their food. Common examples include salmon oil, yogurt, pumpkin, and other natural supplements that promote healthy joints and good digestion. Include the appropriate number of doses for your dog’s stay, and be sure to include instructions for the staff.
For example, if your dog needs daily medication, will they eat it outright, or do they prefer it with a little peanut butter?
8. A collar and at least one leash.
Make sure you drop your dog off with their collar and at least one leash. Sending an extra is always a good idea, just in case the first gets lost or chewed on.
Are You Forgetting Anything?
If you want to make doubly sure that you’re packing everything your pup will need for their boarding stay, give the boarding facility a call and talk to a staff member about what they require and what other dog owners typically pack when they drop their dogs off for an extended stay.