Preparations You Need to Do Before Boarding Your Dog

Preparations You Need to Do Before Boarding Your Dog

As much as you might want to take your dog with you on all of your travels, it’s not an option you always have. The journey could be too long and arduous for your canine buddy to handle, and they may feel super stressed while in transit. Additionally, it may be difficult to find pet-friendly accommodations at your destination. So for situations like this, your best choice may be to book your dog at a pet boarding facility.

Boarding kennels and pet hotels offer a secure place for your pet to stay when you are away from home for an extended period. These facilities have the space, equipment, and people to ensure that your dog is in excellent care while you’re away. Some may even provide your dog with basic comforts like a customizable dog blanket, a dog bed, and dog treats to help your canine buddy feel at ease during their stay.

However, you might still feel unsure about leaving your precious pup in the care of other people. You may also worry about your dog feeling scared and anxious in this new environment. These are all normal feelings to have. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help your pet stay calm and give yourself peace of mind throughout the entire process.

Research and Tour Your Dog Boarding Facility Options

You have to be thorough when you’re looking for a pet boarding facility. After all, you’ll be leaving your dog in their care, so you want to make sure that the kennel or pet hotel adheres to industry standards. Even though doing a quick online search can give you the information you need, it might not be enough to convince you whether or not boarding your dog at the facility is worth it. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a physical visit of the boarding facilities you’re considering as well. This way, you can see for yourself how well the staff maintains a clean, safe, secure, and comfortable facility for their pet guests. You also get to observe how the caretakers approach and treat the dogs in their care.  

A good pet boarding facility typically has securely fenced exercise areas and designated sleeping areas that have comfortable, non-slip surfaces. They should also have fresh drinking water, great ventilation, temperature control, and other features that provide dogs with comfort. It’s also good to leave your dog at a kennel that requires pet owners to have their dogs fully vaccinated and not exhibit any signs of illness before they can be brought in. This can assure you that your pet won’t catch any diseases from the other animals.

Pack Items to Make Your Dog Comfortable During Their Stay

Even if the boarding facility you’ve chosen is known for providing dogs with the best staycation experience, your dog might not feel comfortable in their new surroundings. If your canine is boarding for the first time, their unfamiliarity with the pet hotel can cause them distress. To help your dog stay calm and less anxious about your absence, you can bring things from home that they might find comforting.

Your dog associates you and their home with safety, so packing things that look and smell familiar can help them feel more settled. Things that your canine frequently uses, like their bed and favorite dog toys, can make them feel more relaxed while at the boarding kennel. You can also leave one of your unwashed shirts with them, so they can be comforted by having your scent nearby.

Take Your Dog to the Vet Before Boarding Them

It’s best to visit the veterinarian a few weeks before you plan to bring your dog to the pet hotel. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and have them checked to see if they are healthy enough to be boarded. Most boarding kennels and pet hotels won’t accept dogs who are sick and missing vaccinations. Making sure that your canine is healthy won’t only ensure their well-being but the safety of the other pets in the boarding facility as well.

Consider Socialization Training for Your Dog

Your dog will be around animals and may even get playtime with some of the other dogs. Additionally, they’ll be interacting with the facility’s caretakers and may encounter other pet owners. If your dog isn’t comfortable being around other people and dogs, they can get stressed and develop a fear of the boarding kennel. That’s why it’s a good idea to start taking them to socialization training as early as possible.

Socialization teaches your canine how to interact with other dogs and people. It helps them build up the confidence and independence they need to be comfortable being left in the kennel. If your dog is properly socialized, they may even enjoy the experience of being with other dogs and people.

Stay Calm During Your Parting

Leaving your beloved pet at a boarding facility can also be a difficult experience for you. After all, your dog is your best friend, so it’s hard to imagine not having them with you during your travels. It’s normal to feel anxious, especially when it’s your first time boarding your dog. However, it’s important to remain as calm as possible in the days leading up to the start of their stay. If you’re too worried, your dog can pick up on your feelings of concern and start feeling nervous as well.

On the day you take your dog to the pet hotel or boarding facility, try not to make a big deal of it. You want the drop-off to be as fast and smooth as possible so that your pet doesn’t notice anything amiss. By staying relaxed, your canine buddy will understand that everything will be alright.


Pet boarding facilities are great for when you need a clean, safe, and comfortable place to leave your dog for a few days. Despite knowing this, leaving your pet in a new environment and under the care of strangers can fill you with worry and feel like a tough challenge. With the help of these tips, however, both you and your dog can be better prepared for the day of boarding, so you can focus on your trip while your fur baby can enjoy their stay at the facility.