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How to Prepare Your Dog for Boarding

Title: How to Prepare Your Dog for Boarding: A Comprehensive Guide


Planning a vacation or trip can be an exciting experience, but if you're a dog owner, you also need to ensure that your furry friend is well taken care of during your absence. Boarding your dog can provide a safe and comfortable environment, giving you peace of mind while you're away. However, it's essential to prepare your dog for boarding to minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition. In this guide, we'll outline some essential steps to help you prepare your dog for boarding.

Research and Choose a Reputable Boarding Facility:

The first step in preparing your dog for boarding is to research and select a reputable boarding facility. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your veterinarian, and read online reviews. Visit the facility in person to ensure it meets your standards for cleanliness, safety, and overall environment. A well-established facility with experienced staff will help ensure your dog's well-being and happiness during their stay.

Start with Shorter Stays:

If your dog has never been boarded before, it's advisable to start with shorter stays before leaving for an extended period. This allows your dog to become familiar with the facility and gradually adjust to being away from home. Begin with an overnight stay or a weekend and gradually increase the duration until your dog feels comfortable staying for a longer period.

Update Vaccinations and Medications:

Before boarding your dog, ensure that all vaccinations are up to date. Check with the boarding facility about their specific vaccination requirements, as they may vary. Additionally, if your dog requires any medications, provide clear instructions to the facility staff and ensure you pack an adequate supply for the duration of the stay.

Familiarize Your Dog with Their Carrier or Crate:

If your dog will be staying in a crate or carrier during their boarding stay, it's crucial to familiarize them with it beforehand. Introduce the crate or carrier gradually, associating it with positive experiences, such as treats and toys. This helps alleviate anxiety and creates a sense of security for your dog during their time at the boarding facility.

Pack Familiar Items:

To make your dog feel more at ease during their boarding stay, pack familiar items from home. These may include their favorite blanket, toys, or a shirt with your scent. Having these items will provide comfort and familiarity, reducing stress and helping your dog adjust more easily to their temporary environment.

Maintain a Regular Routine:

Dogs thrive on routine, and sudden changes can be stressful for them. Provide the boarding facility with a detailed schedule of your dog's daily routine, including feeding times, exercise routines, and any specific instructions. This consistency will help your dog feel more secure and at ease, even in a new environment.

Provide Clear Instructions and Emergency Contact Information:

Ensure that you provide clear instructions to the boarding facility regarding your dog's dietary needs, medication schedule, and any specific requirements. Additionally, provide emergency contact information, including your veterinarian's contact details and an alternate emergency contact. Clear communication will ensure your dog receives appropriate care in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Schedule a Pre-boarding Visit:

If possible, schedule a pre-boarding visit to the facility with your dog. This visit allows your dog to become familiar with the surroundings, meet the staff, and get comfortable in the new environment. It also provides an opportunity for you to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have.


Preparing your dog for boarding is a crucial step in ensuring their comfort and well-being while you're away. By conducting thorough research, choosing a reputable facility, gradually acclimating your dog to boarding, and providing familiar items and routines, you can help minimize stress and create a positive boarding experience for your furry