Dog boarding is often a difficult choice when you have to go out of town or need a place for her to stay while you work. Nobody likes to leave their pets for very long. It isn’t just hard on pet parents. It can be stressful for your dog, as well. Sometimes we forget to pack for our pet when we are busy packing for ourselves, especially when we are nervous about leaving our pet in the first place. However, if your dog is going to be at a boarding facility or the home of a friend, there are some things you should pack to keep him comfortable and ready for any emergency that may come up while you are gone. Here are a few things you should pack for your dog’s stay:
Names and Phone Numbers
The sitter needs to know who to contact if there is an emergency for your pet. When you have to leave town, you should give the boarders a name and phone number for a contact who is close by. Ask family or a friend if they would be willing to be there in case your dog needs extra care. Include a contact number for your vet, as well. Your pet’s vet can provide care or any required health records. If you know of local emergency vet clinics, give the kennel a list of those, too. A list will make it easy for caregivers to find a place you have already approved. Leaving as much information as you can will make it easier for the kennel to get the right kind of help if they need to do so.
Your Pet’s Identification
Every owner should have identification for their dog regardless of whether they are with you or someone else. Information should be current. Your dog’s collar should have a tag. If she doesn’t have a microchip, think about getting one. This is an extra precaution in case of a lost collar or tags. The tag and the microchip should provide your dog’s name and all of your information, such as name, number, and address.
Her favorite blanket or a shirt are good ideas. Your scent and the familiarity the item provides may help them feel more at ease. All of these are easy to pack in a bag. The soft comfort can make a big difference in her stress levels. If she has a shirt she likes to wear, that will be even better. Many dogs love to cuddle up in a blanket. If your baby likes to burrow, the ability to burrow in a blanket covered in the scent of a home will help keep her warm and help her sleep.
Pet Snacks and Favorite Toy
Most dogs have a favorite type of snack and packing their favorite goodies will help them deal with the change in environment. It will set some of the same routines she has at home, especially if you give her the treats at a particular time of day and ask her care provider to keep to the schedule. This will keep things more familiar and comfortable. Sending along her favorite toy will do the same thing. A toy, such as a ball or a frisbee, will encourage her to play, and she may feel more sociable and want to make some doggy friends. A chew toy can help keep her occupied, and a favorite stuffed animal will give her something to cuddle within your absence.
Her Typical Food
Many dog boarding facilities have food available for the pets, but if they do not have the type your pup usually eats, mealtime can be more stressful, especially if other foods upset her stomach. You should do the same when she stays at a friend’s house. Packing more food than she might usually eat is a wise idea as well. If there are any delays in your trip, such as weather delays at the airport or changes in your plans that extend your stay, leaving extra food will help keep her satisfied. If you are gone for a while, a sudden change in her food routine can mean even more of a tummy upset than the stress over missing you.