How to Prepare Your Dog Before the First Time Boarding

How to Prepare Your Dog Before the First Time Boarding

An upcoming business trip or vacation means you have no choice but to leave your best fur friend in a boarding kennel. You’ve found one that you think will be perfect and made a reservation. Now you need to do everything you can to help your dog prepare for their stay at the boarding kennel.


You’re sending your dog to a boarding kennel because you want them to be safe while you’re away. The best way to ensure that they remain healthy is making sure they’re up to date on all of their vaccinations. As long as your dog is fully vaccinated, you don’t have to worry about them getting sick.

The basic vaccinations your dog should have before their stay at a boarding kennel are:

  • Bordetella
  • Rabies

Check with your veterinarian to see if there are any additional vaccinations they think your dog should have. In some areas, veterinarians recommend flu, lepto, and lyme disease vaccinations.

If your dog suffers from allergies that prevent them from having the vaccinations, reach out to the boarding kennel and inquire about the measures they’ll take to make sure your dog doesn’t come into contact with another dog that could potentially make them sick.

While you’re at the vet, have them scan your dog and make sure all the information on the microchip is up to date. A current microchip improves the odds of you being reunited with your dog if the worst does happen and they get loose while at the boarding kennel.

Do a Trial Run

Arrange for your dog to spend a day or two at the boarding kennel on a trial basis. This is a great way to help your dog familiarize themselves with the surroundings and the people who will be handling them while you’re away. Best of all, the trial run teaches your dog that they’re not being abandoned and that you’ll eventually come back for them.

When you pick your dog up from the trial run, take a few minutes to talk to the kennel staff. Discuss how your dog handled their short stay and ask if there is anything you can do to help them be better prepared for the longer stay.

Try to Get Your Dog on the Boarding Kennel’s Schedule

The boarding kennel likely has a routine that includes set feeding and exercise periods. Find out when these times are and try to set things up so your schedule mirrors theirs. Aligning the two schedules makes it easier for your dog to adjust to boarding kennel life and decreases the odds of them losing their appetite.

Gather Their Things

You want your dog to feel as comfortable as possible while they’re at the boarding kennel. The best way to do this is by sending them some luggage. The luggage you send should include one or two favorite toys, their meals, collar/leash, and their favorite bed. It doesn’t matter

Stay Calm

Stay as calm as possible on the day you’re bringing your dog to the boarding kennel. If you get emotional, your dog will start to worry. A dog that is stressed when they arrive at the boarding kennel will have a difficult time adjusting.

The good news is that you’re free to get as emotional as you want when you pick your dog up. Use that emotion to make your dog feel loved. Set aside plenty of time to play and cuddle with your pet which helps them adjust to life after a boarding kennel.

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