8 Tips for Boarding Your Dog For The First Time

You intend to go on a trip, but you’re worried about boarding your dog for the first time. They have always been your friend, and your worries are justified. Not all pet owners prefer dog boarding. But what if it’s the only option available? 

You have every reason to book 1 or 2 months in advance!

If you are considering boarding your dog for the first time, these tips will make sure your dog has a stress-free staycation:

1. Assessment of the Facility

Make an appointment and visit the facility alone. Check if they meet initial standards. If you lack experience, tag along with your dog’s vet service provider. 

Check on the things like decor, toys, and snacks that make your dog happy; this is about them, not you. You should know your dog’s likes and plan to have them in place.

2. Start with Doggy Daycare before Dog Boarding

Bringing your dog to daycare before boarding will help in several ways. Daycare lets you know if your dog likes the place or not. Your dog will also:

  • Adjust to the new routine (especially pups)
  • Get used to the staff and other dogs
  • Know that you are coming back to pick them

Boarding a reactive dog is also challenging as they wouldn’t love having other dogs around them. In this case, you may use the Pet Grail Bubble Theory Dog training theory to calm your reactive dog. Once the dog is confident and used to the place, it can stay there.

3. Be Honest About Your Dog’s Needs and Behaviour

When your dog is at the facility, the staff will rely on the information and guides you share. 

Whether your dog doesn’t like to be touched in certain places, is reactive to leashes, or doesn’t like its collar held, inform the facility staff. 

4. Exchange Contact Information With the Facility Support

Leave the correct contact information on file at the dog facility. While many people don’t like it because of email marketing, inform them of your concerns and let them know what can prompt a call. 

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If your destination limits phone access, determine how the staff can access you. You may even use a family member who understands your dog. You will want to know whether your dog is restless or has run out of medication. So, give out the correct contact information.

5. Book for Your Dog on Time

While finding a perfect destination for your vacation can be breathtaking, finding out a perfect dog boarding facility for the first time is even worse. Some seasons like summer, are packed with travels, and facilities are fully booked. Ensure you secure a spot early enough and pay a deposit for a reservation to avoid last-minute embarrassment.

Below is a FOX5 news video on when all slots were booked and why you should secure a reservation early enough.

6. State Your Needs to the Staff

After successfully preparing your dog for boarding for the first time, you intend to drop them off. But, you should take the extra mile and inform the staff about your expectations. 

If you need daily updates and frequent photos sent to your email, let them know. The staff will be better placed and well-informed when serving your dog and meeting your needs. If you don’t say anything, you may end up disappointed and missing your furry friend.

7. Ensure Your Dog’s Vaccination Is Up to Date and Well Documented

Vaccines cut the risk of disease transmission and keep dogs safe. As well, boarding facilities are required by the state to file vaccination records of their dogs. 

There is not even a single law-abiding facility that will enroll your dog if it is not vaccinated. Don’t miss any vaccination appointments with your vet, and update records in time. Afterward, drop a copy of the vaccination records at the boarding kennel facility. Below is our puppy vaccine schedule for reference.

puppy vaccine schedule

8. Pack Your Pet’s Favourite Toys and Snacks

If your dog has access to the toys, snacks, and blankets they are used to, they will be less afraid. You may also leave a cloth with your smell as your dog will miss you. When it smells like you, your dog can cuddle it and feel comfortable like they do when they lay on you.

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Do not pack everything that your dog owns. Many increase the chances of losing them, and the staff will not be responsible. If your dog is sensitive to food, its snacks will help avoid stomach upsets. Safely pack the food and write a guide on what your dog should eat and when.

Wrap Up on Boarding Your Dog for the First Time

Parting with your dog can be stressful, but if you follow these tips for boarding your dog for the first time, you will have a better experience. Now, you can enjoy your vacation knowing your dog is safe and happy.

Photo of author


Enock Baraka


Enock Baraka is an award-winning freelance writer and pet enthusiast with 5+ years of experience in copywriting and website content creation. Before he started writing, Enock got a diploma in journalism and a degree in Education Science with IT. After that, he enrolled in a Digital Marketing Course at Coursera just to get what it takes to be an SEO. He then did a handful of courses that have seen him work with several content mills, businesses, and website owners. He now writes full-time. Enock contributes to multi-niche blogs that cover pets, cannabis, vapes, and any topic you would think of in multi-media. He has a dog named Jayden and is an uncle to every dog in the neighbourhood. In his free time, he loves creating fresh content for his audience. You can also Hire me.

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