Whether you are going on a weekend getaway or a 10-day cruise, you need to pack not just for you, but for your furry friend. Failing to pack the right items can negatively impact your dog’s health and enjoyment of his time with a dog boarder. Read on to learn what to pack in a dog bag when boarding your dog.
Focus on Familiar Objects and Scents
You might think that boarding your dog is a good time to buy your dog a nice, new blanket or toys.
But that’s the last thing you should do. When dogs are away from their owners and their home, they might feel scared, angry or anxious.
You can help your dog feel more comfortable and settled by packing beloved and familiar items in your doggy bag.
Keep in mind that dogs experience the world through their nose while humans do this through their eyes. So when your dog has items with your scent, it activates a part of the brain that is also triggered when they do things they enjoy.
In other words, just smelling home makes your dog happy. And when you are boarding dogs overnight, they could use all the extra happiness hormones they can get to help them cope. So, as you pack your doggy choose familiar objects and scents instead of new and exciting objects.
What to Pack in your Dog Bag when Boarding your Dog
When it comes to putting together an overnight dog boarding bag, think practical and familiar. Here are the items you’ll need to leave with your dog boarder.
Dog Bag Essential = Identification
Your pup’s identification is one of the most important things you can have. A collar with a tag that states your name, phone number and address as well as your dog’s name is a must.
A microchip is also wise. But if you are going on a 10-day cruise, you won’t be able to come to claim your dog if he ends up at a pound or vet clinic. So make sure you include emergency contact information. A friend or family member is probably your best choice because they likely know your dog well.
You should make sure your dog boarder has your vet’s name, telephone number, and address also. That way, the boarder can get your dog’s health records just in case. Remember, the more information you leave, the better the dog kennel staff can react in case of an emergency.
A Scented Blanket or Sweater
No, we don’t mean a perfume or beef-flavored item of clothing. Pack something that has your individual scent on it for your four-legged friend to sleep with. If you can, pack a sweater you’ve worn and haven’t laundered yet so that there is lots of scent on it.
This can make a huge difference for your pup if he or she feels homesick.
Favorite Snacks and Toys
If your dog will be staying somewhere other than home, he or she will need toys to keep busy during the day.
Hopefully, your kennel will offer fun activities for your dog. But it’s always nice to have your favorite things with you on an overnight trip.
Pack a few long-lasting chewing and teething bones to keep a puppy busy. His or her favorite ball or squeak toy will help your pup make friends with the humans or other dogs that might be there. Plus, these things will help your doggy stay on a somewhat normal schedule.
Do you normally give your dog a treat at a specific time? Let the boarder know so that they can do the same thing. Normalcy helps ease the anxiety of a new place for your dog.
Most dog daycares ask you to send in a leash for walking your dog. But it’s smart to pack two just in case one gets lost while your dog is staying.
If your pup wears a harness, make sure to bring that. Don’t forget an extra roll of poop bags.
Enough Food (and a Little Extra)
Some kennels supply their own food. But a sudden change in food can cause tummy upset for your dog. Your best bet is to pack your dog’s usual food.
Make sure you pack more food than you will need. Remember, flights can be delayed or stays might need to be extended. Make sure your dog has enough food in case the stay is longer than expected. Bring your pet’s food and water bowl, too! Your pup is used to his or her own stuff and is more likely to eat and drink if the vessels are familiar.
Medicines and Supplements
If your dog takes daily medication or supplements, make sure to pack those in the doggy bag. Write out exactly how much your dog boarding staff should give your pup and how often.
Remember, that being in a new place and around other dogs might aggravate an existing condition in your furry friend. It’s a good idea to pack emergency meds that your dog might need, just in case.
Final Word on Packing a Dog Bag
There you have it! The essential items to pack in a doggy bag when you are leaving Fido with an overnight dog boarder.
Your pup will miss you no matter what, but if you pack well, he or she will have a more enjoyable time and return to you happy and healthy.
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