3 min read

9 Ways to Prep Your Pup for a Dog Boarding Service



If you’ve ever boarded your dog before, you know getting them packed and out the door can be a whirlwind. You want to make sure you have everything your fur-baby needs, and many times, things get left behind. Fortunately, we’re here to help!

Below are some helpful tips to make sure your next dog boarding appointment goes without a hitch. As with any advice we offer you, feel free to use some or all at your discretion!

Bring your own pet food

We can’t stress this enough. Bringing your pet's food will not only make things easier on your boarder, but it can also prevent stomach upset from unfamiliar food. Moreover, some pets refuse to eat while their parents are away, and having their usual food may make them feel at home.

Discuss your pet’s needs BEFORE you schedule the appointment

Boarders aren’t doggy mind readers, regardless of how good they are at what they do. Tell your boarder everything from your dog’s mealtime preferences to health issues like mobility problems. Knowing precisely what your dog needs will help the boarder better care for your dog.

Write down detailed instructions

Leave your boarder with detailed instructions for your pet’s feeding and walking schedules. Write down exactly how much your dog eats and how often, as well as their regular walking times. Keeping your pup on the same schedule will relieve stress for your fur-baby and their boarder.

Leave multiple forms of contact

The last thing you want is to lose your phone AND contact with your dog boarder. Prevent this by exchanging multiple forms of contact, like a phone number, email address, and social media messaging handles. It’s also a good idea to leave contact info for a local friend or family member if there is an emergency while you’re away.

Bring some of Fido’s favorite things

Boarding can be stressful for dogs, but leaving Fido with a few of their favorite toys can prevent homesickness. Even dogs who don’t like toys can find comfort in a blanket that smells like their humans. Avoid bringing large items, like beds or things you don’t want damaged, since separation anxiety can cause some dogs to become destructive.

Don’t forget Fido’s daily and emergency medications

Make sure you pack any medicines your fur-baby might need while you’re away. Pill sorters are helpful for dogs who require more than one medication. Keep emergency medications separate from daily meds, and make sure to specify when and how to administer these should Fido need them.

If your dog needs to take their meds on an empty stomach or at a certain time, ask your dog boarder to set a reminder for the times when Fido’s pills are due.

Be honest about aggression and behavioral issues

We know it can be awkward to disclose your pup's bad habits and behaviors to pet care professionals. But your dog boarder needs to know if your dog is aggressive or reactive for their own safety. Knowing beforehand can prevent problems or injuries during the boarding appointment.

Get your dog the kennel cough vaccine

Before boarding Fido, it's a good idea to have them vaccinated against canine infectious respiratory disease (also known as kennel cough). This illness is spread quickly from dog to dog in close proximity, like in boarding facilities. What's more, the virus can live on surfaces for 2 full days, so your pet could be exposed even if an infected dog isn't present.

Compare dog boarders to find affordable overnight pet care near you

Dog boarding can get expensive fast, especially if you book at a high-end pet resort. Before booking your pup's stay at a local dog boarding facility, take some time to shop around and compare your options.

When you book a dog boarding service through the Wag! app, you can contact your boarder and create your pup's care plan in one convenient place. Plus, booking a dog boarding service with Wag! is a "grrreat" way to save money, with boardings starting as low as $39 per night on average.

Looking for a local dog boarder? Download the Wag! app to find experienced and professional dog boarders near you.

Comments (1)

Anna Collins


I'm going on a business trip for 3 days, and I need professional help to take care of my dog while I'm away. Thanks for letting me know that bringing my own pet food can make things easier for the boarder since there are pets that refuse to eat if

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