Dog Boarding Checklist + What You Need to Bring to Make it Easy

dog Boarding checklist

Once you’ve done your research into the best boarding facility for your dog, met the carers, and prepared your dog, it’s time to get packing. Just like with us when we go on a vacation, there’s a lot to think about – and a lot to potentially forget!

To help you out, I’ve prepared a set of checklists for boarding a dog which is split into things to bring, medical aspects, and the information you will need to provide about you and your dog.

Print this page off and put it next to your dog’s travel bag (yes, they do exist on Amazon!) and you can pack all your need for their boarding stay safe in the knowledge you’ve got it right first time.

Checklists of what to bring when you board your dog

By preparing properly with these checklists, it could make your dog boarding stay so much easier, particularly if you are worried about an anxious pet.

Checklist of things to pack for overnight stays

There are many things your dog will need for a happy and healthy overnight stay. Many of the items below will help your dog feel at home, and hopefully reduce the chances of them developing boarding kennel stress (here’s what that looks like).

Some kennels will supply these items, but for me they are so important to include on a dog’s overnight boarding checklist. Just the smells and familiarity of these home comforts alone will help your dog to settle and not miss you too much!

  1. Blankets and bedding.
  2. An item of clothing that smells like you.
  3. Toys, balls, and chews.
  4. Food and snacks.
  5. Food and water bowls for familiarity.
  6. Collar and leash with tags.

It’s important to pack their own food. A change in their diet whilst away could result in an upset stomach, and ideally you want their routine to be as normal as possible to reduce any anxiety – or even possible depression!

Medical checklist for dog boarding stays

As well as the basics, there are also things you need to tick off from a medical perspective.

The type of health information that kennels require will differ from country and country and even between states, but at the bare minimum, the following medical items should be on your dog’s boarding checklist.

  1. Vaccination certificates with proof they are up to date: the kennel will tell you what vaccinations are required.
  2. Up to date flea and tick treatments: to protect not just your dog, but also the others staying overnight.
  3. Any current medication your dog is on: plus include any instructions on timings and quantity.
  4. Details of any food allergies your dog has: and whether or not you want the kennels to give your dog anything other than his own food.

I’d also recommended packing additional medication that your dog is on. You don’t know if your travel will be delayed, so it’s essential that the boarding kennel has more days of medicine than is needed to cover all eventualities.

Dog boarding drop off checklist of written notes

You should also write a little fact file up on your dog. Most boarding kennels will ask you to do this in advance using their own forms, but it’s still a good idea to write as much as you can down.

The type of things to include on your own dog boarding drop off checklist would be:

  1. Your contact details including where you are staying when away.
  2. An emergency contact number for another person if they can’t get hold of you.
  3. Contact details for your vet.
  4. Your travel times including flight numbers if needed.
  5. Details on your dog’s diet and feeding routine, including any allergies.
  6. Details on your dog’s sleeping and exercise routine.
  7. What your dog’s recall commands are and any other useful words.
  8. What your dog likes and doesn’t like in play.
  9. Whether you are comfortable letting your dog have free play with other dogs.
  10. Any behavioral quirks and characteristics. 

By supplying as much information as you can, the boarding kennel will be able to tailor your dog’s stay to make it as comfortable as possible for them.

How can I make my dog’s boarding easier?

There’s so much more to it than just filling out a boarding checklist and hoping for the best. You can make boarding easier by choosing a kennel carefully, asking the right questions, and preparing your dog for their overnight stays.

I’ve published some helpful guides below which will help you make your dog’s boarding easier.


Knowing what to bring when boarding your dog is usually something that a boarding kennel will supply you far in advance before the first day. But it doesn’t harm to be as prepared and ready as possible.

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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