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A Dog's Vacation Packing List

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If you're planning to vacation at a boarding kennel while your pet human is away, you may be a little anxious. Vacationing on your own can be stressful for a dog, especially the first few times, but there are steps you can take to make the transition as easy as possible. You should always tour the boarding kennel in advance, so you know it'll be a good fit. Then, before you take a long summer vacation there, it's a good idea to try the kennel out with a short weekend getaway. But before even a short kennel stay you have a lot of preparation to do. You'll need to brush up on your manners, make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, and do some packing! Here are seven essentials for your vacation packing list.

1. Collar and leash

Ideally you'll be wearing your collar when you leave, but don't forget your favorite leash! And in case of emergency, your collar should always have shiny new ID tags that can be easily read.

2. Your toys

You may not be able to take every toy you own, so try to pick a half-dozen or so of your favorites. An ideal selection of toys should include a few you like to snuggle with or chew on when you're alone and a few that you prefer for when you have company. 

3. Your vaccination records

Vaccinations should always be up-to-date, and you may want to consider getting some additional ones about two weeks before the vacation. This is just a good precaution for when you're around lots of other dogs. If you have any prescribed medication you should pack that too, of course. Make sure the instructions for your medication are clear and easy to follow!

4. Contact information

Three contacts are essential: your vet, your human, and a human friend (ideally one who lives nearby). Your boarding kennel needs to be able to connect with these people in case of emergency, or if they can't find something you brought, such as the instructions for your medication.

5. Your food

Having the same type of food you're used to can help you adjust to new surroundings. Ask your human to put each day's portion (if it's dry food) in an individual container so nobody can get confused. For canned food, your human can write instructions on the can with a permanent marker.

6. Your human's smell

You and your human will miss each other like crazy while you're apart! Ask if you can borrow an old t-shirt that has his or her smell on it. If either of you suffers from separation anxiety this can be very soothing. Optionally, you can rub all over your human pet's clothes before leaving to show your love too! 

7. Your bed

Many boarding kennels provide beds for rent, but it's always more comfortable to bring your own. Your human can help you pack your bed and any comfort blankets you normally sleep with.

Once you've had your vet checkup and vaccinations, practiced your manners, and packed your bag, you're all set! Make sure to give your human a big kiss before you leave for your vacation at a boarding kennel like Alpha K-9 Kennels.