6 Must-Have Items to Pack for Your Dog’s Boarding Stay

Basset Hound standing next to a blue suitcase with a passport

Be perfectly prepared for boarding your dog with us. Learn the essential items to pack for a fun and safe experience!

Are you planning on boarding your fur-baby soon? Preparing your dog  – and yourself – for a long separation can be just as overwhelming as sending your human kids to grandma’s for a visit. 

That’s why at Dog Day Getaway we have a streamlined, four step online process to make new customer registration quick and easy.

  1. New customers can complete and submit all required forms online to have access to our services and customer portal. 
  2. Once registered, customers can login and upload their dog’s vaccination records or email them to info@dogdaygetaway.com.
  3. Schedule an orientation – a FREE trial that is required to ensure that all dogs at DDG are a good fit for this type of environment prior to a Daycare or Boarding stay. Login or Call (952) 431-9663.
  4. Download the ‘Gingr for Pet Parents’ App. Using this app is optional but makes booking a breeze. Download instructions are available on our homepage.

Making sure your dog is well-prepared for their stay is crucial for their comfort and safety as well as your own peace of mind. 

Get additional tips to decide if your dog is ready for boarding HERE.

Why Pack for Your Dog’s Boarding Stay?

Picture this: your dog is tail-wagging ready to hop in the car for an adventure, but you’re already anxious about leaving them for days. When you arrive at your boarding facility, you realize you’ve forgotten their favorite toy and that special blanket that smells like home. Oh, the horror and howls!

Packing for your dog’s boarding stay isn’t just about throwing some food and a leash into a bag. It’s about ensuring they have everything they need to feel comfortable, safe, and happy while they’re away from you. And trust us, a happy and relaxed dog makes for a happy and relaxed owner!

Ensuring that your pup has all the necessary items in their boarding bag can make a more positive difference in their experience. Packing essential and favorite items can provide a sense of familiarity and security in a new environment.

A puppy has a suitcase packed and ready to check in for a boarding stay.

Essential Items to Pack for Boarding

Before or On the Day of Arrival

1. Contact Information

Let’s start with the basics. Like Dog Day Getaway, most facilities offer in-person or online registration and require certain documents, contracts, and rule acknowledgements to be signed and returned before your pup arrives. 

Emergency contact information for your dog is crucial, especially if you’re somewhere you can’t be reached. It’s important to leave the name and phone number of a relative or friend (different from those you’re traveling with) who can pick up your dog or understands your wishes in case there’s a medical emergency. This will ensure your pup receives the care you would want them to have.

And if you travel often, make sure your emergency contact information is updated for each trip. You want the daycare staff to have all the details about your precious pet and how to get in touch with you, or your contact person, in case of an emergency.

  • Dog tags with updated information: Ensure your dog’s tag has your current phone number.
  • Microchip: Make sure it’s functional and up-to-date.
  • Emergency contact details: A backup contact is important, especially if you may be unreachable for long periods of time.

In addition to the information on file, make sure your pet’s name is written on their boarding bag. We make sure that after orientation, each new pup goes home with their own Dog Day Getaway bag that they can use to bring back with them filled for their boarding stay


2. Vaccination & Health Records

If you haven’t submitted all of the required vaccination updates before your pup’s first day of boarding, make sure to bring it with you. In most cases, boarding facilities require medical records and vaccination records before you can drop them off for the first time.

Our policy at Dog Day Getaway is to reach out to our clients in advance in case we haven’t received them electronically so that our pet parents make sure to bring them before the first day.

Healthcare information is a big part of keeping furry guests healthy and safe. If your pup has any new health issues since their last stay, it’s important to let the staff know, so we know what sort of care is needed moving forward. 

And, as a general rule, make sure your pup is healthy and not showing any signs of illness when you drop them off. 

  • Proof of Vaccinations: Up-to-date Rabies, Distemper, and Bordella are required.
  • Regular Treatment for Heartworms & Fleas/ Ticks: Required for the safety of all dogs.
  • Healthcare Info: In case your pup has any unique health concerns, the boarding staff will need to know how to best meet their needs. Include any changes to your vet’s name & your emergency contact number, too.
  • Special Instructions or Notes: Provide specific instructions on dietary restrictions, or behavioral cues.
    • Dog Day Getaway does offer 1:1 Playtime and Walks for an additional charge, so please let us know if you’d like to sign-up your pup! Or if you are looking for anything specific during these fun add-ons. 

3. Medications and Supplements

If your dog is on any medication or takes supplements, it’s important they continue their regimen. 

  • Bring original container: This makes sure the staff has the full information about the medication for clarification or in case of problems. It also helps protect from heat, moisture, and damage.
  • Detailed Instructions: Exactly how and when to give any meds. And let the staff know why your pet is taking the medication.
  • Feeding Aids: If your pup requires cheese, pill pockets, etc. to take medication, make sure to include that, as well. 

Learn more about the importance of booking your boarding stay in advance. 

On Drop-off Day

4. Food and Treats

Consistency is key when it comes to your dog’s diet. Changing their food suddenly can lead to tummy troubles, and nobody wants that. And remember to label everything. 

  • Regular food: Pack enough for their stay and maybe a little extra, especially for high energy dogs. Pre-portioned servings would be lovely, but written instructions are great, too. 
    • Dog Day Getaway does have food for purchase in case you forget, though. 
    • And if the brand or type of food you are feeding your dog has changed, please let the staff know.
  • Favorite treats: Because every good dog deserves a reward, and your fur baby just might need some extra coaxing or attention.

5. Leash and Collar

A leash and collar are a must for safety. This also keeps all pups and people safe.

  • Collars: At Dog Day Getaway we require breakaway collars only – for safety. We do not allow buckle style or martingale collars. If you do not own one of these, we have some available for purchase. 
  • ID tag: Not required. 
  • Sturdy leash: For entering and exiting the facility safely. Most facilities require dogs to be controlled coming in or out.  

6. Comfort Items

Your dog will feel more at ease with a few familiar items. Think of it as their little piece of home away from home.

  • Favorite toys: These keep your pup engaged and happy when they are alone in their room.
  • Bedding: An average sized blanket from home is great.
    • At Dog Day Getaway we provide Kuranda beds for all the dogs. We also provide a fleece blanket if you forget one. 
    • For sanitary reasons, we don’t allow dog beds.
  • Familiar Items: Something like a T-shirt that smells like you can help reduce uneasiness in a new environment, especially if your dog has separation anxiety.


Optional Items to Enhance Your Dog’s StayA dog is playing with other dogs at an indoor playground at a daycare and boarding facility, Dog Day Getaway.

7. Grooming Supplies

If your pup has a regular grooming routine that helps them calm down or that is necessary because of their coat, you can include their own brush in their boarding bag. 

Also, if your dog has very sensitive skin and needs a special shampoo in case a bath is needed, or requested, during their stay, it’s a good idea to include that, too. And make sure to add that to any special health instructions. 

In most cases, bathing and daily grooming can be requested for an additional charge. 

8. Extra Clothing 

If your dog is a sweater wearer packing a couple of them is a good idea when the weather is especially chilly.  


EXTRAS at Dog Day Getaway 

If you really want your fur-baby to get some extra special pampering while you’re away, we’ve got some awesome treats and activities available. And you can easily sign up for these add-ons through your customer portal. 

  • Stuffed Kong Treats
  • Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Treats
  • Lick Mat
  • Dog Walking
  • 1:1 Playtime
  • Seasonal Treats
    • Summer Ice Cream Cones
    • Christmas & Thanksgiving Dinner


What to Leave at Home

When preparing your dog’s boarding bag, it’s important to consider what items should be left at home.

  • Dog tags: No Apple AirTags or fancy GPS collars because these can easily get lost or damaged. No invisible fence collars or flea and tick collars which can be hazardous in a group of puppy pals.
  • Large, irreplaceable, or easily breakable toys: Can be a hazard or a heartbreak.
  • Large bags of dog food: Just bring a bit more than what’s needed.
  • Food bowls: We’ve got plenty, even slow feeders if your pup needs one. But if your dog requires a special bowl, it’s ok to bring it along.

A dog is sitting in the reception area of a daycare and boarding facility, Dog Day Getaway.Key Takeaways …

Whether it’s your dog’s first time boarding or they’re a seasoned attendee, thoughtful preparation makes all the difference. Packing the right items ensures your furry friend feels at home, stays safe, and has a blast. 

  • Contact Information
  • Updated Healthcare Information and Proof of Vaccination
  • Medications 
  • Food & Treats
  • Leash & Collar
  • Comfort Items

So, pack that bag with love and care, and we’ll take it from there. At Dog Day Getaway, we strive to make your pup’s stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible and can’t wait to see those wagging tails and happy faces!!


If you have any questions about daycare or boarding at Dog Day Getaway or would like to schedule an in person tour, please feel free to Contact Us

In the meantime, please enjoy a virtual tour of Dog Day Getaway!