Creature Comforts: 5 Tips for Packing a Puppy Bag when You Board Your Dog

Comforts from home will help your pup adjust to boarding Comforts from home will help your pup adjust to boarding For pet owners, deciding to take a vacation can be a daunting undertaking. Unless you have family who are ready, willing, and able to pitch in, and take care of your pet until you get back home, the decision can be unnerving. Resolving to board your dog is something that many owners are not willing to do. Some owners decide to leave their pet home and hire a pet-sitter instead. (Here are 5 things you need to know before you hire one.) However, if you are not comfortable with traditional boarding, you might want to check out DogVacay, a website that sets up owners and host families for a fee, in which the host families will treat your dog as you do (with no cages or kennels involved.)

If you decide that boarding is for you and your dog, once you find loving people who will care for your dog while you're away, the next thing to do is pack up some necessities (as well as comfort items) to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Related: 10 adorable photos of dogs giving their best "puppy eyes"

We asked DogVacay for some tips on what to pack in your pup's bag to prepare for his/her boarding experience:

1. Your dog's usual food: Some dogs get an upset stomach if you change their chow, so be sure to pack plenty of your dog's usual food for his stay. For dry food, a Tupperware container works best and you can leave wet food in the can. Just make sure you have packed enough for your entire stay, and perhaps a little bit extra just in case.

2. Any medications or supplements that Fido may need. New environments may trigger existing ailments, so even if your pet doesn't need his medication all the time, it's better to have it on hand to be safe. And be certain to include instructions on how to administer the medication, from vet directions to your own "what works."

3. Instructions: Take the time to write a short list of any special instructions you may have for your pet host regarding feeding times, portions for food, the phone number of your local vet, and where you can be reached etc. And as always make sure Fido's collar fits him properly and that all tags are up-to-date with your cell phone number and address.

4. Pack Two Leashes: It's always a good idea to pack more than one leash just in case your host loses one. You can pack a short leash and one that has an extendable line for areas where your dog might want to get some exercise.

5. Favorites: You definitely want to take the time to pack your dog's bed and favorite toys so that they have some comforts from home; you might want to avoid squeaky toys just so Fido doesn't drive his weekend host crazy. An old t-shirt that smells like you can also make for a great cuddle toy for your dog while you are apart.

By Danielle Sullivan
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