When you’re going to be away from home for several nights, on a vacation or a business trip, you may need to leave your dog with a kennel or a boarder. Every kennel will have a list of what you’ll need to bring with you when you drop off your dog or cat, and you can always ask for their checklist a few days or even weeks in advance.
Pet Kennel Checklist
Here are the most common items on a checklist for kenneling a dog or cat:
Your emergency contact information: The kennel will need to be able to contact you, your vet, and the nearest pet emergency clinic. They’ll likely already know the pet emergency clinics nearby, but if there’s one you prefer or have dealt with before, you can share this information with the kennel staff.
Proof of vaccinations: Dogs will need proof of rabies, DHLPP (distemper), and Bordetella vaccines. Cats will need proof of rabies and distemper vaccines. Most kennels require written proof of a rabies vaccination, and your pet’s tag won't be enough.
Feline leukemia test results (cats only): Many kennels will have to ensure that your cat doesn’t have feline leukemia, an incurable viral disease, in order to protect all cats in the kennel.
Veterinary records: Some kennels will require your pet’s veterinary records beyond their vaccination records, especially if your pet needs special care.
Medications, treatments, and supplements: Any medications your pet will need while at the kennel, from monthly flea and tick treatments to daily insulin injections, you’ll have to pack up, label, and provide to the kennel. Calming collars or treatments might also be useful, to help your pet adjust to their new temporary surroundings.
Bedding: Your pet will be much happier on their own favorite blanket or bed. The smells of home will help keep them calm and feeling like everything is okay despite the new surroundings.
Toys: Likewise, your pet’s favorite toys will signal to them that the kennel is not such a scary place. Your dog will be able to gnaw their favorite chew toy or your cat can stay amused with their favorite feather wand.
Food: Kennels will feed your pets according to your instructions, wet or dry, prescription diet or regular food, etc. Just be sure to bring enough for the entire time you’ll be away!
Leash, collar, and/or harness: These staples will not only help you get your pet into the kennel, the kennel staff will use your dog’s leash to get them in and out for playtime, and may need your cat’s harness to move them around the kennel.
More Pet Checklists
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Road Trip with a Dog Checklist
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