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Dog Boarding Checklist

March 1 2024

Are you preparing to go on a trip soon? Whether you’re headed off on the trip of a lifetime or just meeting colleagues for a work trip, you’ll probably need to leave your canine buddy behind. While some people may make arrangements for a pet sitter to go to their homes, boarding is the best option in many cases. It can get hectic getting ready for a trip! However, you may need to add a few things to your to-do list, as you’ll also need to get your canine buddy prepared. We can help! Read on for a dog boarding checklist from your Rialto, CA kennel.

Make Sure Fido Is Wearing ID Tags

This is just a good piece of advice in general. Fido should be wearing a collar with tags. This is required by law in many places. It can also become a crucial safety link if your pet were to go missing, whether by escaping or perhaps during an emergency, regardless of whether Fido is at home or at the kennel. Your canine pal should also be microchipped.

Make sure that the information on both forms of identification is up-to-date and correct. As far as the tag goes, we would recommend including a note that a reward would be offered.

Pack Medication

Does your canine pal need to take any medication? This should be one of the first things you pack. With some medications, skipping even one dose can be dangerous. Make sure that the bottle is labeled clearly, with your pet’s name and the daily dosage and schedule.

Do you need to get your pet’s prescription filled soon? We would probably recommend getting this done before you leave. Include a few days’ extra, just in case it’s needed.

Vaccination Records

Any decent kennel will require having this on file before you leave town. However, it may be a good idea to double check and make sure they have everything they need. This is especially important if your canine buddy is due or coming due for his vaccines.

The AAHA defines core vaccines as vaccines that are recommended for all pooches, regardless of their age, health, or lifestyle, unless of course there is a medical problem that could cause potential complications. For dogs, the typical core vaccines include canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, and rabies.

Then we have the noncore vaccines. Recommendations for these will vary based on Fido’s location, lifestyle, and health. Some examples of these include canine Bordetella vaccine, canine Lyme vaccine, canine influenza vaccine, Canine leptospirosis vaccine, and the Western diamondback rattlesnake toxoid

Your Rialto, CA kennel will most likely require that Fido be up to date with the canine Bordetella vaccine, and perhaps the canine influenza vaccine. Make sure that you’re clear on what is needed.


Most kennels allow you to bring Fido’s food. This is ideal, as dietary changes can upset that furry tummy. You may be asked to divide kibble portions up and place them in individual ziplock plastic bags. (Canned food, of course, can stay in the can.) Adding labels may or may not be required, but is always a good idea anyway.

Don’t forget that sudden changes in diet can upset Fido’s furry belly. If you’re going to be switching foods, make sure your pet has several days to adjust before your trip. Otherwise, wait until you get back again.


Kennels all vary a bit on their exact requirements. For example, here at Valley Pet Hotel, we require that clients have an account with Pawpartner. (Tip: you may want to download the app for your phone.) We also need to have a credit card on file. Look over the paperwork and client website. Don’t hesitate to call with any questions.

Emergency Contacts

Hopefully, your emergency contacts will never get a phone call from your kennel. However, in this—and all other areas of pet care—it’s best to err on the side of caution. We require two contacts, in case one can’t be reached.

We really can’t overstate the importance of choosing someone you trust with emergency decisions about your pet. Make sure to give your contacts a heads-up as well. If they aren’t going to be available on your chosen dates, reach out to your next choice. You may need to get work numbers from them as well as cell phones.

The kennel should also have the number for your veterinary clinic. If you go to a different clinic for emergencies, include that information as well.

Look Over The Information

As mentioned before, every kennel runs a bit differently. Take a few minutes to look over any paperwork. You may also want to take a look at the website. (Our information page on dog boarding can be found here.)

Keep in mind that you may in some cases be asked to list preferences about certain things. Do you want to be called for any minor questions, or only in an emergency? Make sure you are clear on all the variables.

Check Into The Dog Boarding Kennel’s Extras

Many pet hotels offer various extras. These may include things like baths, extra walks, extra playtime, or extra treats, to name a few. Look over the options, and see what works for you. Fido will be just fine without the ‘pupgrades’, but he certainly won’t mind a few additional doggy luxuries during his stay.


With bedding, you’ll want to check and see what the kennel requirements are. Some places do prefer to use their own. This is often so they can ensure things have been properly cleaned and disinfected, to help prevent the spread of fleas, viruses, and the like.

Comfort Items

Fido may be much more comfortable with a few things from home, such as  a favorite toy and/or a piece of clothing you’ve worn. Ask for specific information on what you can and cannot bring.

Consider Doggie Daycare

Do you have a friendly, sociable pooch? Fido may enjoy some time at daycare. Our canine companions are quite sociable, and often enjoy being able to run and play with their buddies. This is also a great option for puppies, as it helps with socialization. If you aren’t sure about daycare or its benefits, ask your vet and/or the pet hotel.


Fido will need a harness or collar and at least one leash. Make sure to grab these items when you drop him off.

Confirm Dates/Times

It’s never a bad idea to double check and confirm that you have the right dates booked. You’ll also want to make sure that you are clear on the hours when the kennel will be open for drop-off and pickups. This goes double if you are leaving or returning on a weekend. The kennel staff would of course come in to care for their furry wards, but that doesn’t mean the office is open.

Written Instructions

Is your canine companion allergic to chicken? Is Fido reactive around other dogs, or maybe frightened of storms? Be sure to provide any relevant information, both verbally and in writing.

Conclusion: Boarding your dog is a great way to ensure that he stays safe, sound, and cared for while you are away. This handy checklist goes over some of the things you’ll need to do or look into before you leave.

Schedule Boarding at your Rialto, CA Dog Boarding Kennel

Do you have questions about boarding your dog? Do you need to book a slot for your pet? Please do not hesitate to contact us. As your Rialto, CA dog boarding kennel, we are here to help!

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