Sending Your Dog on Holiday? Don't Forget to Pack!

As a dog owner going on holiday, you'll probably find you can't take your four-legged companion with you, since it's just not practical for the majority of destinations. Unless you have a house-sitter or a friend to look after your pooch, that means you're going to need to find a boarding kennel.

The experience, particularly the separation, can be really stressful for some dogs. If it's the first time you've gone away and left your dog, it's probably a source of stress for you, too. To make it easier for the both of you, you'll want to make sure the dog is comfortable and happy, and you can do that more easily by keeping things familiar. Here's a packing list for your dog's own little holiday.


While the boarding kennels will have food on hand, it's often best to pack some of your dog's usual food to be on the safe side. Some animals can have trouble switching foods, which can give them digestive upset. It also helps them to settle in and is particularly important if you have a fussy or unusually nervous dog.

Favourite toy

Although your dog will miss playtime with you, it's not so bad if they have their old, favourite plaything with them. You can also put it in the car or crate with them while you travel to make the journey a bit less traumatic. Don't forget to include some of your dog's favourite treats, too, so the person caring for them can reward them for being good.


Like food, bedding will be provided by the boarder, but it helps dogs to feel less stressed if they have their own. It will smell like them and remind them of home, so they won't get so upset when you're gone.


Don't forget to pack any regular medicine your dog needs to take, as it can be difficult or even impossible for the kennels to get hold of replacements. Although they'll be experienced in caring for dogs, it may help to write out some instructions in how it needs to be given to your dog.

Other familiar items

The more familiar you can make your dog's holiday home, the better. If you're worried about them being really stressed and anxious when you're not there, it may be a good idea to pack an old, worn item of clothing like a t-shirt. The dog can smell your scent on it and bed down next to it so they feel like you're nearby.