What to pack for your pet sitter or pet boarder

When you travel (unfortunately) your pet can’t always come with you. Whether you hire a pet sitter or board them, here’s how you should prepare to give them the best possible experience.

Pet care options

Cross-country flights and grandmothers with fine china collections mean pets aren’t always ideal travel companions. If you’re wondering where to take your dog while you’re on vacation or how to find a companion for your cat on your weekend business trip, you have several options:

Pet sitting

A pet sitter allows your pet to be in its own home when you are away. You can hire a daily sitter who stops by several times a day to walk and feed you as needed, or an in-home sitter who lives in your home with your pet while you’re gone. . Pet sitting is a great option for pets with anxiety issues and those who don’t get along well with other animals.


What to pack for your pet sitter or pet boarder

Pet Boarding

Boarding your dog or cat means they stay outside your home when you’re not around. This could be in a boarding kennel or other pet boarding facility, an overnight doggy daycare, a private indoor pet boarding facility in someone else’s home, or a more luxurious option such as a pet hotel. Pet boarding can be great for highly social pets and may include additional services such as a pet groomer. Traditional pet boarding may not be the best option for pets with behavioral problems or pets who are not crate trained.

You may be able to find a trusted friend or family member who already knows your pet to take over the responsibility of pet sitting or pet boarding in your absence! If that doesn’t work for you, there are professionals ready to help.

There are many sitting and boarding services out there, and looking for accredited providers can help ensure you’re getting someone you can trust. The National Pet Association can help you find a reputable pet sitter, and the Professional Animal Care Certification Council has a directory of certified pet care facilities where you can leave your dog while on vacation near you.

Once you’ve found where to leave your dog while you’re pet sitting to keep your dog or your cat happy while you’re on vacation, it’s onto phase two: preparing everything your cat needs for their stay.

Read this article – Packing For Your Pet’s Boarding Week (Or Weekend) Away!

What to pack for your pet sitter or pet boarder

What to always pack

Whether you decide sitting or boarding is appropriate for your pet, there are a few essentials you should always pack for your dog or cat. Make sure you have the following items to bring for your pet sitter or to bring your pet to boarding accommodation:


Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a current ID – even better, have them microchipped too for added protection!
Care Tips: Does Your Pet Have Special Needs? Whether it’s tips on how to prepare their food, things that cause them anxiety, or what song they should listen to before they go to sleep, write it all down to their caregiver.

Emergency contact information

Include phone numbers to contact your pet’s veterinarian and a trusted friend if you can’t be reached.


Do they need to take daily supplements or medications? Make sure their caregiver has enough for their entire stay and knows how to use them.

Medical records

Provide your pet’s caregivers with all the details of their current vaccinations, medications, allergies and medical conditions, as well as their pet insurance information (if you have one).

What to pack for your pet sitter or pet boarder

Good collar/belt and harness

If your pet needs to be walked outside, make sure they have a well-fitting collar or leash that won’t slip and a harness they’re comfortable using.

Read this article – Is my cat happy? 15 points to look for

What to prepare for your pet

You might not think you have a lot of work to do to prepare for a pet since your pet will be staying in your home with all their favorite things, but you need to prepare your home for your pet and the incoming sitter. And it can live in your absence. Here’s what to prepare and pack for your dog sitter or cat sitter:

  • Guide to your home: Provide your pet sitter with everything you need to care for your pet (food, medicine, grooming supplies, cleaning products, etc.) and instructions on how to navigate your home (alarm systems, turn off). – restricts where they sleep, etc.).
  • A guide to your pet: What is a typical day in the life of your pet like? Give your sitter a list of your cat or dog’s favorite walks, enrichment activities, and more and when they like to do them. The more they can stick to their normal routine, the better.
  • Pet-tested home: Your pet may have generally good manners, but things feel different when you’re not home and they’re left alone for long periods of time. Limit their access to food, valuables, and any sensitive areas of the home.
  • Stocked Supplies: Have a healthy supply of everything your pet needs for everyday life (food, litter, medicine, etc.) and items your sitter doesn’t need (shampoo). , first aid supplies, etc.)
  • Things to keep them busy: Make sure your sitter knows things to keep your pet happy from your cat’s favorite toy when your pet is bored or anxious. A long-lasting chew will fill your dog’s afternoon.

Read this article – Do cats have eyelashes? Interesting answer!

What to pack for pet boarding

When you’re trying to make your cat or dog feel comfortable away from home, you’ll have to pack the house a little to take them with you. The good news is that boarding facilities are well-stocked with all kinds of pet care supplies, from toys to grooming, making your packing list a breeze. Here’s what to pack for dog boarding and cat boarding:

Pet food: Your pet will be happiest if they eat their regular food while they’re away (and their tummies too), so be sure to pack dog food for boarding. Prepare the amount of food you need for the entire duration of your cat or dog’s stay. For example, if you’re boarding your dog for a week, pack eight days’ worth of food.
Pet Treats: You can’t go wrong by including a few of their favorite treats, especially if they have any dietary restrictions that prevent them from choosing a boarder’s home treat.
Their favorite things: You don’t have to bring their entire toy box, but if your pet has a favorite toy, bed, or blanket that comforts them, let them bring it!

What to pack for your pet sitter or pet boarder

Read this article – Is My Cat Happy? 10 Signs to Look For

Check all the boxes on this packing list and you’ll be well on your way to getting your dog ready for boarding or your cat comfortable in their pet sitter. Parting with your best friend can be difficult for both of you, but with the right preparation, you’ll all be able to enjoy your vacation without worry.

PS If you decide you don’t want to leave your dog behind on your vacation, check out our tips for bringing your dog or cat on your travels!

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