There are many reasons why you may need to board your pet. Perhaps you'll be going out of town and need someone to watch your dog while you're away, or maybe you're hosting a special dinner party at your home and want to keep your dog out of the house. Either way, scheduling a reservation for your pet a local dog boarding facility can be a great option. Before you board your dog for the first time, however, there are a few things you should take care of.

Schedule a Meet and Greet

No two boarding facilities are exactly alike, so it's important to find one you feel is a good fit for your dog. For example, if your dog is used to spending a lot of time outdoors, then finding a facility with indoor/outdoor runs may help your dog stay occupied and content while you're away. Schedule meet and greets with a potential boarding facility so you can see the kennels in person and get a chance to meet the staff that will be caring for your canine companion!

Check Vaccination Records

Any reputable boarding facility will also require that your dog be up-to-date on all vaccinations, including those for rabies and kennel cough. You will need to provide proof of this either before your pet's reservation or at the time of check-in, so be sure to review your dog's vaccination records and schedule any vaccines that your pet may be due for prior to his or her boarding stay.

Get Your Pet on a Flea Preventative

While most boarding facilities will provide all dogs with one dose of an oral flea medication upon their arrival, it's still a good idea to play it safe and have your dog on a flea prevention medication before boarding him or her. This will give you added peace of mind—and added protection for your dog. 

Pack Food and Familiar Toys

Your boarding facility will likely provide food, but dogs don't always do well with switching to new foods. To minimize digestive upset, pack your dog's own food from home. If permitted, you might also want to pack a couple of small toys or your dog's favorite blanket to remind him or her of home. A little familiarity can go a long way in helping your pet feel more comfortable in new surroundings.

Follow these steps before your dog's boarding reservation, and your pet will be good to go!