How to prepare your dog for boarding

Going away and nervous about leaving your pet in kennels? Read our top tips on how to prepare your dog for their stay.

1st February 2017

At some point, whether we like it or not, we’re going to have to leave our furry friend behind while we go away. While there are many options these days, including at-home pet sitting, some can be quite expensive.

Although owners might feel stressed about the idea of leaving their pet with strangers at a dog kennel whilst they are away, there are a few things you can do to make yourself, and your cuddly canine more comfortable.

Before your holiday

Before your pet goes off to boarding, it’s crucial that you ensure their vaccinations are up-to- date, including your Bordetella vaccine, which protects your dog from kennel cough.

You should also do your research to find a suitable kennel for your dog, which provides high standards of care and has good reviews from customers.

If you put anyone, a dog or person, into a new environment, it can take some getting used to. To avoid causing your dog any unnecessary stress, it’s a good idea to take them on a visit to the kennel they’ll be staying at. You can expose your dog to the environment, let them meet the staff that will be taking care of them and get used to the sights and smells of the kennels.

If your pet will be boarding for an extended stay, it might be a good idea to arrange a short overnight stay, to really help them get accustomed to the kennels.

Finally, pack your dog a suitcase! If your dog is on special medication, make sure to pack it and let the kennel staff know how to administer it properly. It would also be a good idea to pack a couple of extra days’ worth of medication in case for any reason, you are delayed in picking your pet up.

If your dog has any dietary requirements, make sure to give the pet boarding staff enough food for your furry friend’s stay. A change in diet can make your pet ill or cause them further stress, so supplying food for the staff is another way to keep your dog’s stay uninterrupted.

Another way to reduce your pet’s stress is to pack an item of your clothing, with your scent on it, for your dog to have in their kennel. This will serve to keep them calm if they start to experience separation anxiety.

During pet boarding

You should make sure the dog boarding kennel staff know about any behaviour your dog exhibits. For example, if your dog doesn’t like to be interrupted when eating, or if they have trouble mixing with smaller dogs.

When you drop your pet off, don’t make a big scene, giving them a long goodbye or shedding tears. It’s best to act nonchalant, as your dog will pick up on your emotions and follow suit, giving the impression that their dog vacation isn’t a big deal. This will help them to complete the transition in a stress-free manner.

If you start to feel anxious about your pet while you’re away, feel free to give the kennel a call to ask how your dog is getting on. The kennels are used to speaking to worried owners, and will be happy to give you an update on your pet’s progress.

When your dog is back from kennels

Once you’re reunited with your pet, it’s a good idea to give them a bath to make sure that any grime, or possible flea and tick infestations are removed. Just like us humans, dogs need a rest after their vacations, so it’s a good idea to let them relax and get back into their usual home routine.

Putting your dog in kennels doesn’t have to be a stressful and guilt-ridden experience. Remember, dogs love meeting other dogs and if handled correctly, there’s no need for them to feel like something bad has happened when you drop them off.

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