The warmer weather his come, and it is time to hit the road or take to the skies for that much-needed summer vacation. However, there may be a hitch in your plans. Who is going to care for your dog while you are away?
There are several options for pet owners in this situation. You could 1) not go on your vacation, 2) hire someone to dog sit, or 3) book a dog boarding stay. Either way, you and your pet are going to miss each other, but there are benefits to boarding kennels. In addition to round-the-clock care, boarding kennels will make sure your dog gets a lot of play time, plenty of love, a nice comfortable place to rest and sleep, and socialization with other dogs.
Dog Boarding Made Easy
Many pet owners, especially those who have not had to leave their pets before, may have some hesitation. How do you know your dog is ready to be on his own for a few days? While every dog’s reaction to being away from its family is different, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your dog for boarding.
To even be considered for a boarding kennel, your dog will need to be fully vaccinated. This is not only to protect your dog from common illnesses, but to keep them from spreading throughout the facility. Make sure you plan ahead, as vaccines can sometimes take days, even weeks, to be effective. Some of the vaccinations your dog will need include shots for kennel cough, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, distemper, and hepatitis.
Updated Pet IDs
No one wants to think about their dog being lost. But it can happen, and you should be prepared. The best way to ensure that you can be reunited with your furry friend is provide up-to-date information for your dog’s microchip and id tag. Make sure the tags are associated with your most current phone number and address information.
Socialize Your Pet
While many boarding kennels offer single-room options for their clients, there is a chance your dog may be around other dogs that are being cared for there. You want to make sure that your dog can be on their best behavior, especially when they are meeting dogs and people for the first time. If your dog has never been introduced to other dogs outside of your home, it may be a good idea to do some form of training to ensure they can socialize properly. Even if your dog has been socialized, a refresher course may be a good idea to instill those rules in their head even while you are away.
Dropping Your Dog off for Boarding
Now that the basics for getting your dog into a boarding kennel are done, let’s focus on the drop off.
If this if the first time you and your dog are going to be separated for longer than a day, you are likely going to be emotional. All kinds of questions may run through your head about how your dog is going to handle being away from you. But this is the time you need to be strongest. As you know, dogs are very in tune with their human’s feelings and emotions. If you are feeling anxious and stressed, you are likely to pass that on to your dog. Even as you build up to the day of the drop off, try to do things calmly and quietly so that your dog feels at ease. It may also help to give your dog plenty of play time so that they are ready to get comfortable and take a nap once you are gone.
Keep it Quick
Goodbyes can be hard. If you feel yourself getting emotional during the check-in process, keep the goodbye short. Give your dog a hug, tell them you will see them later and to be good, and walk away. If your dog were to see you upset and crying, it could cause them stress. The same goes for the pick-up. Try to keep your emotions in check, especially if dog boarding is something you are hoping to get your pet used to.
Despite your best effort, there may still be some anxiety for your dog. They will be in new surroundings, meeting new dogs and people, and that can result in your dog becoming too excited or agitated. This can cause issues with digestion in some dogs. Therefore, it is important not to overfeed your pet before their boarding stay. While giving them more food is a way to show them love and comfort, it can be a problem for your dog when you are away.
Is your dog accustomed to being near you at night while they sleep? For many dogs, this brings comfort. While you are away, it could cause some destress. If your dog does sleep with you, or near you, consider taking some time before they are boarded to get them used to sleep by themselves.
Make it a Familiar Environment
Dogs rely on routine. Being in a new place can be difficult for a dog, especially without the reassurance that everything is ok from their owner. But you can make their home-away-from-home a lot more comfortable with by giving them a few familiar things. Consider dropping off a toy, maybe one of their favorite snacks, and a comfort item, like a blanket or pillow.