If the idea of leaving your dog at a boarding kennel makes you anxious, you’re not alone. Handing your beloved pet into the care of others and worrying about how they will deal with the separation can be stressful. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to prepare yourself and your dog for what can be, if handled carefully, a calm or even enjoyable experience.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Planning ahead for the day when you need to leave your dog at a kennel will save you from scrambling when the time is short. Call ahead or stop by to find out about:
- Vaccination requirements – In addition to ensuring that your dog’s regular vaccinations are up to date, ask about any additional vaccines that may be required including bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough. Since vaccinating your dog will not provide him with instant immunity, ask how far in advance he should be immunized prior to his planned stay.
- Medication protocols – If your dog requires any sort of regular medication, ensure that the staff is capable of storing and administering it properly.
- Drop-off and pick-up times – Be certain that you are clear on the hours of operation. While many boarding facilities have staff available day and night to care for their canine guests, that doesn’t mean the lobby always open.
Once you’ve gathered the details of the kennel’s requirements, be forthcoming in providing specifics about your pet, such as how they typically react to strangers and how they behave around other dogs. Exchanging as much information as possible and getting the necessities squared away in advance will reduce your anxiety, allowing you to focus on keeping your dog calm and happy at check-in.
Schedule a Doggy Daycare Meet and Greet
Perhaps the best way to reassure yourself that your dog will be fine in your absence is to schedule a short doggy daycare session at a time when there is no pressure. Many dogs love socializing so much that doggy daycare becomes a welcomed regular activity for them even when boarding is unnecessary. The ability to play, socialize and interact with other dogs in a safely monitored environment is a great perk for canines who otherwise have few opportunities to interact freely with others of their kind. If you keep the first session short so that your dog does not become overly stimulated or exhausted, you might find that they genuinely look forward to the days when they get to play and hang out with their friends.
Comforts of Home
When the play session has ended and your dog takes a break in their private room, they might like a few reminders of home to comfort them in their down time. Ask the kennel staff what items are allowed, such as:
Consider also bringing an old article of clothing with your scent on it to remind them that you’re not far away.
Your dog is a member of your family, and they look at you for guidance and reassurance. Call ahead and schedule a play session today, then confidently show them that doggy daycare is nothing to fear. Soon it will become a pleasurable outing that they will regard with joyful anticipation.