How to Prepare Your Pet for Their Dog Boarding Stay
If your pet has never been boarded while you were away, or you are worried that your dog is not prepared to be boarded during your absence, you can help them to be ready for this experience in advance. Pets that have been properly prepared for the dog boarding experience often don’t mind being boarded, and some of them even have a lot of fun while they are staying at the boarding facility while their owners are away.
Preparation is key to helping your dog to understand that they are just going to spend some time at the boarding facility, and then you will come back for them. This kind of preparation can be helpful even for dogs who are already boarded frequently. Dogs always miss their owners when they are boarded, but you can help prevent anxiety and other problems that might come up while you are gone with these tips.
Consider a Trial Boarding Visit
If your pet has never stayed at the boarding facility that you are planning to send them to or they have never been boarded at all, you should consider a trial boarding visit. Most boarding locations will offer you the chance to drop your dog off for the weekend or overnight to see how things go. At least 24 hours is required to give your dog time to adjust, so just bringing them by for a few hours will not test the waters adequately.
Adjust Your Dog’s Routines at Home
You need to be sure that your dog will not panic if they are sleeping alone or if they are away from their friends that they live with in your home. You will need to start changing your dog’s routine to help them get used to the conditions at the boarding facility before you leave. This will help your pet to be comfortable when they are staying at the boarding facility, and it will ease the transition from your home to the boarding facility.
If your dog has never slept alone or they have never spent time in a crate, you might need to make sure that you teach them about this experience. You should also be sure to try and get your dog used to the feeding schedule that the boarder uses so that your dog is not upset when they are not fed at the same time.
Provide Things from Home
Most pets appreciate having toys or a blanket that smells like home in their kennel with them while they are boarded. You should ask the boarding facility which items they allow to be brought with your pet for their visit. Some clinic-style locations cannot allow towels or other objects from home to remain unwashed during the visit, but toys are usually allowed.
Your dog will be more confident that you are coming back if they can smell you on the things in their kennel, and they will feel more at home if they have items like their favorite toys or their bed with them.
Drop off in the Morning
Most boarding facilities will have set times of day when they expect pets to be dropped off. Usually, these are in the morning or at night. You should consider having your pet dropped off in the morning so that they have time to play, adjust and feel less worried before they need to sleep at night. This can help a lot for high-energy dogs since they will likely get to play with other pets during the day if they are dropped off in the morning.
Dropping your pet off at night can also make them quite worried since nighttime is when they spend the most time with you. You can avoid this kind of worry by dropping your pet off in the morning and allowing them time to adjust.
Get Your Dog Vaccinated
Your dog will need to be up to date on their vaccines to be boarded. You can get a list of the vaccines that your pet needs to have current to be boarded, and you should make sure that you take care of this well before you drop them off for boarding. Pets might feel sluggish after being vaccinated, and you will also want to be sure that you follow the vaccine timelines that the boarding facility has set out.
Vaccinating your dog too close to when they need to arrive at the boarding facility can lead to a pet that is scared and doesn’t feel well during your absence, and it might also make it impossible for your pet to interact with the other pets during their stay.
Boarding Your Pet Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
While it can be hard to limit some of the worry and stress related to boarding your pet, you can make your dog much more prepared for the experience by using these tips and tricks in advance of their boarding stay. Pets that have been shown the facility and that have been given items from home are often much more comfortable than pets that have been dropped off for a week and are not sure what is going on.
Your dog will also need to be up to date on their vaccines, and you should take care of this process well in advance of their time at the boarding facility. Preparation before a boarding visit can make all the difference for both you and your pet when it comes to taking a vacation or going on a work trip for an extended period of time.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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