Boarding your dog is a great way to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and safe while you are away from home. Sometimes, however, dogs can experience anxiety when separated from their owners. Being left in a strange place can increase that anxiety. With a little bit of planning, you can make the pet boarding experience a happy one for you and your pet. Here are just a few ways you can prepare for your time away.
Bring A Reminder Of You To The Boarding Facility
Your pet knows your scent. Use this to your advantage by packing an article of clothing or small pillow that your dog can sniff while you are gone. This small comfort from home can go a long way toward reminding your pooch that you are never too far away. Be sure to choose an item that you don’t mind getting damaged, since it will likely stay in the kennel with your pet throughout the boarding process.
Do A Few Practice Runs
If you’ve never been away from your dog for more than a few hours, a practice run might help to ease the transition from being at home to being boarded. Talk to the boarding facility about keeping your pet for 6 or 8 hours. Once you have done a few short daytime test runs, your dog won’t be as anxious when dropped off for your real trip.
Choose A Boarding Facility That Offers Socialization
Not all places will keep your dog in a kennel all day long. If possible, select a location that lets dogs socialize with each other. This keeps your pet from getting bored and provides a great opportunity for exercise. You can even sign your pet up for grooming and obedience courses at some boarding centers.
Be Consistent With Food And Treats
Being separated from you will be difficult enough without the added stress of having to get used to new dog food. Be sure that your pet can have the same food you serve at home. This will reduce the chances of your dog refusing to eat while you are away, and it can be a small reminder of home. Consider bringing your dog’s food and water bowls to the facility for added consistency.
Older dogs or dogs with serious illnesses may require special care when you go out of town. Your veterinarian can help you find a facility that specializes in pets with special needs to ensure your dog’s medical and emotional needs are met. Whether you have a young puppy or a trusted old friend, there are lots of ways you can prepare your dog for your next trip out of town.