Vacation season is upon us, and one of the things that means is getting your dog ready for boarding in a kennel. Boarding for any length of time can be a stressful time for a dog. Follow these four key tips to make the boarding process easier on your dog.
Set Up a Trial Period
Paw Leaks suggests that once you have selected a boarding facility, arrange a trial period for your dog. The trial should last no less than 24 hours to see how your dog reacts to the daily schedule of the boarding facility. Separation anxiety during the trial is to be expected. However, the trial serves another purpose–it familiarizes your dog with the environment so that they are ready for a longer stay once your vacation time comes.
If a trial period is not in the cards for your dog, Dog Food Insider recommends seeing if the kennel offers doggie daycare services. While you will not get the full boarding experience, your dog will create positive associations with the facility, making it easier to leave them there when vacation time arrives.
Incorporate It In Their Training
Generally, crate trained dogs do better in a boarding kennel. This is because they are already used to spending time by themselves. Start preparing your dog for boarding by crate training them. The American Kennel Club states that proper crate training takes up to six months, so start early. Begin by choosing a crate that is the proper size for your dog. Start with 10 minute sessions, and always give your dog a treat when they go into the crate. Work your way up to allowing them to sleep the entire night in the crate. That way, once kenneled, they will feel comfortable falling asleep on their own.
Bring the Comforts of Home
To make your dog’s time alone at the kennel a little easier, bring them the comforts of home. Bring their bed or favorite blankets, as well as a few toys. Dogs feel more comfortable when left with the scent of their owners, so bring a worn t-shirt to leave in the kennel. Always bring your dog’s own food and treats; being in a new environment can sometimes cause digestive upset, so you want to keep their eating regimen as familiar as possible.
Say a Quick Goodbye
Dog Food Insider suggests that you keep your goodbyes short and simple. While this might seem nearly impossible, it is best to save doting on your pooch for your return. Bring your dog into the boarding kennel, check in their belongings with a kennel attendant, and say a quick goodbye. It may be an emotional time for you, but save the tears for the parking lot; the more emotional you become, the harder it will be on your dog. Additionally, it is best for this goodbye to happen as early in the morning as possible. This way, your dog has the entire day to settle into the kennel routine; this sets them up for a proper night’s rest.
Boarding your dog is not an easy task for you or your pooch. However, following the aforementioned tips will help your dog adjust to their temporary setting and put you at ease during your vacation.