How to Prepare Your Dog for Boarding
Are you planning to board your dog in the near future? Do you want to know how to set your dog up for success during their boarding experience? Whether this is your first time boarding your dog or you’ve been through the process before, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to prepare your pet for this process.
In the article below, you’ll find information on preparing your dog for boarding before you ever leave home. Read through these tips to help you get started. If you have any questions, feel free to call Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County at (772) 337-8570.
Practice leaving your dog alone.
Your dog may become very nervous or anxious when left alone, and they may become depressed if they can’t see their human family for a while. It’s a good idea to get your dog used to the idea of being left alone for short periods of time so the transition to a longer boarding stay won’t be as jarring for them.
Start with small time frames. Leave your dog at home alone for a half hour at first, then an hour. Eventually, work up to leaving them alone for six hours (if they are old enough to hold their bladder that long).
Make sure your dog is socialized with other dogs.
You should not choose boarding in a kennel as your dog’s first interaction with other dogs. It is important for your dog to be both comfortable and safe around other dogs before you plan to board them. Do not try to board a dog who is extremely aggressive toward other dogs, as this will likely cause a lot of problems.
If you’re unsure about how your dog will react around other dogs, take them to the dog park regularly before your boarding dates. You may also want to enroll them in a doggie daycare to help them learn how to play nicely with others, too.
Get your dog’s vaccinations up to date.
Reputable boarding facilities will not allow you to book your dog’s stay without up-to-date vaccinations. Your dog will need to be vaccinated against Bordetella as well as rabies at the very least. Most facilities will require a variety of other vaccinations as well, including canine influenza, distemper, parvovirus, and more.
Call the boarding facility well in advance to figure out which shots your pet needs before visiting. Make sure to provide the facility with a thorough record of your pet’s vet care, including vaccination records, whether or not your pet is spayed or neutered, and any other pertinent information.
Prepare toys, blankets, and other items from home.
If you provide your dog with items from home, they’re sure to feel more comfortable and confident when they’re staying in a boarding facility. Prepare these items several weeks in advance by letting your dog have them ahead of time. This way, they will be familiar and will also smell like home.
Some boarding facilities only let dogs have toys and blankets from home while under supervision, while others let them have access to these items at all times. It is best to prevent dogs from unsupervised access to toys if possible, but blankets should be fine.
Bring more than enough food, treats, and medication for your dog. You will need to supply your dog’s food, treats, and medication throughout the boarding time. Be sure to prepare more than enough of all of these so your pet will be ready for their stay.
You should write on all packaging the amount of food and number of feedings per day that your dog is used to. Write their medication dosages and how many treats per day they can receive as well.
Always research any boarding facility in advance.
Any good, reputable boarding facility should have no trouble answering your questions and giving you all the information you need to make sure you’re choosing the right option for your pet. Don’t forget to check reviews and ask around for word-of-mouth recommendations, too.
Due to covid restrictions, it may be harder to take a tour of the boarding facility than it once was. Many facilities offer online tours, however, so you can ask about this if you’re interested.
Some dogs are naturally going to be better at being boarded than others. If your dog becomes extremely anxious, fearful, or aggressive when boarded, there may be other solutions that work better for your pet. For example, an in-home pet sitter may be a better choice for your furry friend.
Most dogs, however, have little to no trouble with the boarding process. The harder you work at preparing your dog for boarding, the better luck they are sure to have. Keep the tips from this article in mind and don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian if you have any more questions or concerns. Call us today at (772) 337-8570.