As a dog owner, it’s hard to ever imagine leaving your dog behind when you go on holiday. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s not much else we can do, and if you’re going on holiday then it’s up to you to find somewhere safe and comfortable for your dog to stay.
If you’ve decided to take your dog to a boarding kennel for the first time, there’s nothing to get nervous about. A quality kennel will be staffed with experienced professionals who know how to take care of all types of dogs, and get them feeling safe and at home in no time.
To help you and your dog prepare, we’ve compiled a list of everything you should do to prepare your dog for their stay and make sure they have the best experience possible while you’re gone. Keep reading to find out more.
Make sure you’ve found a kennel that’s suitable for your dog
Every dog is different, and every dog will need something different from their stay at a kennel. Maybe your dog is boisterous and full of energy and loves to be around other dogs, or maybe it’s shy and anxious and needs its own private area. Whatever the matter, make sure the kennel you’ve chosen is ready and able to accommodate your dog’s needs and give them the best stay possible.
Another thing you’ll have to consider is food. Is your dog a fussy eater, or required to be on a special diet? If so, let the kennel know and check that they can properly cater to your dog. The last thing you want is for your dog to be overwhelmed and underfed while you’re away, so you must do your research and find a boarding kennel that’s the right fit.
Take them for a visit before their overnight stay
Most dog boarding kennels also operate as doggy daycare centres, which means you can take your dog for a short visit before your holiday to get them comfortable and familiar with the space. This way, when the time comes to drop them off for their extended stay, their anxiety levels will be kept to a minimum and they’ll know what to expect once you leave.
It also allows the staff to assess your dog and their temperament, and see if they have any special needs that will have to be catered to. Doing this will help ensure that their stay is as smooth as possible, and that they’re able to settle nice and quickly once you’re gone.
Ensure all their vaccinations and treatments are up to date
At least two weeks before your dog’s stay begins, make sure that their C5 vaccination and their flea and worming treatments are all up to date. This will be a requirement of the kennel’s boarding licence, so you’ll have to show proof of this before your dog can begin its stay.
This is to ensure the health safety of all the dogs staying at the kennel, so it’s not something that can be compromised in any situation. You’ll also need to inform the staff of any medications that your dog is one, and provide a little extra just in case your return home gets delayed.
Keep the drop off short and sweet
Leaving your pet behind is hard, so it’s easy to go hard on the dramatics when you drop your dog off and give them a big goodbye. However, this can actually work against them, shooting their anxiety levels up and making them fearful or stressed about what lies ahead.
To avoid this, you’re gonna have to stay strong and give your dog a short and sweet goodbye. It’s for their own good! Rather than cry and cuddle, simply drop them off, give them a scratch on the head and be on your way. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s your dog’s best bet of enjoying their stay and going into the situation in the best headspace possible.
Refrain from visiting them during their stay
If your dog is staying at a boarding kennel while you’re still in town (perhaps you’re having landscaping work done or having an elderly relative stay with you), it’s best to leave them be and avoid any surprise visits. As tempting as it might be to pop in and say hi, in the long run, it will only unsettle your dog and stop them from settling in and relaxing.
If you’re worried about how your dog is doing, you can call the kennel and get updates as often as you please. If anything goes wrong, they’ll be sure to contact you right away and try to resolve the issue as best as possible.
We recommend bringing some of your dog’s favourite blankets or toys with them on their trip so that they have a little piece of home with them at all times. This will help them feel safe and secure at their new temporary home and smoothly transition into the environment. It’s also a way that they can remember you and their forever home without the stress and anxiety that a surprise visit could cause.