How to Prepare Your Dog For Boarding

It’s almost here. Your well-deserved week-long vacation is less than a month away. The only thing you have left to worry about is what you’re going to do with your dog while you’re gone.

You haven’t been able to find a friend or family member to watch your pet. You would take them with you, but bringing a dog on a plane and finding a hotel that will accommodate them isn’t exactly cheap.

That means you’re going to need to prepare them for a stay in a dog kennel. This is a little easier said than done.

If you don’t find the right facility or follow the correct procedures, your pet (and the kennel staff) is in for a nightmare of a time. Keep reading to learn what you need to do.

Do Your Research

You can spend all the time in the world preparing your pet for their stay, but if you don’t choose the best dog kennel for them, all their training will go out the window. For this purpose, we recommend reaching out to your friends and family members.

They might be able to give you a few suggestions. From there, you can hit the internet and check out reviews of the facilities they mention. You’ll still need to make phone calls and make appointments to visit, but doing this bit of research should narrow down your choices a little.

As an added tip, make sure to check out the kennel’s website. Here you’ll get testimonials from others who have used their services before.

Visit the Facility

Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a single pet boarding facility, schedule a visit. By meeting with the staff, you’ll get a good idea of how friendly they are.

Don’t end your assessment with the staff. You want to take in the smells as well. If the kennel stinks, this is a huge indicator that proper cleaning procedures aren’t being carried out.

If you leave your pet in such an environment, there’s a good chance that they’ll come back sick. Speaking of your pet, take them with you when you visit the facility.

This way, they can interact with the staff and take in all the new sniffs. You’ll have an easier time when it comes time to leave them there because they’re already familiar with the environment.

Vaccinate Your Dog

In most cases, you can’t board a dog unless they’re up to date with all their vaccinations. Take your pet to the vet a few weeks ahead of time to get their rabies, bordetella, and DHLPP vaccines. Ask your vet for copies of all these shot records because the kennel will ask for them.

Even if your puppy is up to date on all their shots, you should still book a vet appointment if they’re showing any strange behavior. You don’t want to take them to a kennel if they’re sick. They may make all the other dogs in the facility ill.

If the veterinarian prescribes any medication for your pet, make sure you give the staff members at the kennel this information. The last thing you want is for your dog to miss a dose.

Pay Attention to Boarding Hours

You fly back in on a Sunday morning. You head over to the kennel to pick up your beloved pet only to realize that the facility is closed.

Upon looking up the company’s hours, you realize that they aren’t open on Sundays. You won’t be able to get your dog back until Monday when you get back from work, and you have to pay for an extra night.

Many pet owners fall for this trap. To avoid this, make sure you ask for the kennel’s hours before you go on your trip. This way, you can make sure that you’re back in time to pick up the dog.

Book a Short Overnight Stay

Another way to get your pet accustomed to the kennel is to book an overnight stay. This will help them associate the boarding company with a safe place. They’ll know in the back of their minds that you’ll come back for them, so they’ll be less anxious when you drop them off.

If there are going to be any problems with leaving your dog at the facility, they’ll pop up during this trial run. You and the staff can then take measures to avoid these issues.

Be Open About Your Pet’s Needs

Any dog kennel near me isn’t going to be able to care for your pet in your absence if you’re not open and honest about their needs. If your pet tends to be aggressive if you touch a certain part of their body, for example, that’s something you need to tell the facility. If you don’t, it may with your pet biting a staff member.

Aggressiveness isn’t the only thing that the facility needs to be aware of. If your dog has any medical issues, this is something that you should bring up.

The staff can’t keep your dog on their special diet if they don’t know that said diet exists. The same goes for medications and other needs.

Provide Dog Food

We will tell you that if you forget to provide the kennel with your dog’s food, they’ll have something on hand that they can feed your pet. Even so, it’s a good idea to bring food from home.

It takes a while to transition a dog from one food to another. It can cause some digestive discomfort until their body gets used to it. The puppy is already stressed out from being away from you.

Don’t add to their anxiety by forcing them to eat something new. This is especially true if your pet is on some kind of special diet. If they’re allergic to anything, that’s something that the facility needs to know about.

You should also consider providing the kennel with treats to give the pet when they’re being good. Don’t forget to give the staff members feeding instructions as well. Some people provide prepacked portions of food in resealable plastic bags for this purpose.

Book in Advance

The holidays are a huge time for travel. You’ll be lucky to book a plane ticket, let alone find a kennel that has the space to accommodate your furry companion.

You’ve got to schedule your pet’s stay well in advance. This rule doesn’t only apply to the holidays. You may run into problems if you try to get them into a kennel during other high travel months too.

Sleep and Crate Training

Do you let your dog sleep on the bed with you every night? Who doesn’t? When your dog is whining at you for snuggles, it’s hard to say no.

If they’re used to being with you each night, however, that will make the separation process that much harder. You should begin sleep training them weeks in advance.

Place their crate in a room away from you, and make them spend the night there. They might whine for you to let them out the entire time but don’t give in. Remember that this is for the best.

Provide Accurate Contact Info

When you’re dropping off your pet, you’ll have to fill out a ton of paperwork. Make sure that you pay special attention to the contact info section. If an emergency comes up with your pet, the kennel needs to be able to call you.

You should also provide your vet’s phone number. Tell your veterinarian ahead of time that you’re going out of town and authorize treatment in the event that something goes south.

Remain Calm During Drop Off

It’s easy to feel anxious about dropping your dearest pet off with anyone, especially a kennel. Still, you should do your best to stay as bright and cheery as possible.

Your pet can sense when something is wrong. If you begin making a fuss, you’ll upset them. It will take the staff members a while to calm the dog back down.

Preparing Your Furry Friend for Their Stay at the Dog Kennel

As much as you would love to take your dog with you on all life’s adventures, sometimes it’s impossible to bring them along on vacation with you. If you can’t afford the plane or hotel expense, you’ll have no choice but to put them in a dog kennel while you’re away.

Some dogs have no problems adjusting to the change but for many, it’s a difficult transition. Make things easier for your pet by preparing them for their stay.

Are you looking for more ways to keep your fur baby calm while you’re gone? Check out our blog for all the latest pet care tips and tricks.

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