Pet owners across the country now have access to a new generation of dog boarding facilities. People hesitant to board their pets because they worry about the reliability and comfort of the kennel can relax. Modern boarding centers are more like doggy spas and not pet prisons. Many offer additional services like grooming, daycare playgroups, and private walks and play time. The initial visit may seem nerve-wracking, but knowing what to expect and how to prepare will make it much easier.
Before the Stay
- Visit the facility and meet the staff. Schedule the dog for a trip to their daycare, if available.
- Gather vet records and licensing information along with the contact number of the vet.
- Include paperwork about any special medication or feeding instructions and include a copy of the vacation itinerary, personal contact numbers, and a local contact for any emergency calls.
- Pack a bag for the dogs that includes their favorite bed or blanket, a toy or two, and their food and treats. Most facilities will have food available to feed the dogs, but some suffer digestive problems when their normal food is swapped out for something else.
- Including an unwashed shirt or blanket that carries the scent of the owner may comfort nervous pets.
- Make certain they are wearing their collar and ID tag, and label all personal belongings and paperwork with their name.
During the Vacation
- Feel free to contact the facility while gone to check on their behavior and well-being.
- Report to the kennel any changes regarding the length of stay or contact information as soon as possible.
When They Return
- The pet may be tired because it played more and did not sleep as well with all of the new noises and smells.
- Some pets need a readjustment period after returning home. They may be a little confused by all of the excitement, and it may take a few hours or more before they settle down.
- Sometimes the adventure will cause the pet to have a nervous stomach and diarrhea when they return home. It is usually minor and related to the changes in their eating and exercise schedule and the joy of seeing their owner and home again.
Most dogs will adapt quickly to the routine of dog boarding after the initial visit to a kennel. Many will even become excited when they realize they are going back to see their new friends. The process also gets easier for the owners because they know they have a service they can trust when they are not able to be home for their pet.