What To Expect When Boarding Your Dog
Boarding your pet for the first time can be scary, but by knowing what to expect can set you up for success.
"Let's see....I have my stuffy, my food bowl, my medicine...what else...?"
Oh, hi there! It's Charles again, your favorite, lovable pooch! I'm sorry, I was just a little distracted packing my things for a trip to the dog kennel. You see, my Dad has to go out of town for a few nights and I'm going to go stay with some nice people who will watch me. I've never been to the kennel before, so I'm a bit nervous and want to make sure I have everything covered ahead of time. Let's walk through my trip to the kennel together so you know what to expect when you board your dog too.
I knew a few months ago that I was going to stay at the Pet Hotel because my human had to go out of town for a few days. It's ok, I don't mind so much. I understand that I can't go on every trip with my Dad. I also know that my Dad did all of his homework ahead of time to make sure that he found the absolute best place for me to stay. You see, he scoped out a few popular dog kennels in the area and made sure they had high reviews. He even went to visit a few places, and talked with the employees about his questions and concerns regarding the kennel. He just wanted to make sure that he not only found the best dog kennel in the area, but the best kennel for me specifically. He really does care about my safety, happiness, and overall well being.
The one part I didn't like before getting ready to go to the kennel was having to get more vaccines. I mean, come on! I already have to get some shots once a year, and now I have to get more? My Dad explained that the vaccines keep me healthy and protected, so I guess it's worth it. Although I get my core, necessary vaccines every year at the vet's office, I needed to get some additional vaccines since I'll be interacting closely with other dogs. These necessary vaccines will last for at least six months, and will protect me from diseases like Kennel Cough.
Packing the Necessities
For my big trip I need to have the right supplies. I was working on my packing list when you came to visit! I understand that going away to the kennel isn't going to be exactly like my home, but my Dad said we can take as many supplies and necessities we need to make it feel close to home. Here is a list of some of the items I already have packed in my going away bag.
- Food - While most kennels will provide a high quality food during my stay, I sometimes get an upset tummy with certain dog foods. Plus, like other dogs, sometimes when I'm a bit nervous or unsure I don't want to eat, so having a food I love will help to keep my appetite intact. My Dad made sure to pack even more than what I would normally eat to make sure there is plenty to last for my entire stay.
- Medicine - To keep me my healthy, lovable self, I need to take certain medications. In order to stay on top of my routines my Dad has packed all the medicine I will need during my stay at the kennel. I also saw him write some very detailed instructions on how much medicine to give me and at what times during the day. My Dad really does think of everything to keep me safe!
- Toys, Blankets, Beds - I know I can't pack up my entire house to take with me to the kennel, but I am allowed to take some of my favorite toys and comfort items. I'm taking my favorite stuffy to play with, and my comfy blanket that makes me think of home. I've heard that some humans even give their dogs one of their shirts so that they can be reminded of their human's scent, even while they are away. Although I love my toys and blanket, it is important to remember that some soft items may get dirty or damaged at the kennel, so I need to choose what to take wisely.
Know Your Dog
Many kennels have available options for interaction and kennel playtime, which can be vital for getting your dog the exercise he or she needs while you are away. Although sometimes these services cost extra, they will be a good way to keep your furry friend on a regular and normal schedule. Plus, I love a good game to relieve the stress of having my Dad leave me for a few days. Some kennels also offer a bedtime treat, grooming services, or even training sessions to brush up on some of my skills. Make sure you talk with your selected kennel to see what services, like kennel playtime, might be available for your dog.
Ultimately, I think that knowing your dog and what your dog likes will be the best advice for a successful trip to the kennel. Take myself for instance! I love a good game of fetch with my favorite stuffy, but I'm not always into sharing my stuffy with other dogs. This is why my human signed me up for games of fetch alone with the employees at the kennel, but knew I probably wouldn't be interested in a big play session with other dogs. Make sure your human communicates your likes and dislikes, as well as normal behavior with the employees at the kennel to keep you safe, and healthy for your entire stay. While kennel playtime may be great for one dog, it might not be best for all dogs.
Following these ideas to get prepared for your first stay at a boarding facility will not only help keep you safe and healthy, but will keep your human calm and stress free too. Many boarding facilities really love and care for dogs like me, so you'll be in good hands until your human returns.