When you leave home, it’s hard on your dog. He misses seeing his best human friends every day, and he doesn’t like the change in his usual routine either. Of course, it’s probably also difficult for you having to leave him behind! When you need to leave your dog for a few days, it’s a good idea to find a quality dog boarding facility in North Hollywood to take care of him in your absence.
Making sure your dog is safely boarded can help you feel better about leaving him, but it might not help him feel that secure. Some dogs become anxious about boarding and get upset about being left in an unfamiliar place. Read through these tips to help you get your dog ready for his boarding stay, whether it’s his first time or he’s been through this before.
Take Care of Vaccinations
A good-quality dog boarder will always require proof that your dog has had all of his shots. If your dog isn’t up to date on vaccinations, make sure to schedule a vet visit a few weeks before you need to board him. This will give your dog plenty of time to adjust to the vaccinations and get over his trip to the vet before being left at the boarder.
Dogs should have vaccinations for all communicable dog diseases before boarding. This includes rabies, distemper, parvo, kennel cough, and more. Speak with your vet for more information about which vaccinations your dog will need before boarding.
Teach Your Dog to Tolerate Crates
Since your dog will probably be crated or kept in a kennel for a lot of his time while he’s boarded, it’s important to get him used to the idea beforehand. A dog who has never been crated before is likely to panic or become very lethargic and depressed when placed into a kennel for the first time. For some dogs, the kennel may be a reminder of something they’ve been through in the past, and they may become terrified of the experience.
If you know well enough in advance of your trip, buy a crate several months beforehand. Start by keeping your dog crated for just a few minutes at a time and slowly work up to a longer stay in the crate. Be sure to supply him with plenty of water and something to chew on or play with while he’s in the crate.
Eventually, it’s a good idea to practice leaving your dog in the crate while you run errands or spend a few hours out with your family. This will get him used to the idea of staying alone in a kennel and will make him realize that he isn’t going to be trapped there forever, too.
Teach Your Dog to Tolerate Other Dogs and People
If your dog doesn’t get along well with people outside of your family, it’s a good idea to start working on that as soon as you know you’re going to need to board him. At the boarding facility, your dog will be around the employees who work there and may also see and smell families of other dogs. He will need to be able to behave himself and absolutely should not bite or snap at the people who work at the facility. Of course, if your dog is extremely aggressive, the boarding facility has the right to refuse him as a boarder.
The same is true of dog-aggressive dogs. If your dog is aggressive toward other dogs and risks harming them, the boarding facility likely won’t let him stay there. On the other hand, if he’s only a little skittish around other dogs and eventually warms up to them, that’s something you can work on ahead of time. Start taking him to the dog park or enroll him in a dog socialization class to get him used to the idea of being around and playing with other dogs. Practice makes perfect, after all!
Get Your Dog’s Belongings Together Early
When your dog stays at a boarding facility, even just for one night, he will need some of his belongings to travel with him. Boarding facilities require pet owners to supply the right type and amount of food for the stay, and may request that you send a little extra just in case. You should also be ready to send along some of your dog’s favorite treats. Make sure to send food and treats he’s been eating the whole time and don’t send something new, as the change could upset his stomach while he’s already nervous from being boarded.
Many boarding facilities will ask you to bring some of your dog’s favorite toys, a pillow, or a blanket from home. They may also request that you bring an old t-shirt or some other old items that smell like you or other members of the family. Although not every boarding facility will request this, most will be fine with it if you choose to bring along these types of items, too.
Don’t forget to bring your dog’s vet records as well. He will also need his collar, leash, a name tag, and any other tags required by your state, such as a rabies license tag.
The most important thing to remember when dropping your dog off at the boarding facility is to stay calm yourself. If you’re nervous or upset about it—and especially if you start crying—your dog will sense that, too. He will panic if you panic, so do everyone in the family a favorite and remain calm. Your dog will thank you for it, and so will the boarding facility employees!
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through this advice, you can put some of it into practice. You know your dog best, so you know what will work for him and what might not. Change what you need to and alter these tips to help give your dog the best possible boarding experience the next time you go away from home.