If your dog becomes very anxious and stressed when you leave him by himself, the prospect of putting him in boarding kennels while you go away can be daunting. Here are some tips on how to make a trip to the boarding kennels less stressful for your dog and for you.
Highlight the issue
It's really important that you tell the boarding kennel staff about your dog's separation anxiety issues well in advance. Explain to the people who will be caring for your pet about the way in which your dog's anxiety presents itself in his behaviour, and tell them how you tackle the problem at home. This will enable the kennel staff to work out an approach to caring for your dog that will help him to settle and be less stressed while you're not there.
Preparatory familiarisation visits
You can reduce the trauma of your pet being left with strangers by arranging to take him to meet the staff and have a look around his holiday home well in advance of his stay. Arrange to visit at a quiet time when staff will be free to play with your dog and perhaps have a chat with you over coffee while your pet has a good sniff around and gets used to the unfamiliar sounds and smells of the kennel environment.
Another good strategy is to board your dog for an afternoon or morning before his main stay. This means that he'll only be away from you for a few hours, thus reducing his stress and helping with the familiarisation process.
A few weeks before his main stay, it's helpful to book your dog in for an overnight and full day stay at the kennels to introduce him to the idea of staying away from home. This helps to break him in gently, and if there are any problems, you'll be close enough to come and get your dog if need be.
Your dog is less likely to become stressed if he has plenty of occupy his mind during his stay. Find out if the kennels offers socialisation sessions where the dogs can play together, and ask what the usual daily routine is. Plenty of activity will help to keep your dog distracted from the fact that you're not around.
It's a really good idea to provide your dog with his own bedding, food bowl, and favourite toys during his stay. In addition, leave him one of your unwashed old jumpers or socks to cuddle up to. Items that carry your scent and his own will be comforting for your dog, rather than leaving him with things that are unfamiliar.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it can be helpful to use the tactics outlined above prior to his first stay in boarding kennels. In severe cases where the dog becomes extremely stressed, it's wise to seek veterinary advice before leaving your dog in kennels.
Hi, my name is Percy, and I absolutely love animals. However, due to work, I have had to move a number of times. Over the years, I have learned how to help animals gracefully transition through a number of moves. I have helped them with their anxiety, feeling at home in a new place and settling into a new vet. If you are planning a move and are wondering how it may affect your pet, you have come to the right place. Please, explore this blog. If you like my posts and ideas, I invite you to share them with your social media circle! Thanks!