Boarding your dog for an extended length of time can cause stress in both you and your dog. While time away from your canine companion is never something you look forward to, you can do your best to ensure that your dog is safely having a good time while you’re away from home.
With these ways to ease dog boarding anxiety, you won’t have to spend any part of your trip feeling anxious that your precious pup isn’t getting the care it needs—and your dog will feel as if it’s getting pampered at a resort the whole time.
Work on Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Your dog may be used to you spending plenty of time at home and might express its feelings through bad behaviors when you’re away. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety while you’re away at work or running errands, it probably won’t enjoy staying in a boarding facility for a few days (or more).
Before you decide to board your dog during a trip, take some steps to help your buddy through its separation or social anxiety. Here are two fundamental things you can practice regularly to help lessen your dog’s separation anxiety:
1. No Big Goodbyes
Before you leave for a typical day of work or an afternoon of running errands, don’t give your dog any special treatment or make a big deal out of your departure. The longer you draw out a goodbye, the more likely your dog is to think it’s an out-of-the-ordinary farewell, causing it to feel stress when you’re gone.
2. Calm Reactions When Coming Home
In addition to not drawing out goodbyes, don’t condone naughty behaviors when you come home. While you may enjoy it when your dog jumps on you after a long day of work, guests—and boarding staff—may not. Stay reactionless until your pup settles down, and only then acknowledge him, after he’s stopped with the overly excited behavior.
Learn Everything About Your Chosen Boarding Facility
The next step to ease your anxiety is to find a boarding facility worthy of housing your dog. Conduct research and read reviews of boarding services near you, and then give them a call. The Barker Lounge has this great list of essentials you need to know about a boarding facility to help you make a good choice.
Whenever possible, take a tour of the facility. The facility tour should tell you everything you need to know about their boarding or daycare services.
Once you’ve learned everything you can about the boarding facility, take your dog for a trial run through their daycare service. It will help your dog acclimate to the employees’ care in that building and may even build excitement for a return visit! This step may take a few weeks, so prepare ahead of time for your trip.
Leave Your Dog a Memory
Parting with your dog is bittersweet; he’ll miss you his home and normal routine. Leave the boarding service with a toy from home or an old shirt that smells like you to put in the dog’s kennel or room. It’s one of the simplest ways to ease dog boarding anxiety and while it may not seem like a lot to you, having your scent will mean the world to your dog.
Remember, boarding a dog is only temporary!
Once you return from your time away from home, life will spring back to normal for you and your special companion. Learning how to calm your dog and pick the best boarding facility based on early signs will save you from anxious thoughts while you’re not in control. You have enough to worry about while you’re away from home—don’t add pet care to the list.