Vet Blog

How to Train and Prepare Your Dog for Boarding

March 15, 2019

Leaving your dog in boarding while you are on vacation, in hospital, or away on business can be heart-breaking for even the strongest and least emotional owner.

You will undoubtedly be worried about how well he will be cared for while you are apart and how successfully he can adapt to spending days or weeks in boarding, which is a very different environment from what he is used to at home.

Nevertheless, it doesn't need to be such a stressful situation for either of you. Preparation can be an extremely beneficial tool when it comes to pet boarding in Pensacola, FL. This is because the more you can prepare your dog for being apart and what to expect, the quicker he is likely to be able to settle into his new temporary surroundings.

To help you plan with your pet, here is what you need to know about how to best train and prepare your dog for boarding.

Get Him Familiar with the Boarding Facility in Advance of His Stay

Many boarding services understand the importance of familiarization for animals going to stay in their care and realize how significantly it can affect how well a pet will settle. If your chosen facility offers day-care sessions, you may be able to book your pet for a couple of short visits ahead of his long stay. Alternatively, many kennels are happy for you to arrange for your dog to go in with you to have a look around. Even a brief visit can prove beneficial.

See if He Can Take Items from Home

All facilities have different policies when it comes to taking in items from home and you will need to check with your chosen kennel on exactly what they will allow you to provide. Some will restrict this to just a toy while others will accept you bringing your dog's own bedding, a favorite blanket, and a toy. Nevertheless, even just one item from home can help your canine feel more secure and settled when in kennels.

Try and Manage His Anxiety

If you know your dog is naturally very anxious, you may want to think about helping him manage his nervousness ahead of his stay. In addition to practicing leaving him for increasing amounts of time, you might also want to speak to your veterinarian in Pensacola, FL about the various medications that there are available that can reduce anxiety symptoms. Your vet may recommend that your dog take these ahead of and for the duration of his stay.

Consider Socialization Training

If your dog isn't usually very sociable, you may want to consider signing him up for socialization classes before he goes in for boarding. Although he won't necessarily be able to see other dogs the majority of the time, he will be able to smell and hear them. In many cases, dogs will also be walked or given the opportunity to play together. Although it may be possible for your canine to be kept separate, it can still be stressful for him. Fortunately, socialization training can help prevent your dog from having a panic attack if he comes into contact with other animals and makes his stay in kennels much more pleasant.

Make Dropping Him off a Fast, Seamless Process

Many owners naturally want to smother their pet with love when they drop him off at kennels and say goodbye to him for the new few days or weeks. However, dogs have an uncanny ability to be able to read your emotions and if you allude to even the slightest hint that something is out of the ordinary or you seem stressed or emotional, your furbaby will know at it will make him anxious too. Make sure all paperwork is completed ahead of leaving him so that you can make a quick exit and make no more fuss than if you were heading out to the store. This will help him make the connection between that 'type' of goodbye and you always returning, which will make him feel less stressed.

Need more advice on the best ways to train and prepare your dog for boarding? Our experienced and friendly team would be happy to help. Please contact our vets in Pensacola, FL today at (850) 476-5571 to schedule an appointment.

We know that sometimes with pets, the unexpected happens. That's why, in addition to well pet visits, we also provide same-day urgent care/sick patient visits. Call us to verify availability today!