Dog Boarding for the First Time

Are you boarding your dog for the first time and unsure of what to expect?  With these six tips you can have a worry-free vacation while your dog is happy, healthy, and comfortable at your favorite kennel.

Call Ahead

A week before your departure confirm with the kennel the days and times you will be dropping off and picking up your dog.  If there is any change in your plans be sure to call ahead and let them know.  Always be respectful of the kennel workers when making arrangements to drop off and pick up your pet and never expect to arrive outside of regular business hours.  

Make Your Dog Feel at Home

Most boarding facilities will allow you to bring comforts from home for your pet, such as a favorite blanket, dog bed, or toys.  If your dog is prone to destruction when he or she is bored it might be best to avoid bringing a bed; however, familiar items can also help ease stress.  If you are worried your pet might have separation anxiety in your absence, consider leaving a t-shirt or blanket with your scent.  

Pack Your Dog’s Food, Treats, and Meds

Dogs thrive on routine so it is important to make sure as few things change as possible.  Provide enough food for your dog’s entire stay, plus a couple additional portions just in case your travel is delayed.  You can ensure your dog has enough food by pre-portioning his or her meals into individual baggies.  You can also provide a small bag of your dog’s favorite treats.  If your pet requires medication, include detailed instructions for your dog’s care, making sure to list even the details that might seem obvious.  

Keep Goodbyes Short and Sweet

You might feel sad saying goodbye, especially the first time your dog is being boarded.  However, a tearful goodbye could cause stress and anxiety for your pet, so it is best to treat your departure as if it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Provide Emergency Contact Information

Double check the phone number the kennel has on file in case of emergency.  If you will be unreachable during your vacation provide the name and number for someone you trust who is able to make medical decisions for your pet.

Don’t Worry

Finally, do not worry about your pet while you are away.  Remember that your dog is being cared for by a team of dedicated animal lovers who will put the needs of your pet first. Enjoy your vacation and don’t be surprised if your dog is tired when you return after a weekend full of fun!

Click for more information on Boarding Your Dog at Bull Valley Retrievers.