Adding a New Puppy to Your Family

3 Ways To Prepare Your Dog For Pet Boarding

by Arttu Kari

Whether you're preparing to leave town for a business conference, personal vacation, or another pressing matter, one issue always seems to find its way to the front of your mind: your dog's well-being. Instead of leaving the health and happiness of your furry friend to a trusted neighbor, you've decided to book your dog a stay at a local pet boarding center. Here's how to ensure your dog will remain comfortable even while away from familiar people and environments.

Begin Comfortable Crate Training

Many pet owners find that leaving their pet in a crate or another similar enclosure is inhumane or abusive. However, this mindset couldn't be further from the truth.

In the wild, dogs are inclined to seek out their own personal shelter. Although your dog may not find a cave or overgrown hedge comfortable after being spoiled with the same levels of comfort you enjoy at home, their instincts still guide them towards a particular section of your sofa or bed which they may have deemed their own.

However, these luxuries won't exactly be available for your pet during their stay at a boarding facility. For this reason, crate or kennel training your dog will prove to be extremely useful once it comes time to check your dog into a care facility.

Even if your dog is no longer a puppy, you can still train them to find comfort in a crate or kennel—as long as you do so correctly.

Purchasing a crate or kennel that's large enough to accommodate the size of your pet is the first step towards ensuring a comfortable crate training experience. Your dog should not only be able to completely lay down inside their kennel, but stand up or shift sleeping positions as well.

Once you've found a suitably-sized shelter, begin training your dog to use their crate or kennel by choice. To do so, hide treats deep within the crate or kennel and place their food and water bowls inside their shelter as well. Additionally, always leave the door to your dog's crate or kennel in the open position during the early stages of training.

After your dog has grown used to their shelter, latch or lock the door for short periods of time and slowly acclimate them to longer periods of comfortable confinement.

Avoid Anxiety-Inducing Habits

Although you're just as excited as your dog when you walk through your home's threshold after a long day at work, you should never give an over-enthusiastic greeting to your furry friend. By teaching your pet that it's suddenly time for dinner, a walk, or play time upon seeing you, you'll increase their likelihood of developing separation anxiety.

Habits such as enthusiastic greetings or drawn out interactions before saying goodbye will cause your pet to experience increasing levels of mental stress while they remain in boarding. If you've already enforced these habits, then consider toning down your enthusiasm and reducing the duration of these interactions to keep your dog mentally healthy while you're separated.

Teach Them To Enjoy Alone Time

If you work from home, or simply devote a large amount of time to your pet while you're away from work, then your pet may not have grown accustomed to being alone. Although there will still be several other pets and humans for your dog to interact with during their stay at a boarding facility, teaching your dog to find comfort in being alone will allow them to remain calm and collected while you're out of town. Interactive toys, comfortable bedding, and other forms of stimulation will help your pet adjust to being alone.

If you believe your pet will benefit from these forms of behavioral training, then don't wait any longer to begin preparing them for their stay at a local care facility. If you don't have the time or means of teaching these habits to your pet, then consider signing them up for training sessions and make sure to reinforce these new behaviors at home.

For more info, talk to a local pet boarding facility.