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How To Prepare Your Dog for a Kennel Stay

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There comes a time in most pet owner’s lives, the inevitable trip out of town. Taking the dog with isn’t an option. What’s an owner to do? There are a few alternatives available such as finding a friend or family member stay with the pooch, or hiring a professional dog sitter. However, not everyone is comfortable with people staying in their homes, unsupervised. Another alternative is a boarding kennel, but for some pet parents, leaving their fur babies behind with strangers can be quite traumatic. How does an owner go about preparing the dog and themselves for a stay at a kennel?

Meet and Greet

Once the kennel has been selected, the owner is comfortable with the staff, and all questions have been answered the dog should be brought in to meet the staff. Most kennels offer daycare, it is important for the dog to spend a day or two getting used to the new surroundings, the new people and the new routine.  Utilizing the daycare, the dog can go, check it out and have the security of seeing his person at the end of the day. This also gives the staff a chance to assess how the dog does, his personality and what groups (if any) he would be most comfortable playing in.

shutterstock_221403820Drop Off

Bags are packed, time to drive over to the kennel. Keep the stress level to a minimum by packing the dog’s favorite toy, or two, to keep him company. To keep him from extreme loneliness, tuck an article of clothing with his person’s scent on it. It will give him a bit of comfort in a new environment. If the dog is on medication, pack enough for a couple of extra days. On the off chance that an event delays the owner from returning when scheduled, the dog’s health won’t suffer.

While Away

Most kennels offer doggy cams, it gives pet parents a chance to check in on their dogs at any given time. While it may be an advantage to pop onto the site and watch the fur baby romp and play, a pet owner should refrain from watching hours on end and calling every few minutes to ask questions and offer advice as to what’s best for their dog. Limit the web viewing time to once or twice a day setting a timer for five minutes or so. The kennel will call if they need to.

Pick Up

Some owners have been known to stand at the front desk and call to their dogs, loudly. As excited as an owner may be to give the fur baby hugs and kisses, stress levels should be kept to a minimum. Wait for the dog to be brought out. They will be just as thrilled to see their owner. Go home and settle back into the familiar routine. Just like humans, dogs need time to recover from their vacation also.

Staying at a kennel may not be the ideal situation, but there are benefits to staying in one. The dog will get the physical and mental stimulation necessary for health and well being, it offers a chance for socialization and to learn some manners. It also gives owners a chance to miss their dogs and appreciate what they bring to their lives.

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Written by Renee Moen
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