Before you board your dog, make sure you’ve done your homework – and we’ve made it easy for you with this list of helpful dos and don’ts
Boarding your dog can be a stressful time for both you and your pooch. Nobody likes to leave their four-legged friend behind when they go away, but sometimes it’s necessary. Just as long as you put a little thought and effort in, the process shouldn’t be too painful and you can enjoy your time away without worrying about your darling dog.
DO: Plan ahead. It’s important that your find a suitable and high quality boarding kennel for your dog, so don’t book his spot at the last minute. The best kennels may get booked up far in advance, especially during peak holidaying times. You should give yourself enough time to have a look around and judge its suitability before you take your dog to stay there.
DO: Check licenses and references. If your state requires dog boarding kennels to be licensed, check that the facility you choose has the right licenses and ask to see copies as proof. You might also want to check references or see testimonials from people who’ve previously boarded their dogs at the kennel.
DO: Pack for your pooch. The stay will be much easier on your dog if he has all the right things with him. You should pack some of his favorite toys to keep him busy. You could even pack a treat dispensing toy and ask the staff to keep it filled up. He might also prefer to sleep in his own bed or at least with some of his bedding. Also pack something that smells like you, as this could give your dog some comfort.
DO: Think about dinner time. It’s a good idea to bring your dog’s food with you to the boarding kennels. Eating an unfamiliar food could give him a stomach upset, or he may refuse it, if he doesn’t like it. In addition, packing his own food and water bowls could make meal times a bit less stressful.
DO: Make sure you can be in contact with the kennel. Leave a number where you can be contacted in case of emergency. Also, make sure you have the number of the kennel, just in case you want to check in.
DON’T: Forget to specify your dog’s needs. If your dog has any special needs, be certain that the staff at the boarding facility is fully aware of this. It never hurts to double check. If your pooch is on any medication, bring enough with you to last the whole time you’re away and make certain the staff know when and how much to administer.
DON’T: Have a tearful goodbye. Dogs are extremely intuitive, so if you make a big fuss when you leave him at the kennel, he’ll know that something’s wrong. This might make him more stressed out during his stay.
DON’T: Forget to bring any documentation. A decent boarding kennel will require proof that your dog is up to date with all his jabs. Bring his vaccination card or other official proof of his vaccinations. If you don’t have this, you’ll need to get in touch with your veterinarian.
DON’T: Board a dog who’s unwell. If your dog is under the weather, he really shouldn’t be in a boarding facility. Even if he’s not contagious, being in a stressful environment might make his illness worse, or it might be too much for the staff to deal with. If you have to go away in an emergency, it’s best to make other arrangements, such as hiring a pet sitter or leaving your dog with friends.
And if you want to make sure your dog feels at home at the boarding facility, you can do what this over-the-top dog dad did for his Bulldog – watch the awesome video below!
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.