Having a dog comes with a great deal of responsibility. Besides feeding it and taking it for walks, you always have to make sure they have a safe shelter, especially when you’re away traveling.
Fortunately, if you’re planning a vacation for yourself, you have many boarding options for your dog. One of the most reliable ways to board your dog while on vacation is to book dog boarding services at a trusted pet boarding center.
But before getting pet accommodations for your canine companion, you must do your due diligence and ensure your dog has the best boarding experience.
Besides providing your emergency contact details and filling out paperwork about your dog’s health, necessary medications (if any), general temperament, and dietary requirements, you should also take some steps to maximize your dog’s pet boarding experience and make sure your canine friend is in the best physical and emotional shape during and after your vacation.
Here are some steps you can take when boarding your dog:
1. Choose Your Dog’s Boarding Facility Wisely
Being in close proximity to your home doesn’t necessarily mean a place is the best dog or puppy boarding facility for your canine companion. It may be an excellent boarding facility, but you must do in-depth research before signing up for boarding services.
A common way people find pet boarding services is asking friends, family, and acquaintances for recommendations. You can also find boarding services through Google and social media.
Once you’ve found some facilities you’re interested in, you should check out their websites and customer reviews online. Doing so will help you further whittle down your choices.
The last step is to visit the facilities, meet with their staff, and ask questions. You should ask whether they require dog vaccinations and how much socializing, playtime, and outdoor activities your canine friend will be able to engage in. During your visit, it would also be a good idea to check their fenced play yards to ensure your dog will be safe and secure during exercise time.
2. Book Your Dog’s Boarding as Early as Possible
When you’ve found a boarding facility for your pet, you want to book your boarding services as early as possible, especially if you’re going on vacation during a busy travel season (e.g., summer months, national holidays, spring break).
The last thing you want is to find a perfect boarding facility for your dog only to find out they’re fully booked when you need them.
Booking early also gives you time to take care of all the necessary pre-boarding paperwork, including health-related documents, and your dog’s preventative care, including vaccinations and parasite medications, before leaving your pet at the facility.
You might also want to send your dog to the boarding kennel for at least a day or two to get a feel of the facility before dropping them off for long-term boarding. And being early in the game should give you enough time to test out the facility and ensure it’s a good fit.
3. Stay on Top of Your Dog’s Preventative Care
Most high-quality dog boarding facilities have a list of criteria that need to be satisfied before they can accept your pet. Most of the time, these criteria concern your dog’s preventative care.
You can also expect most boarding services to require proof of up-to-date vaccinations and parasite prevention medications.
By having these standards in place, the facilities can lessen the chance of disease and illness in a place where animals are often kept together in close quarters.
If you haven’t fulfilled these requirements, you most likely won’t be able to use the facility’s pet boarding services. All you have to do before booking your dog is make sure your dog is in good physical shape, is up to date with parasite prevention and vaccinations, and is parasite free.
4. Keep Your Dog on the Same Diet
One common mistake that first-time users of pet boarding services make is arranging for their dog to just eat whatever food the facility provides.
The truth is that you should maintain your dog’s normal diet at the boarding facility, so they don’t get sick or have an upset stomach. A sudden change in diet can also compound any uneasiness they may have about the unfamiliar situation. They may not eat as often as intended or feel less sated from the meal even if it offered the same amount of calories.
Most facilities are happy to accommodate your dog’s regular diet if you bring it when you drop off the dog for their stay.
5. Make Detailed Notes About Their Health Routine
Many dogs, especially as they get older, require some type of ongoing medical care. That may involve something as simple as adding a supplement to their meal or administering medication, but it could also involve more-frequent bathroom breaks or a need for gentler play.
You will want all of this information provided to the dog boarding facility, and you will want to verify that they are able to accommodate these care aspects. Remember to be thorough. It can help to start writing down the dog’s routine, so you don’t overlook anything important. You should also confirm any care requirements with your vet, particularly if this is your first time boarding the animal.
Provide all of the necessary care information to the boarding facility, and ensure that the needs are clear and are able to be accommodated.
6. Avoid Making a Fuss When Dropping Off Your Dog
Your dog can pick up on your emotions, so if you’re making a big deal out of leaving your dog at the boarding facility — e.g., by giving them an excessive amount of affection — your dog will sense that something significant is about to happen. Sensing that something huge is going down will only make your dog anxious, making it much more difficult for your pet to settle into and feel reasonably comfortable in their temporary accommodation.
Instead of making a fuss, you should act as if nothing big is happening. When dropping your dog off at the facility, try to show the same affection and emotion as if you’re just leaving the house for a few hours, like when you’re going to the gym or the store. Doing so will plant in your dog’s mind the fact that you’re coming back, and, as a result, your pet will be able to settle down and relax more easily.
Thankfully, your dog will be busy engaging in their favorite activities provided by the boarding facility by the time they realize you’re not coming back right away.
Premier Dog Boarding for Your Special Pooch
At Greenlin Pet Resorts, we’re always thrilled to accommodate new canine guests and welcome our returning friends. Whether you’re using our pet boarding, dog daycare, or dog training services, we recognize the uniqueness of every individual dog, and that’s why their personalities shine here at Greenlin.
To take advantage of our premier pet accommodations or other services, fill out our contact form. You can also visit any of our five Central Pennsylvania locations and see what Greenlin Pet Resorts is all about.