Everyone experiences a little or a lot of anxiety when they are going away for more than a few days and they are leaving their dog somewhere to be cared for during that time. In my experience boarding dogs, there a few simple things you can do to relieve the stress your dog many experience while you are away.
- Take time to socialize your dogs with other dogs that they have never met before. A nice trip to the park, a pet store, doggy daycare, or neighbors dogs are great way to accomplish this and your dog will not be as overwhelmed when taken to a boarding facility where there are a large variety of other dogs.
- Work on leash time with your dog for safety. Believe it or not, some dog owners don't put there dogs on leashes at all. It is difficult in a boarding facility like mine where I hand walk dogs and move dogs to the outdoor play area when the dog does not have good leash manners. Safety is of the utmost importance when handling someone else's family pet, it is prudent to use a leash when there is a great deal of stimulation in the environment, in other words, take no chances.
- Work on basic commands with your dog like sit, stay, come and down. Obedience not only builds confidence in your dog but it can also help in a dangerous situation when your dog must stop and stay or come to you immediately. I like going through basic commands with dogs when I meet them for boarding because I can establish a working relationship quickly.
- Bring a bed or a blanket for your dog and a toy. Familiar things that have the scent of the family or home can be soothing to a dog. Things to chew are helpful also if the boarding facility will allow you to bring something.
- Provide your own dog food. Changing your dogs diet quickly can certainly cause an upset stomach. If the boarding facility will allow you, provide your own brand of food.
These are just a few tips to help your dog adjust while being boarded or in a situation where someone else may need to care for your pet in case of an emergency.
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