Boarding your Dog
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Dog Kennel Boarding Process:
Make your dog boarding kennel reservations early
Most dog boarding kennels are booked up on holidays and during vacation times. If you wait until the last minute to make your reservations, you may be disappointed. As you make your reservations, verify those items which you should bring with you to the kennel (immunization records, special food, medication, bedding, and toys). Make arrangements for any special services you wish to have performed while your pet is in the kennel (grooming, training, or shipping). As you make your reservations, find out what type of payment arrangements are acceptable (credit cards, personal checks, money orders).
Prepare your dog or pet for kennel boarding
Remember that dogs and cats, like people, usually appreciate a vacation in new surroundings with new friends. Dogs, once they become familiar with their new surroundings, have a marvelous, exciting time, almost like kids at summer camp. (If your dog has never been boarded before, you might consider short, overnight stays at the dog kennel prior to an extended boarding stay to help him or her get used to boarding. Every time you return, your dog is less likely to affected by “separation anxiety” and can enjoy boarding more.) As a rule, kittens take to boarding easily and have a wonderful time. Adult cats usually display a very nonchalant attitude towards boarding and prefer to sit quietly and observe the daily kennel routine. They don’t seem inclined to make new feline friends or participate in group play, but seem content to rest, eat, make friends with the help, and purr. Make sure that all immunizations are current (and have immunization records, if your kennel requires them). Don’t overfeed your pet right before going to the kennel. The extra food is not really necessary and the result might be an upset stomach. Finally, because pets sense and reflect our emotions, DO NOT allow any member of the family to stage an emotional “farewell” scene. Your dogs, cats and pets can be made to feel unnecessarily anxious about their kennel visit if they are subjected to this kind of dramatic display.
Check in to your dog boarding kennel during business hours
Bring all agreed upon medications, etc. Make sure that medications list the prescription number and name of the pharmacy so the kennel can obtain a refill if your return is unexpectedly delayed. Allow enough time in the kennel office to fill out the necessary paperwork. The dog kennel needs to know such things as: name, address, phone number, return date, additional services requested, where you can be reached in case of an emergency, the name of a local contact, your veterinarian’s name and phone number, special feeding instructions (if any), medication instructions, etc. If your pet has any special problems that are not covered on the check-in forms, such as fear of thunder, epilepsy, or deafness, point them out to your kennel operator. All of this information helps your kennel take better care of your pet, especially if there is any type of emergency requiring special action. And this is what professional care is all about. Anyone can feed your pet, as long as nothing goes wrong. But what you want for your pet is supervision by someone who can assess and respond properly to emergencies. Don’t be surprised if your kennel operator asks you to leave your dog in the kennel office rather than allowing you to place your dog in his run. This is done so that your dog will see you leave and will realize that you have entrusted him or her to the care of the kennel operator. It also eliminates the possibility of your dog getting the erroneous impression that you are placing him in the run to “guard” it. When dogs get that impression, they sometimes become aggressive.
Relax and enjoy your trip
Remember that you are leaving your pet in the hands of capable professionals. Pets in the dog boarding kennel probably receive more care and attention than they would at home.