Will My Dog Miss Me When I Board Him?
Your dog will probably be sad to see you go and will miss you for a while, but dogs live in the present and start to become more curious about their surroundings a short time after you have left.
It is not easy to board your dog. You may worry for their emotional wellbeing and their physical safety, but most dogs are perfectly fine in boarding kennels, but nonetheless will be happy when you return.
Your dog may feel your absence strongly at first but adjust a little more each day.
What Do Dogs Think When You Board Them?
When you board your dog for the first time, your dog will naturally be confused and be super observant and wary of its surroundings.
They won’t know why they are there, where you have gone, who these new faces are, or their intentions.
Your dog will likely spend the first few hours getting to know the environment, and assessing all the other dogs and new humans around. They will quickly realize that kennels are a place of fun and affection. Once all your dogs’ needs are met there, they will start to relax.
Will My Dog Be Okay in Boarding Kennels?
To evaluate an answer to this question, let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages of boarding kennels.
Your dog will obviously don’t have to go through the stress of traveling by car or by plane.
The staff in a boarding kennel is able to monitor your dog closely for possible health issues around the clock and they can quickly act in case of an emergency.
A pet sitter would only check in a few hours a day so your dog would have to be alone most of the time.
On the other hand, the proximity to other dogs may have the disadvantage of diseases that can travel easily and not all of them are harmless.
Although you are sparing your dog the stress of traveling, the amount of distress he has to face in a kennel shouldn’t be underestimated.
But you don’t have to worry so much about boarding your dog with the right preparation which I will talk about more below.
The cost of boarding your dog for a week is usually around $150 to $200.
Depending on where you live and the size of your dog, boarding can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 for a full day.
If you are planning a several–day stay, you might be offered a discount.
High-end boarding kennels have much less canines in their facility and take care of each and every one individually, not to mention that they’re often more skilled when it comes to handling behavioral issues.
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Boarding your dog is probably the first solution that comes to your mind when thinking about a temporary stay for your dog while traveling, business trips, hospitalization of the owner, or just any other strange situation that may occur in a human’s life.
Especially when you think about issues like kennel stress that your dog may have to deal with.
Your dog will be put in an unfamiliar place with many other dogs, a new diet, a change in routine and contagious diseases.
Every dog is different and some are able to cope with it pretty easily while others experience it in full distress.
Other options instead of boarding your dog include friends, neighbors, or dog walkers to tend to your dog at home.
When boarding your dog for the first time, you should thoroughly evaluate the kennel beforehand and make sure your dog is up to date on all the vaccinations.
Be upfront about behavior issues and leave a contact number and clear instructions for medication and emergencies.
A test period where you bring your dog in for a couple of days might also be a good idea to see how well your dog copes with kennel stress.
You’ll find out more below on how to choose the right kennel and how to prepare your dog in order to avoid kennel stress.
Ask the staff to evaluate your dog’s body language and overall mood during the first days but also make sure to exclude any behavioral issues your dog might have had before already like separation anxiety.
To minimize the amount of stress your dog has to go through, do your research and find the best kennel near you.
You can ask your friends and veterinarian about some recommendations and what you should be looking out for.
If possible, the kennel should be part of the American Boarding Kennels Association and they should have a form of license that certifies high pet care standards.
Before deciding on a candidate, you should visit every boarding facility and take notes on the following questions:
Most dogs are only let out for a few minutes a day and high energy breeds won’t be satisfied with that.
I recommend providing your dog with a few chew toys like the Benebone or a Kong.
You could also ask the staff if they would hide treats in a snuffle mat for mental stimulation.
Dogs in a kennel are being fed the same food and a sudden change in diet will put additional stress on your dog as well as health consequences.
If your dog is in need of a special diet, really emphasize the importance of his meal plan.
If they have the possibility to play together, ask if there is someone supervising them at any time to prevent dog fights or escapes.
Small and large dog breeds should never be exercised together, they should be divided into separate groups instead.
Dogs with behavior issues should be separated or supervised but they always need to be taken care of too, which includes individual exercise.