It breaks your heart to leave your pup alone in the house, even if it is for ten minutes, doesn't it? Imagine doing that for a couple of days or even a week! How would your baby doggie survive? More importantly, how will you feel after knowing that your furry pal is lonely and missing you?
Won't you feel a little better knowing that there's someone with your dog, taking care of him and tending to his needs? Well, it's possible! Dog boarding is your answer. Boarding your dog is one of the most common options which you can consider when you are going for a vacation or for a business trip.
There are a number of things that you need to think of before you actually board your dog, especially if it is your first time. It will be really scary at first. You both may feel nervous, but at the end of the day, you will be assured of his safety.
Understandably, you may have tons of doubts regarding the dog boarding process. We are here to address all of them.
1. Home Boarding Or Kennel Boarding?
Boarding your dog is an emotional process which can be overwhelming for you and for him. The first thing that you need to consider before you board your dog is whether you will go for a home boarding service or a kennel boarding service.
Personally, we would recommend that you go for a home boarding service as that will reduce the chance of your dog developing separation anxiety. Your dog will be in a homely environment, something that he is used to. This will help him get comfortable a little faster than he would at a kennel boarding service. However, the kennel boarding also has its own advantages. It enforces routine and structure which will help your pup be more disciplined.
Besides, it also depends largely on your dog's personality. If your pup is an introvert, then the kennel boarding facility works better. He can choose not to interact with the employees or the other dogs. Kennel boarding facilities generally also have a very large space for your dog to play around in!
On the other hand, opting for the home boarding service will be great if your dog likes interacting with new people. He will be living in a close-knit circle including other dogs while getting immediate attention from the employee. In both the cases, your dog will be surrounded by a number of other furry friends. So, do not worry as your dog will not get lonely.
Tip - Make sure your dog is socialized and knows the basic commands. This way he will be better accustomed to a boarding facility. It will be easier for the employees too.
2. Shortlisting Faciltiies
Once decided, you need to make a list of boarding facilities and filter them further based on a couple of criteria.
For example, if you choose the kennel boarding service, you need to pick the one which is the most established. After all, your pup will be living there for a few days. Looks are not all that you should be worried about. You also need to find out about the number of services that are provided by the facility.
If you have a very active dog, you should look for a boarding place which takes dogs out for daily walks. Frequent walks will stabilize and calm your dog. You must make sure that the boarding facility is not crammed up and is spacious enough for your dog to have his own space. Check the reputation that the boarding facility holds and whether they have a proper ventilation system or not.
The best way to find a trusted boarding facility is to ask around. Experienced dog parents will be more than happy to help you out with suggestions. Make sure to ask them for recommendations on boarding facilities and what they liked or disliked about that place. This will help you decide better and you will be more assured in your decision.
3. Check Out The Boarding Facility For Yourself
Make sure you ask the employees all the questions that you may have in order to clear your doubts about the boarding facility. Check how much outdoor activity will be allowed for your dog in the place. You need to be happy with the choice you've made for your dog.
You must bring your dog along. He's going to stay there after all. Let him get a feel of the place and the people there. Watch his behavior. Is he comfortable there or is something bothering him?
Some Kennel Boarding Facilities that we trust:
- PetSpot, Delhi
- Smart Canines - Dog Resort & Training, Mumbai
- Ginger's Pet Stay - Dog Boarding, Dog Kennel & Day Care, Chennai
Some Home Boarding Facilities that we trust:
- Happy Pet Home, Kolkata
- Asha Arun's Pet Home Boarding, Delhi
- PetFelix Dog Boarding & Day Care, Mumbai
- Pet Paws, Chennai
- Second Home Dog Boarding, Bangalore
Make sure that you have briefed them about your dog's routine, health and allergies before you leave him in their care.
4. Handling Separation Anxiety
If you or your dog have separation anxiety, then we suggest that you start small. Take baby steps, and then head towards the process of boarding him.
To get accustomed to not being around each other all the time, do a trial run. Leave your dog at the boarding facility for a couple of hours. This will not only help him get used to the place but it will also help the two of you in dealing with separation anxiety. You'll be able to trust the boarding facility more as well after you find your pup safe and sound in their care.
As the days go by, extend the period of your dog staying at the boarding facility. Then, when the day finally comes for you to leave, it will be a whole lot easier to stay apart.
5. Is Everything Up-to-date?
Make sure that the boarding facility ensures all dogs have necessary vaccinations and kennel cough shots. The same should apply to your dog. Asking these questions is important as you don't want to take a chance with hampering the health or the immunity system of your dog. Being around healthy dogs should be the only option for your pooch.
You will need to provide the respective papers, documents and certificates to the employees of the facility before your dog starts boarding there. Sometimes, the employees deny boarding if these documents are not provided. So, make sure that everything is up-to-date!
6. Things To Send With Your Dog To The Facility
There are a number of things that you can send with your dog to the facility. Refer to the following list.
- ID tag
- Collar or Harness and leash
- Medicines, if needed
- Food and treats
- Food bowl and water bowl
- Blankets, pillows and bedding
- Favorite toys and dolls
- Shoes, if your pup wears them on his walk.
- A piece of clothing with your scent for comfort
- Emergency contact details
7. Daily Updates Are Required
A parent doesn't get vacations. We are sure even with your time apart, all you can think of is how your dog is. What is he doing? Did he eat or not? Overthinking is in our bones. You can ask employees at the boarding facility to send you pictures and videos of your dog. So, you are far but together!
You can also call the employees in the evening to ask about your dog's day and how he behaved. If your vacation prolongs for more than a week, you can video call him. This will make you and your dog feel close to each other.
8. Aftercare Is Always Important
Once you are back home and have picked up your dog from the boarding facility, make sure to spend a lot of time with him. Sometimes, boarding experiences can be too frightening for your dog. So, once he sees you, he requires utmost care and comfort. Bring in all the cuddles. Pull him close and ensure that he sleeps properly and gets enough rest.
Give your pooch a bath after he is back. This diminishes the chance of him getting any ticks, fleas or any other harmful parasites.
Staying away from your dog can be one of the hardest things to do. Taking him to an unfamiliar territory might seem a little unsettling at first, but soon, both you and your dog will get used to it. Obviously, keeping your dog at a relative or a friend's house should be your first option. If that is not possible, then the boarding facility is the next best thing. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine and it will be worth it.
Did you find this helpful? Leave us a comment if you have any further questions or suggestions!