If it was up to us pet owners, we’d take our dogs everywhere. Most of the time when we want to go on vacations or for work visits, we’re often bound to leave our furry companions home. Some people are lucky, as they get to house these adorable floofballs with relatives and friends.
But some of us have to opt for professional arrangements, which to be honest, isn’t a bad idea either!
If you belong to the latter group, and you’re worried about keeping your dog in a kennel, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how you can make the kennel stay for your dog as easy and comfortable as possible.
Contents & Quick Navigation
1. Select a Good Kennel
You need to begin by picking an outside dog kennel that’s just right for your dog. Make sure to fix a kennel early on. Never wait for the last minute. Do your research ahead of time and create a list of potential kennels.
Then, go check out different kennels and talk about your dog’s needs with the staff. Kennel facilities are supposed to exercise your dog daily by taking them out for runs and walks. But it’s best to pick ones that have ‘free roaming facilities’ and a lot of space.
This way your dog will be able to roam around and have a lot more fun. They can also interact with other dogs and play. Remember, you’ve got to make an informed decision.
Compare different kennels to pick the best fit for your dog.
Additional Read: Dog Crate Training – Everything You Need to Know!
2. Familiarize Your Dog
If you’ve selected your kennel, it’s time to introduce your dog to the new setting. Your dog needs to meet the staff there and familiarize itself with the surroundings. Perhaps you could even enroll your dog to the daycare facility beforehand if the kennel has one.
This will also let the staff understand your dog’s personality and requirements. This way, the dropping off part won’t be sudden or traumatizing. Your dog will also recognize the environment and faces, making the transition a lot more relaxed.
It will also more likely to cooperate and follow instructions.
3. What to Pack
Your most important job is to make your dog feel comfortable during its stay. You can do this by packing familiar items your dog uses on a daily basis. This means you should be packing food, water bowls and even the blankets your dog uses.
Of course, the kennel facility will be feeding your dog. But it’s best to give them your own dog food and your dog’s favorite treats. You should also send in your dog’s crate and litterbox.
Make sure to pack a few of your dog’s most prized toys. Drop in some new toys for your dog to explore as well.
You could also send in a shirt or socks with your scent on it. This might sound weird, but it will give your dog comfort knowing that you’ll be back. Buying a thunder jacket for your dog’s stay will also help reduce its anxiety.
Important Read: Dog Proof Litter Box: A Complete Buying Guide
4. Health Precautions
Make sure to inform the kennel facility about all your dog’s health issues. Give the staff a supply of your dog’s medication, with a little extra in case your stay gets delayed. Also, hand over a copy of the prescriptions and your usual vet’s contact details.
All kennel facilities require your dog’s to be vaccinated, especially against Rabies, Distemper and Kennel Cough. This is important for protecting your own dog as well as the other dogs in the kennel.
You should also check your dog for fleas and ticks before enrolling them into the kennel. Discuss with your vet and get your dog some flea or tick preventive medication.
5. Preparing Your Dog for the Stay
Before you drop your dog off, you need to prepare it for the stay. Of course, you should spend as much time as possible with it, adding in a few extra cuddles.
Make sure your dog is exercised well in the weeks leading to the stay. Include lots of play time and walks. This way your dog won’t have a lot of pent-up energy at the kennel. Remember, a hyperactive dog is less likely to behave.
Also, before dropping your dog at a kennel facility, be sure that it is properly crate trained. Your dog must be accustomed to a crate. Even better is if your dog already has a kennel in the backyard which it regularly uses.
It must also be used to being away from you for long periods of time.
Related Read: A Complete Guide To Best Dog Flea Collars For Money
6. Dropping Off Your Dog
The dropping off day should be relaxed, with your dog feeling calm. You could try out pheromone releasing products, or the thunder jacket we talked about before. Most importantly though, you shouldn’t be giving off stressful vibes. Dogs can sense your attitude and will mimic how you feel.
To keep your dog calm, you must remain calm yourself. Try to do the dropping off a few days before your departure, even before you start packing.
Dogs can see what we do and can sense our actions. So, seeing us get ready to leave in a rush will make them anxious. When dropping off your dog, walk your dog in with a leash and help it get adjusted.
When leaving your dog, act like it’s no big deal. If you can, it’s best to leave your dog silently and slip away.
7. Keeping in Touch
Kennel facilities usually have dog cameras, so you could have access to seeing your dog. If not, you can consider sending a treat dispenser with a camera. This way you can talk to your dog, see it and give it treats as well.
However, you shouldn’t get carried away, especially with the video calls. You don’t want your dog to miss you. You want it to adjust to its new surroundings.
Also, be sure to keep in regular contact with the kennel staff. Perhaps you could even get family or friends to check up on your dog.
8. After the Kennel Stay
So, your dog has managed to stay at the kennel and you’ve missed it dearly. Of course, you’re excited and you want to call out to your beloved pet. But try to refrain from doing that! Once you’re at the kennel, wait until your dog is brought out for you.
Don’t worry, your dog will still be excited to see you. You can also give all those hugs and kisses at home. Go back to the same routine you followed before. Don’t give your dog any special treatment. Your dog shouldn’t think that the kennel stay is something unusual.
After your dog is back from the kennel, give it a thorough clean and check. You need to keep an eye out for fleas, ticks, and injuries.
Additional Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
Much like how mothers feel when leaving their babies home for the first time, kennel stays can be difficult for us dog owners, as well as the dog. Unfortunately, there’s still a long way for the “dogs should be allowed everywhere” petition to pass through.
But what we can do for now, is making the best possible living arrangements for our dogs while we’re away. Kennels can be a wonderful getaway for your dog while you’re off living your life and doing your adult duties.
Since it’s a professional service, you can trust the staff to handle your dog with the utmost care and be wary of every detail. Just be sure to research well and follow the advice mentioned above.
Rest assured that leaving your dog won’t be such a hassle, and it will actually have a good time while you’re away.