What Do Dogs Think When You Board Them in a Kennel?
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It is becoming increasingly popular to leave our dog in a residence when we have to be absent from home for a few days. When we go on vacation or any trip, our dog cannot always accompany us. Since we will be away for days at a time, we need someone to accompany them. Although staying in a boarding kennel can be very beneficial, it is important to search for a suitable residence and be considerate of the feelings our dog may experience once we are gone.
In this AnimalWised article, we investigate what do dogs think when you board them in a kennel? We also provide tips to know how to make the experience most agreeable to them.
What is a boarding kennel for dogs?
A boarding kennel refers to a facility which provides temporary residence for dogs during an absence of their caregivers. We can leave our dog there when there is a reason we cannot be at home and take care of the dog. This can be a period of several days, weeks or even months.
There are also options some boarding kennels provide to allow the dog to stay for some hours during the day. This can be helpful for dogs which do not cope well being alone for extended periods. When we pay the boarding kennel's rates, the dog can receive 24-hour professional care. They can interact with other dogs if they are sociable, be fed according to their specific needs and, if required, receive veterinary assistance.
For these reasons, we can use helpful apps which allow communication between the canine professionals and the caregiver at any point during their stay. It does so in real time. Additionally, the app also offers the possibility of storing all the relevant information about a dog's care and makes it easily accessible from anywhere.
Choosing a boarding kennel for your dog
Before leaving our dog in the care of a boarding kennel, we need to ensure it is somewhere we can trust. Simply being advertised online is not sufficient. We need to look for independent reviews and visit in person before we can make our decision. We cannot select it simply because of their own publicity, its proximity to our home or price.
A suitable boarding kennel will allow us time to adapt the dog to their temporary home, answer any queries and allow us to contact staff to know how the animal is adjusting. We should know the people who will be in direct contact with the dog and be given information on their qualifications. The facility itself must be clean and of an adequate size. The dog must have their own space, as well as be allowed time in a larger space to socialize. Ideally, we should be able to see how workers interact with other dogs residing in the kennel.
The life of our dog when in a boarding kennel should resemble their life at home as closely as possible. Something imperative which may be forgotten is their legal credentials. We need to ensure all of their licenses are complete and up-to-date. Finally, they should ask us for the dog's microchip number and an updated health card for the dog. Be wary if they do not ask for this information.
Dogs adapting to boarding kennels
Once we have found the ideal boarding kennel for our dog, drop off can be difficult. Even well-behaved dogs can become restless if we leave them in a strange place with people they don't know.
It is best not to think about this situation in human terms. Dogs won't have a feeling of nostalgia or hopelessness as we may do when separated from our family. There can be insecurity and even a certain level of depression when being left in a new environment. Although there are sociable dogs who normally establish trusting relationships quickly, many others may feel lost at the beginning of their stay.
For the dog, their family is the most important point of reference. They look to their guardians for security and reassurance. For this reason, it is best if we can leave our dog at the kennel in person. We should talk positively to the staff in front of them and only use positive body language. Even if we are sad to leave them, we should not act negatively as it can cause them greater upset.
We can even take the dog for a visit before they have to stay. Depending on how the dog reacts, we might want to make a few trips before we leave them there alone. We should also stay with them for a few hours so they get used to the place.
A good idea is to bring their bed along, as well as their favorite toys or any other accessories which can help reassure them. We should also ensure they have the correct type of food for the dog as a sudden change in diet can be stressful for dogs. The whole process of choosing a kennel and the dog adapting to it should be made in advance of our absence.
Take a look at our article on whether dogs miss their owners when they are gone for more relevant information.
The dog's stay at the kennel
When we notice our dog is comfortable in the boarding kennel, we can leave them alone. Dogs do not have the same concept of time as we do. They will try to adapt to what they have in the moment, but it is important to remember we are not leaving them alone.
If any problems arise, there are knowledgeable people around who are expert in reassuring canines. They can help resolve any incidents and help the dog to adjust. They will have opportunities to interact with other dogs, rest and exercise when they need them.
By receiving all the care they need and having a proper routine established, most dogs will adjust easily within a day or two. This doesn't mean they won't be delighted when we arrive to pick them up after our trip. It is also increasingly common for dog boarding kennels to have cameras installed so we can see the dog at any point during their stay. Even those which don't should send you regular photos and videos.
As mentioned before, there are applications which allow you to know the status of your dog from anywhere around the world. This service is very useful for knowing the evolution of our dog's adjustment in real time from anywhere in the world.
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