Top Tips to Consider When Boarding Your Dog

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Boarding your dog: There’s a lot to think about when it comes to your annual summer vacation. When to go, where, what to do and how long you are going to be away for. And for those of us with pets there’s another consideration to make. Will you take your dog away with you or book him into canine camp?

To help with the decision, here are ten top tips all dog owners should think about when choosing a kennel for their four-footed friend.

1. Research kennels thoroughly and make a shortlist based on positive word-of-mouth. Ask if you can visit to check out the facilities before committing. If the proprietor refuses or is unfriendly, cross those kennels off your list.

2. Decide what’s important for your dog during his stay and check in advance whether special dietary requirements, coat care, exercise and dispensing of any medication can be undertaken. Ask about the amount of exercise your dog will receive and whether it’s on- or off-leash and individual or with other dogs. How often are the kennels cleaned (if they smell bad – steer clear) and how many staff work there?

3. Don’t leave it too late to book. All dog boarding establishments get busy during peak vacation times, so plan ahead.pointer dogs

4. Double-check your dog’s shots are up-to-date and that his vaccination card is stamped accordingly. He should also have the kennel cough vaccine, ideally 10-14 days before boarding.

5. If it’s your dog’s first time in kennels, ask the proprietor about the possibility of a trial run to see how he copes. It’s a good idea to get dogs used to a kennel environment from puppyhood so they accept it as a normal part of their routine.

6. Before taking your pet to the kennels, ensure he’s been wormed and you’ve used a flea treatment for dogs. You might be charged extra if the staff have to de-flea your pet.

7. Some boarding establishments provide dog beds and bedding but check this first as it’s preferable to take something with a familiar scent – such as your dog’s blanket or an item of your old clothing – to reassure him. Ask if you can leave his favorite toy, too.

8. Drop your dog off at the kennels early so he has time to settle into his new environment. Leave quietly and quickly without showing any emotion as your dog may pick up on negative feelings and become anxious.

9. When collecting your dog, try not to allow him to get too excited and upset the other boarders.

 10. Bear in mind it might take your dog a couple of days to re-adjust to his home environment. Don’t make a fuss but ensure he has his usual belongings around him. He may initially display different behavior, such as unexplained marking of territory. Just ease him back into his normal routine gradually.

This post of valuable tips was brought to you by Fidose of Reality was compensated to share this post but we always share tips we believe in for dog lovers of the highest order.

fidose of realityDo you ever board your dog or get a pet sitter?? Bark at us below in the comments.


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  1. Our cocker goes with us, Oldest granddaughter comes to our house and watches Jack the cat and house.

  2. I would love to use a boarder, but Sydney is so shy that she’d be miserable. Rodrigo and Blue would probably be okay. We found a pet sitter who will stay at our house with the dogs and cats and the price isn’t much difference, but the dogs will be comfortable.

    Thanks for this great list. It’s really useful information that I can apply as I do get to know local boarders; one day I bet I’ll find one that is amazing and makes me comfortable.


  3. I boarded our dog Tino many years ago and felt so guilty. He was a stray we rescued and I’m sure he felt we were abandoning him…at least that’s what I told myself. We’re fortunate enough now to have a dog walker who will also sit with the dogs when we travel. It works great because she knows them, they know her and even though Maggie is shy with strangers, the dog walker isn’t really a stranger!

    1. Great idea, Kate. A dog walker to take care of your pooches when traveling is really smart.

  4. Kirby stays at the PetSmart Hotel and he loves it! We knew we would have to board him for several days for our daughter’s wedding so we started droppin him off for Doggie Day Camp in advance. It’s in Jackson, 2 hours away, so fun shopping day for us. He had a fit the first time we left him and when we picked him up he couldn’t get out of the building fast enough. The next time he realized we would be back and bebopped right through the doors. Each time we stopped back by and, without him seeing us, we watched him running around and playing in the playroom.
    He’s such an easy dog that we often get phone calls asking if he can have extra playtime with certain dogs. One employee even asked if she could bring her two chihauhaus to play with him in a private session. (We always say yes cos he has such energy) I like that he gets so much attention, that there are three closed doors he must get through to escape, and a vet is in the same buidling in case of an emergency. I only wish they had online cameras we could access to see him when he has to stay several days.

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