Boarding Kennel Stress: Tips for boarding an anxious/nervy dog
Tips for anxious/nervy dogs
So you have an anxious/nervy dog who needs to go into a dog boarding facility, what do you do?
Leave it to the last minute and expect your dog to be ok. Yes well, you can do that. It still suprises me how many owners do, even though, they know their dog displays this behaviour.
Staying in a boarding kennels can be stressful for any dog but even more so for dog who is anxious and nervy. The wellbeing of your dog should be your main concern, so in the case of anxious, nervy dogs, dogs who need more space or dogs who have separation issues, a few visits/stays maybe required. As they need more time to adjust. Their experiences have to be good ones, depending on the dog.
Usually, the 1st visit with me entails, the owner and their dog dropping by to say hi, so their dog can meet me and we can get to know each other. We may play ball or go for a walk and in most cases I don’t even introduce the dog to the kennels.
The 2nd visit, the dog is left with me for about hour, we play or go for a walk, then I introduce the dog to the kennels. This maybe just a walk around or walk in and walk out of a kennel, depends on the dog. The 3rd visit could be a day stay or day night stay, again it depends on the dog.
I have personally found it can take between 1-3 weeks for them to become comfortable and happy in a kennel environment. I achieve very good results but it does take time, there are no quick fixes.
As with anything, there are dogs who just can’t hack a boarding kennel environment. If your dog is one of these, then you may have to look at a pet feeding service or a house sitter.
Do your homework, well in advance, visit facilities, talk to the kennel owner, are they knowledgeable and friendly do they understand dogs and dog behaviour. Just because they run a kennel doesn’t mean they are knowledgeable in all facets of dog behaviour. Your dogs welfare should be their main concern.
Ask if the kennel owner is experienced in handling anxious/nervy dogs and how do they go about introducing them to a kennel environment. Some kennels may not take them because they are not set up to do so. Also certain breeds of dogs, may not be welcome.
The best advice I can give is go with your gut, and also read “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know”