Many dogs get stressed when its their first time boarding, same for dog owners as they are not sure about how their dogs will cope. Here are some considerations for first timers.
One Month Before The Stay
Get the relevant vaccinations and anti-tick preventives updated. As some vaccines create a negative reaction in the dog, please vaccinate at least two weeks before the stay. Knowing that your dog won’t get sick from the major preventable illnesses and tick infestations will give you a peace of mind when your dog comes on-board.
For dogs that are not used to being with other dogs, try to desensitize them to being around with other dogs by bringing them to meet other dogs at a friend’s place or at the dog park. The more they feel safe with other dogs, the more likely they will feel relaxed and even play with other dogs during their stay here.
3 Days Before The Stay
Just before the stay, do not give Fido any celebratory food that is not part of the routine. Dogs have a sensitive stomach and tend to have diarrhea when they eat new things. Sometimes dog owners tend to compensate for their guilt of leaving their dogs behind and give an unusual feast for their dogs before they board.
Try to avoid bringing dogs to the beach just before boarding as they tend to get a diarrhea from drinking sea water. If they get a diarrhea before they come or when they come, that’s one more worry for you when your are having your holiday.
1 Day Before The Stay
Prepare Fido’s bag for his staycation with the following essentials: Food, Leash and necessary medication. You can also bring along his shampoo, treats and bedding if you like. It will be helpful if you prepare a sheet of paper with instructions for feeding and medication. Pre-packing kibbles into individual meal packs is not necessary if you provide a feeding cup for reference. Be sure to pack a bit more food in case of holiday extensions.
Checking in your dog
The check-in process should be quick, calm and positive. If the owner is feeling emotional, the dog will also feel it and have a more difficult time adapting. The perfect check-in is actually when the dog gets so engrossed with the other dogs that he forgets the owners. However, most owners tend to need an acknowledgement from the dog to say goodbye, and this causes the dog to keep looking at the owner and be unable to focus on meeting friends. For dogs that have strong separation anxiety from their owners, we recommend a pick up service. This allows the dog to leave home on a good note thinking he is going for a walk. This is contrary to the owner sending him to the pet hotel and leaving him there, which causes a feeling of abandonment.
During The Stay
Trust Dogs on Board to be an expert in dogs and wait for updates to ease your separation anxiety. Let us know if you need any specific information like how your dog is eating or pooping.
After The Stay
Your dog will be very excited to see you and upon reaching home, will feel very relaxed and tired. This is normal and exactly how we feel when we reach home from our own holidays. He will take about 2-3 days before becoming his usual energetic self and adjust back to the normal routine at home. Be patient if your dog occasionally misses the usual potty area as he takes time to adjust back.
Build a relationship with your pet sitter so that you have someone you can rely on to take care of your pets for your subsequent travels. A good pet sitter will understand your dog’s needs and remember your dog’s quirks. Your pet will also be familiar with your pet sitter’s environment after the first stay and will feel less stressed for the subsequent trips. Be sure to tell your pet sitter if he or she did a good job and give feedback to improve the service.