Leaving your dogs at home is hard! But it's time to get back out there and travel.
It's time to get back out there and travel. Whether you are leaving for business or pleasure (or both), you have to think about how to comfortably board your dogs. While you know the boarding facility will provide them with the proper meals, sleep, and attention, you might worry about your dogs’ separation anxiety while you are away. Below are three tips for helping reduce your dogs’ as well as your own stress during their boarded stay.
Just like with your children, if your dogs have never slept over at a friend's house, they may struggle to sleep and stress until they see you again. To help them learn the sounds, smells, and routines of the boarding facility environment, try boarding them overnight as a trial run. They can learn to socialize in the kennel setting and figure out what mealtimes and bedtimes look like. They will also quickly find out that all the members of staff are non-threatening—and usually carry treats. Having a familiar place and a positive past experience will help them with the longer trips when you are away.
While your dogs will receive spa-like treatment at the boarding facility, they may feel unaccustomed and out of place without their familiar setting, toys, and comforting feels. Bringing something like a toy, blanket, or an old shirt of yours can reduce their confusion and help ground them with a little slice of home. They will feel like you are near and they are safe.
If you can drop your dogs off in the early morning, they will have all day to learn the schedule and grow accustomed to the boarding facility before bedtime. Try to limit your goodbye time as well. Prolonged goodbyes can alert your dog to your bigger absence. Instead, say goodbye just like you would when you leave for the grocery store and they will adjust more quickly.
Arriving early will give them time to run and play with the other dogs and let out their energy. All this excitement will better tucker them out for a more restful night of sleep. Exercise also helps take their mind off of any loneliness or boredom.