7 Tips for Worry-Free Boarding With Anxious Dogs

Lots of dogs feel nervous about going to a boarding facility, and if your dog is one of them, there are lots of things you can do to help ease their anxiety. To ensure your pup has a worry-free, pleasant experience at the kennel, check out these tips.

1. Expose Your Dog to a Kennel at Home

If your dog is allowed to roam freely around the home at all times, the dog may feel nervous by the kennel itself. To ease that issue, expose your dog to a kennel at home. Don’t force the dog in against their will. Instead, trying leaving the kennel open and putting a blanket and some of your dog’s favorite chew toys in there.

After a while, the dog will likely figure out that the kennel is a nice place to go and relax, rather than a scary place. Also, when choosing a boarding facility, look for one with spacious kennels where your dog can go inside and outside as desired.

2. Test Out the Boarding Facility

Consider easing your dog into a boarding facility by testing it out for short intervals. Instead of taking your nervous dog in for a week or two, start with an overnight or even just an afternoon. Once your dog realizes how fun the boarding facility can be their nerves may be soothed.

3. Choose a Fun Kennel

Of course, in order for your dog to enjoy boarding, the kennel actually needs to be fun. Look for a facility where dogs get supervised play time with other dogs. If the kennel has upscale features like a swimming pool, that’s even better — most dogs love to swim.

4. Board Doggie Roommates Together

If you have more than one dog, it can be very anxiety-inducing (especially for dogs who are naturally nervous) to be split up. When planning a vacation, try to find a facility where you can board the dogs together.

Some boarding facilities even let dogs who live together at home share a kennel at the boarding place. If your dogs like to cuddle at night or during their daytime naps, this can really help to keep them both calm and comfortable.

5. Bring Their Own Food

Anxiety can be worsened if your dog has to deal with new foods. To prevent that, bring your dog’s own food to the boarding facility.

You may want to look for a facility that encourages owners to bring their own food. When a facility requests that, it’s a good sign that they really understand how dog behavior works.

6. Pack Some Transitional Toys or Treats With Your Dog

In addition to sending your dog to the boarding facility with his own food, you should also pack a few transitional objects. A transitional object is anything that helps your dog transition from place to place. For children, the classic example is a teddy bear or blanket that they take with them.

Stuffed animals, toys or a blanket that smells like home are perfect options to consider. You may also want to send a few treats with your pup. Make sure the facility approves of the treats. Some facilities don’t allow rawhide bones, for example, because they can present a choking hazard if not consumed under direct supervision.

7. Use the Same Kennel

Once you find a kennel that works, keep using it. Moving your dog from place to place may increase their anxiety.
In extreme cases, you may want to talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications, but in most cases, the above tips can help your dog feel less anxious. Let the caring staff at Elite Dog Training and Boarding be your regular kennel. Contact us today to set up boarding for your dog.

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