Dogs, like their people friends, have their own preferences and unique personalities when it comes to just about everything. Because you are the love of his life and the center of his world, your buddy misses you when you have to go away for extended amounts of time. No wonder taking a visit to a boarding facility gives your pooch the puppy blues. It's important to keep in mind your dog's personality and the conditions of the specific boarding facility before setting him up for a stay at a doggy hotel. And if your dog still hates boarding regardless of what the facility offers, you should consider boarding alternatives.
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While you may think of many dogs as being ultra-friendly and having a ball around new people and other animals, some dogs have more of an introverted personality. Others may wag their tails with delight upon stepping into the veterinary office or doggy daycare facility where they will spend the next few days. Even though your dog may be outgoing and jump with zeal when he gets to be around new people and make new doggy friends, the surroundings of the place will have a lot to do with your buddy's overall comfort level.
Before boarding your precious buddy, it's important to do your research and find out as much information as possible about how Max will be spending his days while you're out of town. Boarding facilities can be very noisy places with many dogs barking up a storm. This can be due to anxiety or excitement. Before scheduling a time to board your precious pooch, request a tour of the facilities and see where he will be spending the majority of his time. Will it be in a small, cramped cage, or will he have enough room to walk around comfortably? These are important details that you don't want to overlook. Boarding facilities can vary greatly in every way, so make sure you visit enough places in order to know exactly what the options are in your area. It's helpful not only to ask friends for suggestions, but to read unbiased reviews of various boarding facilities online.
Health Concerns When Boarding
A responsible boarding facility will make sure that all pet guests will be up to date on vaccines and will have received a clean bill of health before staying over. However, it's always possible that a sick pup could be staying next to your dog. Kennel cough and canine influenza virus are common illnesses among dogs, and unfortunately, they are easily spread. It's always important to be aware that these things can happen before boarding your canine companion.
Alternatives to Boarding Kennels
The only way to know whether your dog will take to a particular boarding facility is to give it a short trial run of a couple days. You will know in his demeanor and through updates that the boarding facility will give you about how he's doing. If your buddy hates it, there is no point in making him stay in a place where he simply unhappy. Though it might be considerably more expensive, you may have to hire a pet sitter, either to come stay at your home or for your dog to come over to their home. Ask friends or your veterinarian for a reputable pet sitter's name and number, or use the services of businesses such as DogVacay which connects dog owners to pet sitters in their area.
If hiring a dog sitter isn't within your budget, try to enlist a trusted friend or family member to stay with your buddy at your home or for your buddy to stay with them in theirs. There are also "pet-sitting exchange" networks of pet owners who swap pet sitting services with each other. Research online to see if such a program exists in your area.
By Pamela Miller
About the Author
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.