Boarding Your Dog This Holiday Season? Follow These Tips

Posted on: 29 November 2016

The holiday season is here, and for many people, that means traveling to see family. What will you do with your furry family members while you're away? Leaving your dog at a boarding facility is a great way to ensure he gets the care he needs while you're out of town for the holidays. Here are some tips to help ensure the experience goes smoothly.

Plan well in advance.

The holiday season is a busy time for pet services, so plan ahead. Start looking for facilities in your area right now, and visit a few that you're considering hiring. When you find one you like, make your reservation immediately so you don't lose out. If there's some uncertainty in your travel dates, make this your motivation to finalize your plans.

Socialize your dog beforehand.

If you don't regularly take your dog to dog parks and other places where he gets to interact with other dogs, now is the time to start doing so. He will be spending time with other dogs at the boarding facility, and the employees will have a much easier time if he knows to be kind and behave himself around them. Visit local dog parks while others are playing, or just call up some friends who have dogs and arrange to take your dogs for walks together.  Practice having a friend who your dog does not know well walk him, too, as this will get him used to being handled by strangers as he will be at the boarding facility.

Talk to your vet about calming medications.

Being left at a boarding facility can be stressful for your dog, particularly if you don't do this often. Before the holidays get too crazy, call your vet to inquire about calming medications. Your vet may prescribe one or recommend one that you can get over-the-counter. You can give the medication to your dog the day you leave and also leave an extra dose or two at the boarder in case they need to give it while you're away.

Gather some of your dog's things.

Plan ahead by gathering some of your dog's items, like toys and a favorite pillow, into a pile. When you drop him off at the boarding facility, bring these items along. Leaving them in his kennel will make him feel more at home since they have a familiar scent.

Spending time at the boarding facility can be fun for your dog. He'll get to play with other dogs and explore a new place. As long as you prepare in advance with the tips above, you should both have a great holiday.