Boarding a Dog with Separation Anxiety: What You Need to Know
Even though you might have spent some time looking at various airline policies with regards to bringing your dog with you on a flight, chances are that your pooch is going to have to stay behind when you go on holiday. While your dog is likely to be unsettled at the prospect of having to stay at your chosen boarding kennel, they will quickly get used to their new temporary surroundings⸺almost like it's their own holiday. However, the prospect of boarding your dog can become slightly more complicated if your pooch suffers from separation anxiety. All you really need to do is prepare your dog for the separation. But what are some of the ways to do this?
Geographic convenience isn't going to be your primary motivation when it comes to boarding a dog with anxiety. Sure, you'll want somewhere close enough, but a truly special boarding facility might be worth a short journey. Having said that, maybe you'll be lucky and the most appropriate boarding kennel will be the one closest to you. Ask around for recommendations for boarding kennels that excel in handling dogs with anxiety issues. Post on social media⸺your extended network might have a few ideas. You can also Google the matter yourself, paying particular attention to online reviews. If you're still at a loss, just ask your vet. They know your dog and will be familiar with your pooch's specific issues and can make a recommendation accordingly.
Once you have decided upon a boarding facility, ask if you can bring your dog along for a visit. It's not as though a single visit will result in immediate comfort, but some familiarity with their new temporary surroundings can reduce your dog's stress levels when they are left at the boarding kennel. Allow them to see where they will be living and to meet the staff members who will be looking after them. This step is essentially about leaving your dog with caring people who will not be total strangers.
The Comforts of Home
When it comes time to take your dog to the boarding kennel for their stay, you will need to do a little bit of packing. The comforts of home can help your dog to settle in, so you'll want to pack their bedding, their food and water bowls and a few toys. While the boarding kennel can provide food, you might even want to pack a supply of the food your dog eats at home for added familiarity. The greatest comfort of home is you, as far as your dog is concerned. Consider packing an unwashed item of your clothing for your dog, to be placed in their bedding at the boarding kennel. This means that your dog will have your scent to comfort them.
Taking your anxious dog with you or cancelling your holiday plans altogether are not exactly realistic options, so you will have considerable peace of mind when you know that you've found the best boarding kennel for your four-legged baby.