No owner likes being separated from their darling dog.
Unfortunately, sometimes situations occur when your ability to do so is temporarily compromised and you are forced to look for a solution. This could be because of a vacation, a medical operation that necessitates you taking time off to recuperate, or a business trip. Whatever the reason, if you need to find a temporary caregiver for your dog, you will of course want to make sure that he is in the safest hands possible while you are apart. For this reason, many responsible and caring owners opt to place their dogs in a boarding facility in Nashville, TN, also sometimes known as kennels.
If you haven't boarded your dog before, there are undoubtedly lots of different things that you don't yet know about the process. To help you prepare for placing your dog in boarding, here are the most important dog boarding tips every pet owner should know.
Don't Just Use the nearest or First Boarding Facility in Nashville, TN
While we would like to think that all boarding facilities adhere to the same code of conduct and provide exemplary quality accommodation and care for our pets, the truth is that they can vary widely both in their size, their conduct, and their care. For this reason, it is important that you do your research carefully when it comes to selecting kennels for your dog. Ask for recommendations if you have friends or family with dogs. Check out reviews online and kennel websites to see what sort of facilities and services are available. Then schedule a time to go and see them yourself. Visiting in person will give you a gut instinct about each kennel, and you will be able to speak to staff directly with any questions you have. With patience and preparation, you will be able to find a suitable boarding service for your dog.
Ensure that Your Dog's Specific Needs Can Be Met
Every animal is different, and this means that they can have specific requirements. This can include being walked or playtime that is alone if they don't get along with other animals or having medication administered. Obviously, you will need to ensure that the kennel you choose can fulfill these requirements so make sure that you ask the appropriate questions and are satisfied that your pet's needs can be met.
Don't Change Your Dog's Diet
Veterinarians in Nashville, TN recommend that you don't change your dog's diet when going into boarding. This is because doing so can cause symptoms such as pain, bloating and diarrhea, or constipation. When you are only going to be apart for a few weeks, it really isn't worth the hassle or the effect it will have on your dog's digestive system.
Have All Your Dog's Paperwork Available for the Kennel You Choose
Much like if you leave a human child in the care of someone else, there will be a certain amount of information that you will need to provide about your dog if the kennel is to be able to look after him to the best of their ability. This will include medical information including any allergies he has, details on how to contact you should an emergency arise, who your usual vet is (if you aren't boarding with them), and any important personality traits or particular concerns. You will also need to provide any medication he needs and information on the dosage and administration of the drugs. Don't scrimp on details and bring the box/bottle with you along with any instructions. Fill this out ahead of dropping him off to make the process easier and quicker.
Get His Vaccinations up to Date before You Board Him
A great kennel is committed to ensuring that your dog is as healthy and safe as possible while he is in their care. Part of the process that they use to do this is to ask all owners to provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations for any animal who will be boarding with them. This significantly reduces the threat of serious contagious diseases such as kennel cough and parvovirus being passed amongst the boarding population. Without this proof, your pet is likely to be refused entrance, so get any vaccination boosters well ahead of your planned separation.
Don't Draw Out Your Goodbye
We understand it can be heart-breaking to leave your dog, even if it is just for a few days. However, if you are stressed and anxious, these emotions will rub off on your dog and this will make it harder for him to settle in. Instead, act as if you were simply leaving your dog to go to the store or to work. Less fuss will help your dog associate you leaving with you also returning a short while later. While he is boarding, the schedule of activities should keep your dog's mind occupied so that the time flies by and you are reunited before he knows it!
If you would like more tips and advice regarding boarding your dog, please get in touch with our experienced veterinary team at (615) 833-7387 where our veterinarians in Nashville, TN would be happy to help.