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Boarding Kennels - Reduce Stress

puppy in cageIs your dog going into boarding kennels?

Some dogs cope very well with short stays in kennels, but many have trouble coping with the new environment, noises and routine. But luckily there are things you can do to reduce the stress and anxiety caused both to you and your dog. Follow the handy checklist below and make sure your dog remains healthy and happy while you’re away.

  • To reduce any potential stress fit a D.A.P.® Collar to the dog 24 hours before you go away. The collar, widely used in rescue centres, releases a canine appeasing pheromone proven to comfort and reassure dogs during a stay in kennels and help them adapt to the new environment.
  • Check your dog’s vaccination schedule is up to date. To prevent infectious diseases being spread in their kennels, most will not take a dog unless they are fully vaccinated.
  • Make sure your dog has had their kennel cough vaccine. If not you will need to book an appointment for a booster at least 3 days before you go away. Once again the kennel may not take your dog without it.
  • Take some of the dogs bedding with you to the kennels. This will help the dog settle. Remember, dogs in kennels often exhibit stress related behaviours which they may not show at home. Only leave bedding that you do not mind becoming soiled or even destroyed.
  • If your dog is on long term medication explain to the kennels when and how this is given. Check they are happy to do so when you make the booking. Most will be more than happy to comply.
  • New DAP LogoSome dogs with sensitive stomachs or fussy eaters may not react well to the standard kennel food. Again if your dog falls into this category, check with the kennels that they are happy to feed your dog’s usual food. Remember, you will need to provide this to the kennel yourself so make sure you have enough to last as long as you are away.
  • Check the times you are able to drop off and pick up your dog. To reduce the stress caused by the normal comings and goings, kennel owners often limit the time owners collect and drop off their dogs to specific times. 
  • If you are worried about your dog’s health or if your dog is elderly make a check-up appointment at your vets to make sure your dog is fit enough to cope with a stay in kennels.
  • Finally, make sure the kennel has your vets contact details and those of the place you are staying or a friend or family member. It is highly unlikely that they will need to use these details but it is much better to be safe than sorry.


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