Ever felt anxious walking into a room of new people by yourself? Just like humans, animals can experience anxiety, especially relating to separation from their owners or being in a new environment. This especially rings true during boarding. While no one wants to leave their pets overnight, sometimes it is necessary. Here are ___ ways to help your pet feel more at home while it boards (so you can vacation without worry)
1. Practice coping mechanisms
If your dog has severe separation anxiety (barking, whining, destruction of things at home, attempting to escape from a crate or room), it might be beneficial to slowly begin leaving him alone for short amounts of time in hopes of helping to build up a tolerance. Slowly increase the amount of alone time to prepare your pup for a boarding facility.
But don’t despair! Just because you won’t be present doesn’t mean your dog will be alone. Our veterinary assistants are constantly observing your pet, interacting with him, and taking him for walks and playtime outside. Your dog will have plenty of stimulation here at Northside Animal Clinic.
2. Pack your dog’s own belongings
In a foreign environment, it will help your pup feel better to have reminders of home. Allowing him to have his own food, bowls, bed, or even an old tee shirt that smells like you should make him feel more comfortable in this new environment. Just remember, any items you bring with your pet need to be washable, in case he “marks his territory.”
3. Distraction is key
Make sure you pack plenty of toys or dental chews to entertain your dog. This will keep him busy and distract him from the anxiety.
4. Inform the veterinary assistants in charge of his care
Make sure that the caregivers are aware that your dog is nervous so that they can provide the right comfort and care to make him feel at home.
5. Get exercising
This one is our responsibility – exercise! Dogs are less homesick when they get some fresh air and run around a little! Our veterinary assistants take boarding dogs outside to potty and exercise four times per day, so there’s plenty of time for stress relief!