First-Time Dog Boarding Advice from the Experts at Barks N’ Rec

April 21, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Whether you’re a new puppy owner or have had your pooch for a while and never been separated, the thought of dog boarding might have you filled with confusion and fear. Don’t despair! Boarding your pet is easy once you find the right spot. Here are five tips for first-time dog boarders from Barks N’ Rec, which provides safe and loving doggie daycare and boarding in Agoura Hills.

Start Small

If your dog has never been away from home before, you don’t know how it will react. Chances are, dog boarding will be like going to the most fun camp in the world, but it’s best to test the waters first.

There are a couple of ways to do this. First, if the boarding facility has a daycare, try that during the day. Your dog will get to know the staff, and vice versa, while you can schedule work meetings, clean the house, or just have a day to lounge.

The other option is to go for only a night or two at first. Before your dog knows you’re gone, you’ll be back. If you do this a few times, with longer breaks each appointment, your dog will start to think of boarding as completely routine and even look forward to going!

Get Your Dog Used to the Boarding Feel

For dogs that have free rein of their humans’ homes, going to the boarding kennel can feel a little more restrictive, even if they have the most luxurious accommodations. You can help acclimate your dog to boarding by home use of:

  • A crate at naptime or bedtime
  • Rules and a schedule at home
  • A dog run in the yard
  • A blocked off area for quiet time in the kitchen, bath, or mudroom using baby gates

Bring Comforts from Home

You know how it’s nice to have your own robe at a hotel or pillow on an airplane? Your dog will feel the same way when boarding. Most boarding places allow you to bring your dog’s bed, favorite blanket, and comfort toys to make the transition easier.

You can usually also arrange for chewies and treats to be given at appropriate times. Bring something from home, or if there’s a gift shop, let your dog pick something tasty.

Some dogs get an upset tummy when off their daily diets. Most boarding facilities encourage you to bring your dog’s regular food for an additional measure of comfort.

Keep Your Pup Busy

When your dog’s not gnawing on a bone, you can alleviate boredom or a twinge of separation anxiety by keeping it busy. Sign your dog up for daycare, if it’s available, or arrange for group playtimes, fetch games, or walks. You can also schedule a grooming session, which will keep your pup occupied for a few extra hours and send it home smelling fresh and clean.

Arrange Vet Requirements in Advance

Finally, arrange any vet requirements well in advance of your dog’s boarding visit. Most boarding spots require a set list of immunizations, which your vet can send or give to you in a health certificate.

If you need a temperament check to ensure your dog is well suited for group play at daycare, set that up too with the boarding facility. Let the kennel know about any medications or health requirements for your dog, and be sure to bring medications with you with clear instructions.

Once your dog has gone to Barks N’ Rec a few times, we’re sure it will become the hot new place for fun and relaxation away from home. You don’t even have to go out of town; your dog can visit whenever you want a quiet weekend at home or when your pup needs to blow off a little steam! Reach out online or give us a call at 818-532-7022 today to book your dog’s reservation.