Does your dog cling to you like Velcro? Does he wreak havoc when you're away from home? You're not alone - separation anxiety affects an estimated 14-35% of dogs, and it can quickly turn your relaxing holiday into a stressful nightmare.
When leaving your pooch with a friend or family member isn't an option, don't get as stressed about boarding kennels as your dog is. Even the most fearful and tense pooches can have a great holiday of their own with the right planning and consideration. Remember the following 4 'E's of boarding separation-anxious dogs to ensure that you and your dog both enjoy a calm and carefree kennel experience at a place like Dogdayz Country Club.
'E' is for Environment
Not all boarding kennels were created equal, so it's important to find one with the right environment for a dog with separation anxiety. Aside from the typical factors like cleanliness and safety, make sure you look out for overcrowding. A small, intimate kennel may seem like a great option for a nervous dog, but it won't be so great if it's filled to the brim with other animals. Try to find a kennel with plenty of space and plenty of staff to ensure your dog gets adequate alone-time and people-time.
'E' is for Essence
Just like humans, most dogs feel more comfortable around their belongings. Send a little essence of home to the kennel in the form of your dog's bowls, food, toys and bed. You'll be creating a little bubble of familiarity in an unfamiliar environment, giving your dog a safe place to retreat to if he's scared. If you have a particularly anxious dog, try packing him a blanket or t-shirt that smells like you.
'E' is for Enrichment
Dog enrichment comes in 2 main forms: exercise and play. Enrichment activities will keep your dog's mind off his home and family, lowering his stress levels. Try to find a kennel that will take your dog for several walks a day and offer plenty of time to play with toys. A few belly rubs probably won't go amiss either!
'E' is for Expressing
The most useful 'E' is more for you than your dog: express yourself! Keep the kennel staff clued in on your dog's condition in advance. Good kennels will have plenty of experience with separation anxiety, often providing their own suggestions on how to make your dog's holiday a pleasant one. More importantly, you'll gain essential peace of mind knowing that your dog is in the care of people who know him almost as well as you do.