Vet Blog

10 Things You Must Know when Boarding Your Dog

March 15, 2019

If you are fairly new to boarding your dog, you probably have a lot of unanswered questions.

It can be a daunting process and you want to ensure that your canine pal is in the best possible care while you are apart.

To help you understand the process and what to expect, here are 10 things you must know when boarding your dog in Nashville, TN.

1. Different Kennels Have Different Policies and Rules

You may have boarded your dog before. However, if you are using a new boarding facility it is essential to speak to them about their policies and rules surrounding various aspects of your canine's care. This will include:

  • What food they can provide or whether you can provide your own
  • What their policy is on 1-1 walking and playtime
  • What items your dog can bring from home
  • What they will do in case of a medical emergency
  • Whether they are happy to administer medication

These represent just a few of the different things that you will need to consider when choosing the right kennels for your dog while he is being boarded.

2. His Vaccinations Must Be up to Date

Although every kennel will have individual admittance criteria, one thing is certain - any reputable kennel that places a high value on the health of your dog will insist that his vaccinations are up to date and that proof of this is provided before they will allow him entry. This is because there are plenty of serious diseases that can be spread very quickly in places with lots of dogs, making kennels the perfect breeding ground for illness. By ensuring all dogs are up to date with their vaccinations., the risk of your pet and others becoming sick is minimized.

3. Check Him for Parasites before You Board Him

Much like viruses and diseases, parasite problems can pose a significant threat to kennels and the animals that will be staying there at the same time as you dog. For this reason, many boarding facilities will insist on performing a parasite check themselves before allowing admission. If they are found, your dog will need to be treated at your expense before he is able to board. It is much easier and cheaper to check your dog for parasites yourself before boarding.

4. Don't Switch up Your Dog's Food

It is ill-advised to change an animal's diet for just a short while. This is because it can take their digestive system some time to adjust and by the time it does, it is normally time to go back to the original food that they were eating. Check what food your chosen boarding service can offer. If it isn't the same as the brand that your dog currently consumes, ask if you can provide your own. Just make sure you provide more than enough - you can always take any leftover home.

5. Make Sure He Will Have His Own Space

Boarding facilities will make sure that all dogs staying there will have their own accommodations where they can sleep, eat and relax on their own terms and without the interference of other animals. Ask the kennel what their policies are on dogs being walked together or socializing and make sure that there aren't too many animals being able to interact at once - two or three is optimal. Also, if your dog doesn't play well with others, make sure that there is an option for him to be walked alone.

6. Check the Cleanliness of the Facility

As you can imagine, lots of animals in a confined space means that it can be difficult to keep the environment clean. Nevertheless, a quality kennel facility will have strict policies surrounding cleanliness and hygiene and while it is impossible to keep the place sterile, it should look, smell, and feel clean when you go to visit.

7. Ask if They Can Administer Medication

Lots of animals rely on medication day today. If you are separated from your dog, you need to be sure that your chosen boarding service has staff who are knowledgeable and experienced enough to be able to administer this on your behalf. Don't forget to ask what they do about pets that need medicine during their stay. It is also prudent to ask what they will do should your canine pal become sick and need medical attention.

8. Don't Make a Fuss when You Drop Him Off

Animals can read your emotions like a book, and if you are over-compensating when saying goodbye, are visibly upset or stressed, your doggo will reflect this. This can make it much harder to say goodbye and harder for your dog to settle. Instead, keep things short, simple, and sweet. He will feel calmer and more relaxed and in turn, this will set your mind at rest.

9. He May Be a Little Different when He First Comes Home

Dogs tend to exhibit slightly different behavior in the first few days after they come home. This can include seeming hungrier/thirstier than usual, being lethargic, seeming very clingy, and even having diarrhea. These are all to be expected and usually settle down within a few days and are a result of excitement at coming home. If they don't, contact your kennel or vet in Nashville for advice.

10. Trust Your Instincts

When it comes to choosing a kennel for your dog, trust your gut. If you don't feel that your dog will be happy, or if there is an aspect of the care you have been told about that you just aren't happy with, don't risk it. Trust your gut and go back to your shortlist to check out another facility instead. You won't be able to relax if you place your dog somewhere you don't feel 100% comfortable with.

Need more information on what to expect before, during, and after boarding your dog? Our friendly and knowledgeable boarding team would be happy to help. Contact our veterinarians in Nashville, TN today at (615) 262-0415 with your question or to arrange a tour of the comfortable boarding facility.