As a dog owner, at some point you may need to board your pet for a few days or longer. This can be stressful for both you and the animal. Unfortunately, you cannot explain to a dog that you are lonely leaving for a few days and that you will be back to get it. All the dog knows is that it has been left with strangers in a strange place. However, you can make things easier for your pet if you take the time to research and visit the kennels you are considering. Here are a few things to look for that will keep your pet a bit happier during your absence.
Ask to take a tour of the facilities, and not just the reception area. You want to see where your dog will "live" while there. Even if your dog is very social, you want to be sure that it will have its own space both inside and outside. Ideally, there will be a kennel inside with a doggy door to an outside run that is fenced for a single dog. If possible, the kennels and runs should not butt up against one another, but that is not an absolute necessity. Hopefully, if they do share a fence, the kennel will not be so full that each kennel is occupied and the dogs can be separated a bit. However, there should be a place where staff can take a couple of dogs to play together at times too. Having a friend to rough-house with can keep your dog's mind occupied and not pining for you.
Talk with the staff a bit. You can tell how they feel about their job, the facilities, and animals in short amount of time. If possible, watch them interact with the animals. Ask them how often they feed and take the pets out for a walk or for playtime. Find out if someone will be there around the clock to care for all the animals. You may want to arrange a night visit to meet with the person who will be there overnight too.
The better you feel about the place and staff where you will be leaving your dog, the better it will feel better too. Your pet will feel your anxiety and stress when you take it to drop it off. This will increase its stress and make it confused as to what is happening. If at all poaaible, arrange to have your pet stay at the kennel for a day while you are out running errands for your upcoming trip. This way, it will be more familiar and less worried when you have to leave it for a few days. The place and people won\'t be so unfamiliar your dog will be afraid you are not coming back. It will be able to relax and enjoy its vacation a bit too.